Thursday, December 28, 2006

baby ticker

I'm hopelessly unhip. I think the baby ticker is adorable. This may be the hormones talking.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All Will Be Well

How are the big decisions made? Do you jump in without regard to the consequences and flip the bird at the universe? Do you carefully consider every angle, detail the multiplying branches of that forest of decision trees? Do you let fate push you along to some inevitable output and then look back with a sigh at decisions made for you?

At the end of a wonderful holiday spent with your family, marveling at this little man who’s brought so much happiness to you…... do you? What do you? How do you?


Ah hell I want another child.




The winter's cold
But the snow still lightly settles on the trees
And a mess is still a moment I can seize until I know
That all will be well
Even though sometimes this is hard to tell
And the fight is just as frustrating as hell
All will be well

And all the children walking home past the factories
Can see the light that's shining in my window
As I write this song to you
And all the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true

And all will be well
Even after all the promises you've broken to yourself
All will be well
You can ask me how but only time will tell

You got to keep it up
And don't give up
And chase your dreams
And you will find
All in time

...

You can ask me how but only time will tell



- Gabe Dixon Band

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm feeling much better. Taking the day to rest really seemed to help. After a quick shower I'm heading out for a few last minute gifts and then some wrapping and then it'll be x-mas.

I wish we'd get some snow but it's unlikely now just some rain in the forecast. To get into the spirit here's some photos I took a couple years ago from a walk with Nemo.

Happy Holidays all! It's been a pleasure meeting all of you and thanks for stopping by my little house on the Web.









Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pa Rum Pa Pa Cough Pum

Part of the joys of family is the seasonal sharing of illnesses. E is finally getting over his bad cold and guess where it is now settling. Yes that’s right! On me!!!

I have too much to do to be sick right now. We’re having L’s family over on x-mas eve for a big gathering and we need to finish buying all the supplies for our kitchen remodel.

A large coffee or diet dr. pepper might be in order.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Don't Fence Me In!

The jokes just write themselves:

"A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company's work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.

After an immigration check in 1999 found undocumented workers on its payroll, Golden State promised to clean house. But when followup checks were made in 2004 and 2005, some of those same illegal workers were still on the job. In fact, U-S Attorney Carol Lam says as many as a third of the company's 750 workers may have been in the country illegally."

Boy meets fish



At the Baltimore Aquarium

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

These are the droids you're looking for.

"What seemed to be just another pile of desert rocks, gradually, as we approached, took the shape of the rockets, satellites and spheres of the 1976 "Star Wars'" production, the real-life science fiction amid the ancient desert.
Breathless and with my heart pounding, I wandered around the abandoned set, looking at the inscriptions "Mike and Lucy were here, 1987" or "Luke, I love you! Jessie, 2001."

As I peered inside one of the impeccably built constructions, I noticed a mattress and a small teapot on the sand floor. In a mere moment, the "owner" of the house was there: an elder Arab man dressed in a typical desert fashion.

Surprisingly, his French was perfect and he explained to me that since he had neither family nor money, he came to live in the movie set. He looks after the place, the real roof of the fake house protects him from the sandstorms, and if a tourist throws him a small coin every once in a while, he can buy some more tea and some food. And he is hardly the only one living in the Lucas-built wonderland in the middle of the Sahara. “

http://www.mysanantonio.com/salife/travel/stories/MYSA121006.1Q.starwars.245729f.html

I think that might be one of the coolest road trips ever. Star Wars is still wildly popular. It may be in part due to the Star Wars Lego videogame or just the Lego sets. My nephews were asking for the Star Wars models for X-mas. I was shocked and amazed at the variety and cost. I would have killed for these guys when I was little. This is the part where I confess that one of the best things about having a boy is reliving your childhood.

Take a look at these primo sets:


At $100, Vader’s tie fighter:



and the awesomeness of the gulp $300 Imperial Cruiser!!!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Look at that! Look at that!

My son has entered the streaking phase. At first it was just pulling the pants down but now he’s figured out that pulling these little tabs pulls the diaper down.

Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed the first time he came waddling into the kitchen with his pants down around his ankles and a big grin on his face. C’mon though. When I went to grab him and his little feet went kicking away taking a million little steps a minute… it was high-sterical.

So, the need to be free and his “potty” comments have propelled me to buy a potty for the little man. I know it will be practice at this point and it’s way too early for any success but maybe this is the start of the journey.



Also, a new and funny behavior is that when I catch E doing something he’s not supposed to be doing he looks at me and tells me “Bye-bye Daddy!” At first I thought it was random but nope, he’s trying to get rid of me. Even before I can open my mouth I hear “Bye-bye, Daddy!” heh.

Friday, December 08, 2006

We're here. We're queer. We're a little confused.

Our old house was in the Stanton Park neighborhood of DC a few blocks from Union Station and the Capitol building. Stanton Park is a wonderful neighborhood full of staffers and various association and think tank workers. Most days you’ll find dogs and their owners romping about. The playground fills to capacity on warm days. It represents the best of city living, getting out, meeting people, hanging with friends.

The proximity to the Mall and public transportation meant that it was often a staging ground and meeting point for groups ready to march on the greatest public space in the nation. It’s fascinating to watch events like the protestors gathering for the World Bank meetings. The uniformity of the noncomformists is always good for a chuckle.

