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The One Who Got Away

babyboyAt the age of 10 weeks, I was adopted by Bill & Nancy Rosenberger. The first day of June 1962. By all accounts, that was the happiest day of their lives. I must have been at my most charming. Some would say my powers peaked in that moment… and they might be right. But I had other mad skills. For instance, I was apparently a fully functioning fertility idol. Within four years my fiefdom was invaded by three sisters – at 16-month intervals of the Vatican-approved rhythm method. After that, it all gets a little blurry…

Anyhoo, it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday morning here in Los Angeles. I was about to pick up the phone to check in with my mother in Connecticut, as one does. But then I saw the date – and the protocol of June 1st dictates that my mother calls me. To wish me a “happy anniversary”. My friends have always found this to be absolutely delightful. To be honest, it always made me squirm a bit. Even though I’ve known since I was a toddler that I was adopted. It was a story, like a fairy tale, Mom would tell me as she dried me after a bath. So, I grew up with this personal factoid fully integrated into my psyche, never a moment’s trouble with it. (Well played, Nancy.)

But the “anniversary” business was always a little awkward for me. I mean, we’d celebrate my birthday in March. We’d celebrate my sisters’ birthdays in June, September and December. Everything normal, A-OK. But then June 1st would roll around and there’d be a card and a little gift. It just seemed so… unnecessary. No one else had these ‘bonus’ anniversaries. Actually, it’s the only time in my life I ever felt self-conscious about being adopted. Oh well, I lived.

ckmemoI came to understand that it was important to my mother. This is a woman whose philosophy of life can be summed up in one word: Hallmark. If there is an occasion, she marks it with a card. The appropriate card. The card whose message agrees with the occasion and recipient(s) in gender and number. It may require a bit of editing, as “We” becomes “I”, or “You” becomes “You two”. Words like happy and love tend to get double underlined for emphasis, with exclamation points sprinkled liberally throughout. Lovely sentiments, even if penned by anonymous copywriters in Kansas City. As the cards kept coming through the years, I’ve smiled as I deposit the checks with memo notes like “have a drink” or “do something fun”.


But I digress… That wasn’t the story I intended to share when I fired up the blog machine this morning. This is what I thought you should know today:

I follow a blogger named Matthew who writes a blog called Gay Dinosaur Tales. (Click here to see why I’m a fan.) Every once in a while, I do a quick survey of the blogs that are followed by the bloggers I follow. (You follow?) On the theory that if A likes B and B likes C, then A just might also like C. (That’s algebra. Never trust anything requiring more advanced math than that.) Anyway, I recently came across another gem of a blog in Matthew’s horde, this one called Dawn 4 Dinosaurs – written under the nom de guerre of Jim McTrip. Here’s a guy who is my age, living in LA, whose recent life experiences (for better or worse) are tracking quite closely with my own. He’s slightly ahead of me on the trail. So when I realized he had already paid for the life coach, I decided to start at the beginning of his blog (last August) and piggyback. I figure, if he falls down an open manhole, maybe I can avoid that fate. His writer’s voice is also eerily similar to the (one, thankyouverymuch) voice inside my head. This may reflect some sort of profound narcissism on my part… but I’m hooked.

Jim McTrip’s April 15th blog post, Skating Through Life (<< that’s a link) recounts the unusual story of John Kitchin – which is captured so beautifully in Slomo, an award-winning 16-minute short film by San Francisco filmmaker Josh Izenberg. Whoever you are, you should watch it. Now would be a good time.

 

So if you hear that I was last seen rollerblading down the coast, blame any or all of the above-named people. I’m not there yet, but… After half a century of “happy anniversary” cards from my mother, I do think about the lump of clay I was in 1962, the state of that clay today – and the clay’s next play. Mr McTrip refers to our chronological circumstances as “mid-life”. But we are in all likelihood well past the midpoint. Tick tock.

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Beautiful

Tony nominee Jessie Mueller performs “You’ve Got a Friend”
from the Broadway show “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

–courtesy of NYT In Performance series–

NYT.beautiful

Because who couldn’t use a little bit of this right now?