One day I was out walking the dog with E in the stroller in front of me and I spied large crowds of bland suburban white women and children heading towards buses ringing the park. The various Choose Life and Murder signs were dragging on the ground by the Jesus pre-teens. Two women were talking animatedly while a swarm of 10-12 kids ran ahead, pushing, shoving, and yelling along the sidewalk. A couple of the kids darted into the intersection against the greenlight as the Moms kept chattering away. The car had to brake to avoid them. Finally one of the Moms looked up to yell at the kid to come back. There were kids everywhere.

It struck me how forcefully these parents are interjecting their children into this debate. I’m pro-choice but certainly would encourage families to put children up for adoption if they find themselves unable to care for them. I wondered though how many of these people would preach against my parenting and starting a family. Where will I go on these topics when E comes to me. How do you guide a child to make his own decision but also convey your own moral code? E’s already attended a Pride Fair and various hippie causes so choices have been made. Bottom line is I do want a free thinker. I have family members who fall back on the “It’s their decision.” When it comes to raising their kids. I want it to be their decision but I also want them to know why they’ve made the decision and how they got there. Yeesh, it is much easier to simply tell a kid what he should think.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Heather has two half mommies

Mary Cheney, the vice president's openly gay daughter, is pregnant.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. The vice president of the United States is openly gay and will give birth soon. Strangely enough she hasn’t been in contact with our local Rainbow Families DC gay parenting group.

Living in Virginia even she can’t escape the harsh bigotry of Republicans. They’ve worked in that state to ensure that gays and lesbians will receive no equal rights. Miss Cheney’s partner will find herself quite invisible in the eyes of the legislature. I’m sure they’ll be able to afford the best lawyers to bang together some protections but like the rest of us they’ll see baby, it’s cold outside.

Will her maternal instincts kick in? Will she now step up for gay rights and family protections?

Cheney has described her relationship with Poe -- whom she took to last year's White House dinner honoring Prince Charles and Camilla -- as a marriage. You can’t have it both ways Mary. Heather’s not your wife. She’s not the mother of your daughter according to your party. If you want to claim the reward you’ve got to stand with us.

You are welcome to join us and other proud gay families at the next social gathering. I think you’re going to find that it’s a much warmer climate for your child than what you’re about to experience.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Light a Candle

Light a Candle at 'Light to Unite', where each candle lit equals $1 donated to the National AIDS Fund.

Pass it along.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh my Congressman will hear about this.

Freakin security. The Pepsi dude was stopped from coming into our building because he lacked some sort of security crediential. My beloved Diet Dr. Pepper and most diet drinks are missing. I was forced to get a diet peach flavored green tea. Yes, it's as horrid as it sounds.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Blogging.

We’ve been participating in a research project concerning adoptive parents, which has led to a lot of navel gazing. As gay parents we continuously reimagine and contextualize our parenting styles in a society not yet ready for us. This study has caused us to look at what we’re doing even closer. Between the social workers, pediatrician visits, parental updates, we are one well-examined parental unit.

The biggest adjustment for me has to be my continuously tested and battle-forged patience. His latest trick is the banshee scream. At random points in the day, he’ll let out this eardrum shattering screech. It’s an awe-inspiring volume of sound from such a little frame. He must pull from his toes to reach such a capacity. The dog stays far from E and I can completely agree with that. My research reveals that little ones are just testing their voice. They are moved by the “joie de vivre” of it all. Ha ha ha. It’s important to focus on that dear friends.

I’m reaching my center. Just like the biting phase this too will pass.

I’ve decided next month is Guatemala month on the Turtle blog. I’ll be posting pics from our travels and highlighting some charities involved in humanitarian efforts down south. It should be a lot of fun. Well, I’m excited so just nod and look pretty if you can’t join me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In your face, Rothko!

It's true. He's a genius. Just look at those brush strokes:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I feel loooooooooooooove!

The day before a holiday in a federal office building is always a lonely place to be. In my new schedule, I’m up in the dark and rushing to the office as quick as I can. My goal is to pick up E as soon as possible to ameliorate some of the guilt for dropping him off at daycare. The traffic was very light this morning. I was zipping around the city with incredible ease. I feel like I’ve been mentally checked out this whole week to be honest and I’m looking forward to the holiday.

Thanksgiving is very cool in our house. You see we left to pick up E the day after Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe its been a year now. There are certainly days that I with I could just walk out of the house, just grabbing my keys and head to a nice restaurant but each day brings a new surprise…. Just this week, the little boo has started saying “I love you.” OK, you just bought yourself a whole lot of fits on that one. That’ll maybe take you to age 12 or 13.

When you think about it Thanksgiving is a pretty bogus holiday but now we’ve got the best reason to celebrate.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

/ Management is not responsible for extreme mushiness of this post. Medical staff is on hand to care for any sugar overdosage should it occur.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rude Drug Addicted Decorator/Bloggers Strike Back!

More from the ever so quotable Michael Savage:

"I told you to be aware of the homosexual agenda; how powerful the homosexual movement is in this country as witness the fact that you never hear any criticism of them. You see? So, now let's move on. I don't even want to talk about it. I'm giving it to you as an example, and I know it's going to wind up tomorrow in several of the blogs run by gays -- and they think only of that 'cause they're like drug addicts."


Oh Michael you know me so well.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ye Olde Bloggeth

A storm has knocked out our modem at home and so I only have limited connectivity. The weekend was a busy blur with shopping for cabinets, playing with E, and getting ready for a visit from another Guatemala adoptee family.

One thing that struck me is how much at odd moments I’ve come to rely upon the online world for info when I want it. If I want the weather, I go to the Web, if I need directions back to the Web. I was feeling positively Flintstonian without it. I was looking for a bird and a big shell so I could construct a computer.

With Thanksgiving coming up we have lots of shopping and food prep to do. It may be another week or so before I can pick up a new modem. In the meantime I may use my green stamps to buy a new gingham dress pattern. I hear there’s a new shipment of jam down at Oleson’s Mercantile we may need to check out too.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The power of Yes

Can I just share with you for a moment and wonderful and beautiful the word Yes is. It’s affirmation. It’s joy. It’s knowing that you are providing. E started saying yes about three weeks ago and now he’s to the point that he’s using it correctly with near 100% accuracy. His S tends to come out like a slow leak so Yes and Bus have a little party at the end. Yessssssss and Bussssssss.

The first time he answered me was a shock. “Do you want a drink?”

“Yesssssss.”

Wow! Holy cow. We’re talking.

My co-workers probably think I’m insane when they hear me respond to their questions with a Yesssss. It is more fun to say it that way. Try it out. I’ll wait.

….

See what did I tell you? I bet that explains that whole rolling R thing in Spanish.

We’re toying with the idea of trying the Happy Feet movie. It would be our first venture into a theater. Hopefully it will be a successsssss.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the cold November rain

I am feeling the weather today. It is dark and gloomy with vast stretches of rain. We are currently under a tornado watch which in this area is a rare thing and even rarer for November. Which came first the weather or my mood? Whatever it is has left me uneasy.

It’s the perfect weather for crawling up under a blanket and watching a movie. I can’t wait til E can be still long enough to watch something. Per the pediatricians advice we’ve cut off the tv during his waking hours so I’m not exactly sure when that will be.

The renovations have been delayed til after Xmas which is good because it won’t interfere with xmas but on the other hand I’d like to just get the pain over with.

Thanksgiving has been a moving and now it seems we’ll be spending it with L’s sister’s family out in the hinterlands of Virginia. I’m really not looking forward to it. I’m a worrier by trade and part of me fears for something happening to us while we’re in VA. I construct elaborate scenarios of not being able to see L in his hospital bed or my relationship to E being challenged. It’s not always healthy of me I know.

Me, I’m looking forward to Xmas this year. It’ll be the first one in our new house and I think E will get it this time. He was just a happy blob last December. I know where the tree will go and I’ve already put my request in for an xbox 360. (I shun practical presents.)

Hopefully this rain will be ending soon and yeah I’m even trilled at the idea of our first snow… E’s first snow. I can’t wait.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

There's nothing worse than a rude decorator

From the November 13 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:

MICHAEL SAVAGE: And I want to tell you something, and I'm going to say it to you loud and clear. The radical homosexual agenda will not stop until religion is outlawed in this country. Make no mistake about it. They're all not nice decorators. You better get it through your head before it's too late. They threaten your very survival. They went after the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is now caving into the homosexual mafia. They will not stop until they force their agenda down your throats. Gay marriage is just the tip of the iceberg. They want full and total subjugation of this society to their agenda. Now, if you want that and if you don't think it's a threat -- believe me, that is what's going to occur in this country.



Can someone send me the new agenda? I seem to have lost my copy.

Project Runway big hit - check.

Tom Cruise getting married - check.

Carol Channing going batty - check.

Dems taking Congress - check.

Doogie Howser coming out - check.


Mwahahaha! Our plans are nearing completion.

Cleanup Tramline 3

That idiot on the escalator who doesn't know where to stand? He's everywhere:


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where's my parade?

We had a friend visiting us for the weekend and I’m afraid I’ve become a terrible host for your single gay man. First, we live in a cute little town while quaint, it’s not exactly full of bars or clubs. When asked about a liquor store, I didn’t know where the nearest one was. I think we have one bottle of vodka in the house that’s been a quarter full for a couple years now.

I’ve also missed the phenomenon known as Manhunt. My computer was having trouble with the messaging system and my friend was spending hours trying to get it to work. I finally had to pack him off to the local cafĂ© for its wifi so he could check his mail. I get the appeal and coming from a smaller town it must be like xmas only with half-naked men but yeesh give it a rest for a couple of days.

I’m feeling terribly out of touch with my community. I’m sure that average parents also feel that disconnect between their single or childless friends but the divide seems more acute for gay parents. I’ve heard gay people complaining about strollers invading Dupont Circle and comments about the breeders and it just irks me. Are we so rigid in our gay rules that we can’t tolerate a little diversity. I don’t want to withdraw further from my people but it seems the choice is being made for me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats Sweep Election!

I love each and every one of you. mwah mwah mwah!

Monday, November 06, 2006

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”


- Margaret Mead

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Welcome to the party

Congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris!



"The public eye has always been kind to me and until recently I have been able to live a pretty normal life," Neil Patrick Harris, whose big break came playing teenage genius Doogie Howser, M.D.in the early 1990s, told People.

"[I] am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love," he said.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Update on the self-hating evangelical!

Haggard told CNN affiliate KUSA-TV on Friday that he received Jones' name as "a referral" from a hotel where he was staying in Denver.

He did not name the hotel. "I did call him," Haggard said. "I called him to buy some meth, but I threw it away.

"I was buying it for me, but I never used it. I was tempted, I bought it, but I never used it.

"He told me about it. I went there for a massage."


...