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“Pick Up The Battle. Take it up. It’s Yours.”

In 2006, Maya Angelou sat down in her home in North Carolina with Dave Chappelle for a conversation that was recorded as part of the Sundance Iconoclasts series.

The entire hour is available on YouTube in four parts. From the 5:00 mark of this clip, Maya remembers her friends Malcolm and Martin… how this is both historical and personal for her, these iconic figures were also her friends… and how the anger in the aftermath of their assassinations was fuel for action. She has a message for those of us who are angry about the state of our country and our world.


 “You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.” 


 

 

And here is part of a series from OWN. “Just Do Right”


 “Pick up the battle. Take it up. It’s yours. This is your life. This is your world.”

“You know what’s right. Just do right.”


 

 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou
1928–2014

White-Hot Anger

I stand in solidarity with Richard Martinez whose 20-year-old son Chris was murdered by the shooter in Santa Barbara:

 

Every candidate running for Congress – incumbents and challengers, of any party – should be met with this same white-hot anger over our political leadership’s complete dereliction of duty in the face of out-of-control gun violence in America. At every campaign stop, every interview, every debate, every public appearance. Will they vote for a bill requiring 100% background checks on gun purchases and/or transfers, no loopholes? It is a yes-or-no question. Demand the answer. Demand action. Demand vastly increased funding for mental health evaluation and treatment. Demand restrictions on magazine capacity and ammunition. Demand the same ban on semi-automatic weapons that we have on fully automatic weapons (machine guns). Demand change. This is your country.


“We don’t have to live like this. Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not one more.'”

– Richard Martinez


Update

I received a comment from one of the “gun huggers”. It is morally repugnant, intellectually bankrupt – and soulless. His words reveal an unfathomable lack of empathy. I am including part of his remarks here – as an example of the sort of right-wing indecency I will not tolerate on this blog… and hope we, as a society, will no longer tolerate:

I plan to demand that my representatives protect the 2nd Amendment against bigots and I will need to send some money the NRA-ILA to help them combat the outrageous attack by this man – his grief is no excuse.

NB: Yes, this is censorship. And no one’s 1st Amendment rights have been violated. Why? Because I am not the government. 

Tweet of the Day 05.17.14

Love Obama? Love Bill Maher?
Then click on the link in this tweet, sit back and enjoy!

Hate Obama? Hate Bill Maher?
Then click on the link in this tweet. You’ll drown in your own bile.

 

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“I’m Going to Midland!”

“I’m going to Midland,” which I believe is Texan for “I’m gonna go get drunk in my Escalade and I hate you I hate you I hate you.”

The Broadcast is a tv chatfest, a local Dallas version of The View. Tom Boggioni (TBogg) recaps a discussion these ladies had about the NFL-draft-ESPN-Michael-Sam-and-boyfriend-KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS. If Texas has to exist at all, at least we have spirit guides like Tom to chop it into bite-size, tasty morsels of chocolate-covered WTF.

This post will make you laugh.

Watching the 9-minute video may liquefy your brain and cause it to run out your ears. Or not. But fair warning: once you hit play, no power on earth can tear your eyes away from this clusterfuck.

Here is the video clip and TBogg’s take on it. Enjoy.

CLICK >>> texas-mom-talker-doesnt-want-your-gay-shoved-in-her-face-takes-her-blonde-and-goes-home

 

P.S. The petrified dino turd (3rd from the left) is conclusive proof that the Earth is older than 6,000 years. Oh, the irony…

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How To Explain THAT To The Kids?!

You may have heard that college football star Michael Sam became the first openly gay player in the NFL when he was drafted by the St Louis Rams over the weekend. You may have seen the live coverage on ESPN, as Mike got the call from his agent with the great news. It was an emotional moment for him and his boyfriend, surrounded by family and friends. And as they hugged and kissed each other, you could hear America’s reaction. Well, there were two reactions: either AWWWWWWWWW!!! or EWWWWWWWWW!!!