Riiiiiight. Well at least he's married and didn't have to try the "I've got a girlfriend, um, in Canada."

I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning

From the Washington Post:

“One of the nation's most influential conservative Christian leaders, the Rev. Ted Haggard, resigned yesterday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and temporarily stepped aside as pastor of a Colorado mega-church after a self-described male escort accused him of paying for gay sex.

Haggard, an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, vigorously denied the allegation. "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife," he told a Colorado television station, KUSA.

But in a statement issued by New Life Church, his 14,000-member congregation in Colorado Springs, Haggard said he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations," which were first made public on a Denver talk-radio station yesterday morning.

Although he has avoided endorsing political candidates, Haggard has been a staunch ally of the Bush administration. Some political observers said his resignation was more bad news for Republicans trying to rally their conservative Christian base to turn out for the midterm elections.

"This is one more factor that could increase the disillusionment of evangelicals with prominent leaders on the Christian right and with the political process as a whole, and some may conclude that perhaps their forebears were wise to be wary about politics," said William Martin, a professor of religion and public policy at Rice University and a biographer of the Rev. Billy Graham.”

...

There is something immensely satisfying in hypocrisy exposed. Down in the trenches out gay men and women are struggling for equal rights and reversing discrimination… meanwhile this closet case is preaching hate to thousands while he skulks using crystal meth and visiting hookers.

True these allegations have not yet been confirmed but come on, the whole “never had a gay relationship” smacks of code. It was years before I had a relationship too but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t knocking boots. (I love that phrase knockin boots.)

If the Foleys and the Haggards want to spend their lives locked in torment I suppose that’s their right. However, don’t pull me and my family into your unhealthy descent.

So to those who cast us into damnation and hellfire I think you’ll find there’s a special reward waiting for you.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Scary complaining post! oooOOOOoooOOOoo

I have to laugh now at the idea that having a child could save a marriage. If anything it provides you with new material to fight over. In one of Dan Savage’s books he mentions having date nights away from the child so that they can remember what it was that made them want to be parents. I can relate. Perhaps it ‘s the coming chill in the air or fussiness at my declining gym schedule but there are days of late that I find it difficult to muster enthusiasm at stacking blocks. Plus there was the whole moving and we’re beginning renovations soon. Ha ha ha. What stress?

The new problem is that lately I’ve felt like I’ve been more of the disciplinarian. As E explores and gains even more mobility and climbing ability it’s exhausting. Plus as we’ve learned from others E’s an active child. Some days I’d like to take him to a running track and let him burn off a few miles. We stopped by Borders where I imagined a fun little visit with him enthralled by all the books and flipping through the pages until we decided on one. Reality: E goes to a shelf picks up a book, throws it on the floor, go to next book pick it up, throw on floor…

Somewhere in the middle I need to relax a bit more and L needs to step in more.

Tomorrow is Halloween and E will be the cutest bumblebee you’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about Halloween before.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

After a protest by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Bush said on Wednesday that American patience had its limits over Iraq but pledged not to put unbearable pressure on the country's leaders.

Bush foreign policy reaches the "I'll turn this car around right now" phase.

Adoption

You may notice a new linkage over there. / points to sidebar I've decided to gather information and links for adoption resources. I'm sure this has been done by others and probably done better by others. However, the more information that is out there for gay parents the better. I'm going to collect info sourced from gay parenting sites or groups. Hopefully the list will grow over time. Should you have any questions feel free to email me!

Cheers, Brian

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mine!

It’s fascinating to watch E’s development into personhood. Different little facets of his personality are coming forward like his love for Elmo. There must be some kind of strong voodoo with Elmo because as I talk to other parents it seems that all kids go through an Elmo stage.

Dinnertime is interesting now... E has learned how to feed our dog Nemo. If he’s in his chair and doesn’t like what he’s eating he’ll hold it out and call the dog over. Nemo of course quickly figured this one out and the 2 have formed a nefarious partnership. We’ve had to ban the big guy from the dining room.

It appears that everything in the house is becoming E’s. All sorts of objects, the tv remotes, my jacket, the lamp are becoming “Mine!” He points to it or grabs the object in question and lets you know whose it is. We’re working on ownership especially in regards to the remotes. He grabs it and runs from the room with a giggle. The little guy can run fast now too. Ah well reality sets in soon enough. For now, the world is yours, just let me change the freakin channel.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Th-th-th-th that's all folks!

The fledgling Iraqi government must "step up and take more responsibility" for the country's security, a high-ranking White House official said Monday.

At the same time, Dan Bartlett denied in a television interview that the Bush administration's war policy has been a sweeping "stay the course" commitment, saying "what we aren't doing is sitting there with our heads in the sand."

In contrast to earlier White House statements, Bartlett did not deny a New York Times report saying the head of the U.S.-led Multinational Forces in Iraq and the U.S. ambassador were working on a plan that for the first time would set a specific timetable for disarming militias and meeting other political and economic goals.

"I was a bit puzzled about the report over the weekend because it was stating something that we've been talking publicly about for months," the senior White House counselor said on CBS's "The Early Show." Bartlett said the goal is to "define demonstrable milestones and benchmarks" and said it has been "very much a part of our strategy all along."

...


I wonder if this is the Bugs Bunny strategy in which you start saying the exact opposite of what you are doing in hopes that your peers will state your goal and then you can confidently state that it is indeed Duck Season. This is one of the most surreal elections I've ever witnessed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Papa Don't Preach, I'm Adopting my Baby

I know you probably haven’t heard much about this but apparently Madonna is adopting a baby from Malawi. The result has been an interesting maelstrom of criticism.

The first group includes the anti-Madonna. You’ll note them by the fad argument. All the celebrities are adopting foreign babies. Madonna is copying Angelina Jolie. It’s the newest thing in Hollywood. Eh. If you hate Madonna you’re still going to hate Madonna. It doesn’t matter how many millions she might donate to the children, all that matters is that the hater’s street cred is in tact. Oh yes the Ramones are terribly cool and isn’t it sad that CBGB’s is closing. Madonna is a total wanker.

The second group believes it is an abuse of power. Celebrities shouldn’t be above the law. She’s taking advantage of poor people. Well yes, this is all a bit true. Celebrities have long had access to power that we as commonfolk shall never have. Even the great and powerful Oprah threw down when a certain shop closed its doors on her face. When faced with a long line in front of San Francisco’s City Hall Rosie O’Donnell and her partner were whisked ahead for star treatment and a quickie marriage. So, the use and/or abuse of power is contingent upon the goal. In some cases the end result (Madonna, Rosie) has a net positive while in others (Oprah) it is merely to shop in private.

Lastly, there is a school of thought that only families of that country should raise their native children and all international placements should be stopped. Organizations such as UNICEF work against Western families from adopting abroad. Charges of baby buying enter into the debate. To me this is one of the most egregious and most difficult to fight. It assumes that by default that a family from the US or UK could not provide a better life for a child. To outlaw all such adoptions in the end hurts the children. Some of the poorest countries in the world ban outside adoption. To deny these children access to better nutrition, education, and resources is a national horror.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Road to Runway

I think Tim's house visits are my favorite part of the Project Runway season. It's fascinating to see how the designers work and where they come from. You get much less of the fronting and more of the individuals.

You know I used to think having a nanny was this big deal but once you've priced out daycare centers, it really isn't that much of a price differential. They should have given Laura's nanny at least a second of screen time. The living room redesign for Laura's boys was a smart way to handle the destructive force of kids that age. I liked the dresses she showed. I don't think it is enough for her to win but it might make sense for her potential niche post Runway.

Perhaps I blacked it out but I never noticed that Jeffrey has a mullet. Thank god for Harrison he seems to be the only sane one in that family. I was inspired by Japanese horror comics. Whatever. It's the same tattered, sloppy sh*t you've been showing all season. Like Laura I'm highly skeptical that he did all that work by himself. We saw the freakin clothes factory he has in his assembly plant, er, studio.

I confess I haven't been a big Michael fan with the whore comment and the I'm not gay mea culpa's but the bit with his family was really sweet. That said the pieces we previewed were horrorific and not what I expected from him.

Uli's backstory was very interesting. I didn't see enough of her collection to make an opinion. The little glimpses were interesting. She may be the dark german horse.

I would love love to see a Laura win. She's fabulous. In the end though I'd be happy with anyone but Jeffrey.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Going to the Chapel and We're Gonna Start Charging

Finally, an argument the Republicans can support? We may need to add some sort of oil connection... perhaps we can throw in drilling rights. ba-da-boom!


Study: Marriage equality good for the economy


Giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide would be not only a boost to equality but a boost to the economy.

A new study released Tuesday by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law indicates that there are numerous economic benefits to marriage equality.

The study, titled "The Effect of Marriage Equality and Domestic Partnership on Business and the Economy," tracked other research studies and found that gay workers who receive domestic-partnership benefits are more comfortable in their work environment and far happier -- and more productive -- than employees who do not receive them.

The study also showed that it can be costly for businesses to manage benefits for its employees in same-sex relationships without a uniform standard of legal recognition.

"Policy-makers and businesspeople have not fully recognized the enormous potential gains to the economy from treating same-sex couples equally," M. V. Lee Badgett, the study's coauthor and research director of the Williams Institute, said in a statement.

"Our study shows that equal treatment of couples in the business world attracts heterosexual employees and creates more productive workplaces for gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees," Badgett said.

The study underscored the specific financial gain that would be spurred by same-sex marriage.

"Spending on new weddings alone would generate $2 billion for businesses in the wedding industry," Gary J. Gates, senior research associate at the Williams Institute and study coauthor, said in the statement.

"Places that allow same-sex couples to marry have reported noticeable boosts in business for hotels, caterers, florists, and other wedding-related businesses."

Source: PlanetOut

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

As soon as I said it I knew it was a mistake. Little skirmishes arise. Ethical grenades are lobbed your way in the most innocuous of places, a grocery store, a co-worker’s party, or a playground.

Extroversion shows itself early on the playground. Some kids are very chatty and as soon as they learn to string a few words together, they’re yakking away. Since it was so warm that day I strapped E into the backpack carrier, leashed up Nemo and started down the trail to the playground about a mile or so away. I love the wooded path and Nemo really gets into all the deer, rabbit and who knows what else smells.

At the park, I set E down and he raced off to pick up rocks, one of his new hobbies. I noticed a little girl staring at us as I chased E around. When I got within range the question salvo began, “What’s he doing? What’s his name? What are you doing?” The nanny sat on the bench talking away as her little charge was left to amuse herself.

With a little attention Ms. Chatty ramped it up. “Are you E’s daddy?” and then “Where’s E’s Mommy?”

I’d never been asked this before. My mind pinged through a couple options and then I went with the easy answer, “E’s Mommy is far away.”