For most of us, it was a touching moment of Awwwwww! But, the sight of two men hugging and kissing, right there, in the middle of the NFL draft, on the television… well, some folks found that icky. So alarming is the sight of man-on-man affection – they might not even have noticed the interracial aspect! Who knows? The Ewwwwww! may have been doing double-duty disapproval in some quarters.

And now how – dadgummit! – just how are you s’posed to explain this to yer kids?! Glad you asked. The folks at HECKBENDER have got you covered.

 

And don’t forget:

Was he indicted by a grand jury and charged with multiple felony counts of torturing and killing dogs? Was he convicted of running a dog-fighting ring from his property in Virginia? Did he kill dogs by shooting them, electrocuting them, hanging them, beating them and drowning them? Did he spend two years in prison for these monstrous acts of cruelty?

No… that’s Michael Vick, who was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles when he was released from prison, and was just signed for one year by the New York Jets. Let’s not forget that scumbag Vick: CLICK HERE and HERE and HERE.

Most players in the NFL aren’t violent creeps or convicted psychopaths. Some are. If you are untroubled by them, but a little kiss has set your moral compass spinning… Dude – seriously?

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P.S. Thanks to Nathan Simpson at Queerlandia for hitting me in the numbers with this pass!

Step Aside, Sachertorte! Make Way, Wienerschnitzel!

 

sachertorte   wienerschnitzel--oesterreich-werbung--d

 

VIENNA – There’s a new kid in town. Conchita Wurst – the 25-year old drag queen who has taken Europe by storm as Austria’s “bearded lady” – has won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Oh, and she designed her own skintight golden gown. Some people are just too talented. Congrats also to Tom Neuwirth, Fraulein Wurst’s alter-ego.

Here’s the winning song, “Rise Like A Phoenix” from the Eurovision finals in Copenhagen on Saturday.

 

The last Austrian songstress to cause this sort of sensation was Maria von Trapp! We’ve come a long way from Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… 

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P.S. Meanwhile, back in the U S of A…

How Many Things Are There?

Ready to get your geek on? Good.

 

 

And check out more of Michael Stevens’ Vsauce videos.

(Where was this guy when the votes were being counted in 2000?)

 

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Ragtime Gals

 

Two words: Jay who?

They Are Us

Today, there are more vacant houses in America than homeless people.

Of course, it’s not so simple. Financial, political, societal + economic forces all come into play. But…

Tomorrow, there will be more vacant houses in America than homeless people.

How did we come to this?

Who are these people?

They are us.

 

 

Hot Tip:
I discovered this video via DesignTaxi.com – an awesome compendium of creativity, design, art + ideas.

Credit:
Header photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki / Metro.us

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Creationist Cosmos

In the autumn of 1980, a groundbreaking science series aired on PBS in the United States, and later on the BBC. Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage changed the way the we thought about science and the universe we live in. Fast forward to the winter of 2014. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson does Sagan proud with Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

It is a magnificent survey of our understanding of the universe and our continuing explorations via the scientific method. So… of course it has attracted the loud condemnation of a band of idiots who style themselves “creationists”. Because that sort of rhymes with “scientists”?? In any case, these nutters want equal time (which even Fox is not inclined to grant them) and bible stories in science textbooks (which textbook companies are not inclined to grant them). But they whine and they whine and they whine. Nutters. Annoying shit-for-brains nutters. But now the very highly evolved folks at Funny Or Die have given us a great gift – by giving the nutters what they want: Creationist Cosmos.

Click here >>> http://youtu.be/bNZEfafbjSE

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Haven’t seen Neil deGrasse Tyson’s COSMOS? You’re in for a treat! A treat that has been 13.8 billion years in the making. Starting with the Big Bang and continuing in an unbroken chain of cosmic evolution to the moment when a clump of star stuff that answers to your name clicks on this image…

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cosmos-a-spacetime-odessey-watch-online-540x320

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P.S. If you are of the opinion that your biblical stories or any other mythology should be taught alongside, or instead of, science in publicly funded schools (or anywhere really), then you should click here.

 

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