As soon as it came out I knew it was wrong - wrong for me, wrong for E and wrong for my family. Once it’s out there you can’t go back either. She accepted the answer but I knew I was going to have to do better. I wanted to make it easy for her to give her something that fit into her world.

E is picking up on these cues. He sees the Mommies coming to pick up the kids at daycare. He knows he has 2 dads and he knows they love him. Right now he doesn't know that it's different and I wish I could keep him in this safe little world. I want him to be proud of who he is and to be proud of his dads.

More than that I want to be proud of his dads and this time I think I failed.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Holding Out for Heroes

Poor little blog. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to be witty, creative, or even verbose today. The weather is pretty crappy. I’m catching up on work issues and I have to leave the office early today.

I do leave you with this bit of good news. My favorite new show has been picked up!!

Details below:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The first breakout new series of the season, NBC's drama "Heroes," has become the first freshman show to receive a full-season order.


NBC has ordered nine additional episodes of the supernatural saga, bringing its complement to 22. In its first two airings, "Heroes" has averaged 13.5 million viewers. It ties with ABC's "Brothers and Sisters" as the No. 1 new series among adults 18-49, the demographic coveted by advertisers.

The ensemble drama, which chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities, is the top show in the Monday 9 p.m. slot in the demo.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

VULCAN MUMMIES

Now up for auction!!!!

Two prop mummies made from hard carved foam, wrapped in gauze, mounted on wood backboards, both with Vulcan pointed ears, both -- 65in. high -- used as set dressing in the ancient catacombs beneath the Vulcan P'Jem monastery in "The Andorian Incident" in Star Trek: Enterprise (2)

These props started life as ordinary mummies, available for rent at a Hollywood prop rental company. Star Trek makeup artist Michael Westmore modified them with the addition of Vulcan pointed ears, thus transforming them from Earthly mummies to ancient Vulcan priests from a distant world.

800 - 1,200 U.S. Dollars



Well, that seems reasonable.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Eight Stories









Children in cages







Dog house tree

French, music, AND washing

'I'VE been to a day-school, too,' said Alice; `you needn't be so proud as all that.'

`With extras?' asked the Mock Turtle a little anxiously.

`Yes,' said Alice, `we learned French and music.'

`And washing?' said the Mock Turtle.

`Certainly not!' said Alice indignantly.

`Ah! then yours wasn't a really good school,' said the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. `Now at OURS they had at the end of the bill, "French, music, AND WASHING--extra."'

- Alice in Wonderland


So, I’m back from NYC. Whatever you think of New York, it’s always interesting. I find myself both enthralled and appalled by the city. The sheer diversity and massive scale of the city is so unlike anything else we have in this country.

I don’t know if I’ve changed or the city has but it seemed friendlier than past visits. When you travel for the government you often get residual anger for other agencies and this trip was no exception. The crazy, angry dude just left me feeling pity. I think the whole rude perception probably germinates from the fact that NYers simply have a lot of ground to cover and have to maneuver around lots of people to get where they need to go (Similarly related to this is the whole DC is unfriendly misnomer. Invariably when gay people reference rudeness here they talk about something that happened in a gay bar. I think most gay bars tend to be a bit stand-offish as people engage their protective shields. But I digress).

I’ll post pictures later. My work has suddenly decided to block my photo site so I can’t access it now. So later you’ll see exciting things like the view from my hotel window, the bustling Union Square with one of my favorite restaurants Zen Palate, a tv show being filmed at Washington Square. To me the quintessential cityscape was the older Asian women serenely performing tai chi while behind them a soccer game full of Latinos noisily runs about.

Also noted, New York gay men are big into the tattoos. There must be some fabulous ink one arm get the second one free deal somewhere.

It doesn’t matter what you do in New York, the city is a stage, the performances are free and you always leave with extras.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Tranquility of New York

Getting a few last minute work projects tied up before I hit the road.

I usually like to be a bit more organized before I go out of town but all I’ve really had time to do is look up a few fun vegetarian restaurants. As far as touristy things, I haven’t decided if I’ll try to hit the Met or MoMa. Main thing is I hope to get a bit of relaxation in. Yeah I know, going to New York City for peace and quiet, not something I would have expected. The great thing for us visitors is we can just walk around watching everyone and it’s fun.

As soon as I get back my Mother is coming for a visit so I’ve taken off a few days to spend some time with her. It will likely be next week before I return. If I have a chance I may pop in during my trip.

Cheers my friends, Brian

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Boring Work Post

I managed to get everything finished on Friday afternoon that I needed to. I was worried that I was going to have to stay late… on a Friday! Our incompetent manager called a meeting last week to discuss some workflow issues. I fired back on a few issues. I recognize that my anger towards him keeps me from being completely rational on the subject and I was glad to see other co-workers engaging. Also, we’ve decided to meet independently without I.M. so that we can get our work done. Fascinating stuff there, I’m sure.

My new vow is to allot a bit of time each week to job search and as a result I have my first interview this afternoon. I’ve been told I interview well. I don’t see it but I’ve chosen not to examine it too closely. If something works, leave it alone. (Send good vibes my way though I'm feeling a bit ooky about the whole thing. It could be all this coffee I'm drinking though.)

I leave for NYC early on Wednesday morning. I haven’t been away from my family for an entire night since E arrived. It was exciting to think about at first but now I’m getting all misty. It’s a bit pathetic really. There’s been no research done on what’s happening up there but I’m staying near the West Village so I may just wander about. I wonder if I can find some nice gay couple to let me rent their baby for a few minutes. I am the picture of masculinity, no?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Weekend!

I have found myself unexpectedly and unfortunately swamped. How'd that happen?

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Freshen up

Welcome to my slightly modified turtle!

It was time for a change and I think I quite like this new look.

Best morning ever

So E has been learning to use his new-fangled words and last month he started to learn kisses. Sometimes it works, sometimes he forgets to close his mouth and it's kind of disgusting. He leans in with the open mouth and kind of pecks you.

Well this morning as I was leaving I leaned down and gave him a kiss and he kissed back and as I stood up to leave he said "More" so I bent over and kissed him again on the cheek and he said "More!" It's the first time I've heard him use more outside of food. Man, it totally melted me and made me tear up a bit. This parenting thing rocks sometimes.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Gayken speaks!

Clay Aiken on whether he's gay: "What do you say (to that question)? … It's like when I was 8. I remember something would get broken in the house, and Mom and Dad would call me in and say, 'Did you do this?' Well, it didn't matter what I said. The only thing they would believe was yes. … People are going to believe what they want."

oh clay. Well I sort of agree that it doesn't matter what you say, your hair product speaks for itself.

Postcards from Lisbon

A brief photoessay for Ric










(taken about 4 years ago)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Spam!

Actual spam title that I received:

You always wanted to use your penis as a billiards cue


Wha?

If I can Make-out There, I'll Make-out Anywhere!

Something for the next tourism campaign:

A study of more than 4,000 New York City men finds that nearly 10 percent of those who identified as straight admitted to having gay sex in the past year.


A recent study of more than 4,000 New York City men found that nearly 10 percent of participants who identified as straight admitted to having gay sex in the past year.

The study, conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was titled "Discordance Between Sexual Behavior and Self-reported Sexual Identity: A Population-based Survey of New York City Men."

The study's findings, released Monday, revealed that straight men who had gay sex were more likely than other participants to belong to a racial or ethnic minority, be foreign-born, have a lower educational level, and live outside Manhattan.




(I wonder if this is something unique to NYC, metropolitan areas or what.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Here comes the rain again

Saturday started dreary and overcast for our Rainbow Families DC picnic. There was some talk that morning about what to do but we plunged onward. Forty minutes before the official start a shower passed overhead to give us all a nice dousing. We were a bit muggy as we rushed about to put the final touches on the park, hanging banners and setting up the food tables. I was getting a bit worried about attendance at that point. Fortunately, the families began to trickle in at three o’clock.

The coolest thing about these events is all the variety in family structure and race. Never has a rainbow been a more apt description. (Generally I find the rainbow to be a bit cloying as a rallying symbol. It gives me flashbacks to Rainbow Brite and her infernal cheeriness, but I digress.) The children and parents came in all shapes, colors, and sizes and it was beautiful.

I think I now have empirical proof that E is incredibly active for his age. I noted other parents setting their children down and they’d happily mill about. We’d set E down and he’d immediately race from us. We had him dressed in this adorable little cargo pants and striped shirt and he ran from the gazebo and fell into the dirt mere seconds after arrival. Ha Ha. E became fascinated at one point with these three older boys around 8ish as they ran about yelling and shoving and pushing. E crawled into a little tent with them and I was told he wasn’t allowed. Why’s that I ask? Because this is a wrestling tent! E sat there grinning, all of the violence encoding on his little brain to spring upon his Dads at a later date. I began to wonder about this whole 2 boys idea.

One of the highlights was finally getting to meet Steve and his charming family from the Hygiene Chronicles. It’s always nice to put a name (or blog) with a face. Hopefully we’ll see him at a few more events. ; ) I finally mastered the art of not over-extending myself. After the initial business I was able to take some time to actually talk to some people and meet a few other families. All in all it was great fun and judging by the filth on E’s clothing he also had a great time.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Five-o'clock world

I’ve had a very busy week here. I’m trying to become a bit more organized at work, largely because I’m trying to incorporate job search time into my day. I’ve made choices to stay where I was largely because it gave me time to take off when the little boo came home and I’m able to take off whenever he gets sick. It’s also a very low stress job for the most part.

However, some little annoyances have begun to build and build to an intolerable level. One of the supervisors has shall we say a very close relationship with a co-worker and her preferential treatment has gotten to be too much. I’m pretty easy-going for the most part; hey do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t affect my job. Now, it’s become way too obvious. It’s not at a whistle-blowing level or anything just highly unfair.

Anyway, rant aside, I have to start looking. I do hate the job application with the hatred of a hot white sun though. Federal applications are the worst too. You have to parse all these ridiculous little questions knowing that many of the jobs have already been filled but must be listed because of the posting requirement. I hate hate having to sell myself. Just pay me to nod and look pretty... is that too much to ask? (It's worked for my co-worker and her crazy eyes.)

Meanwhile, I found out I’ll be going to New York City next week. If I have any New York readers let me know. I’d love to get some recommendations from you. It’s going to be a quick trip just a couple days. I have to weight the freedom of getting away with missing my family and feeling guilty for going away without them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Political Observations from a 14-year-old girl

Dreamy Adrian Fenty won the democratic nomination for DC mayor!



photo credit MW

He’ll be the hottest mayor in the country. Gavin Newsome uses way too much product. Take that SF.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the language of life

Words my little boo says:

Daddy - da da

Pappa

Nemo - emo (that’s our dog’s name)

More - mo

Banana – manamana

Bus - gu gu (I have no idea where that came from but it’s definitely his word for bus, he says it every time he sees one. Perhaps it’s from go go?)

Car - ca ca (note the transportation pattern!)

Book - be-be (one of his first books had a picture of a baby in it and we’d say look at the baby and now all books are be-be.)

Please - peese

Thank you - tank you

This - dis

Up – up-pa (which is really cute because it sounds like an Italian gymnast getting ready to launch himself onto a trapeze or something.)

Bubbles

In short, he’s brilliant!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

For this is the gay we are given, let us rejoice!

I'm both thrilled and appalled by this show. Can you imagine the snarkability potential?


"Ex-gay" TV show to debut on Christian networks


A television show hosted by and featuring "ex-gays," including a former prostitute and a self-confessed thief, is preparing for its launch on two Christian networks.

Pure Passion will debut on both the Sky Angel Satellite Network and the Christian Television Network on September 18. The show, produced by Mastering Life Ministries, will be hosted by former prostitute David Kyle Foster and Alan Chambers, a onetime criminal and current president of the "ex-gay" group Exodus International, according to a press release issued by Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit that counters so-called conversion therapy. Joining Foster and Chambers as part of the show will be singer Sy Rogers and "ex-lesbian" activist Christine Sneeringer.

The airing of Pure Passion has sparked anger from groups who denounce the "ex-gay" movement as damaging, self-hating, cruel, and simply a myth.

"The last thing people of faith need is more pure propaganda and pure nonsense that is rejected by every mainstream mental health organization in the nation," said Besen. "The colorful characters hosting this show with questionable moral character will likely prove to be quite entertaining, as most circus acts are."

Cockroach attacks Weatherman Nelly Olsen

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Here she comes again

From the post:

“The (Kennedy Center) annual awards, announced yesterday, will go to country music legend Dolly Parton, rhythm and blues balladeer William "Smokey" Robinson, musical theater innovator Andrew Lloyd Webber and classical conductor Zubin Mehta.

In addition, the center is saluting Steven Spielberg, perhaps the most influential commercial filmmaker of his generation.” Blah blah blah


The important thing to note is that today is DOLLY PARTON appreciation day!
What better way to pick up a Thursday than to look forward to possible Parton sighting about town when she comes to pick up her award.

There are few artists that truly transcend their genres and none as ably as Dolly. So take a moment to say a little thank you to Dolly.



and yes that is a lot of make-up but she's earned it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I’ve been meaning to post these pics for a while but kept forgetting. For shark week back in July, the Discovery Channel Building in Silver Spring had one of the coolest marketing gimmicks. Check out the giant shark!










photos courtesy of flickr

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape

Normally I don't pass along joke emails but this is feeling particularly relevant today. Plus, it's my blog, mwahaha!


You find out interesting things when you have sons, like
1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.
 2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
 3.) A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
 4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and
 a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.
 5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a
 few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
 6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
 7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.
 8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
 9.) A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.
 10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old Boy.
 11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
 12.) Super glue is forever.
 13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
 14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
 15.) VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
 16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
 17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
 18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
 19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.
 20.) The fire department inAustin , TX has a 5-minute response time.
 21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
 22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.
 23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
 24.) 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.
 25.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.    

The dog was much easier to train.

It was a difficult weekend in the turtle house. The little man is over his ear infection and fighting off a cold which he’s passed on to me.

We did get a lot accomplished though cleaning up the back porch and furnishing the sun room. On the porch, the books have been hauled down to the basement and the table has been assembled. We found a cute little loveseat for the sun room and a perfect spot for a bookshelf. Our goal was to get the rooms furnished while there’s still some last bits of summer to enjoy them. I’m also determined to get all of our photos off the computer and into photo albums. I made it halfway through our Italy vacation before sucking all the ink out of the printer.

Meanwhile the little man has discovered pinching. There has been a steady increase in the violence level in our household. Crime reports for the living room and dining room are way up. The use of force to counteract the violent trend has resulted in renewed attacks upon authority.

You wouldn’t think a little hand could cause quite so much pain but when he grabs the skin on your neck and twists, it hurts. We’re trying a sit him down and walk away approach, which usually results in him crying and wanting to be picked up. Intellectually I get that we’re being tested but all of it makes us quite emotionally exhausted. I was shocked too to see this little mean face as he came back to smack me. I correct him, then he cries and wants to be held, then he pinches me, I put him down, he cries, wants to get picked up. Where’s the damn instruction manual?

Off to do some more research and nurse my bruises….

Friday, September 01, 2006

Little America

Little Britain is to be completely remade for the US market by American broadcaster HBO.

Creators Matt Lucas and David Walliams will join American comedy writers and Simon Fuller, the British entertainment entrepreneur, in a bid to recreate versions of their hit characters for the US audience.

The team is hoping the adaptation will attract up to ten million viewers following a string of successful exports including The Office, and reality shows which have made Simon Cowell America's top earning television star.

...


I don't know if this will translate. I also wonder about the need, the original is brilliant enough. How bad do you think this will be?

Friday Random Thoughts

1. Ernesto is coming! Lots and lots of rain forecast for the next 24 hours.

2. Carolyn Kepcher, a Trump organization executive famous for her role as a tough-talking judge on the hit television reality show "The Apprentice," is being replaced on the show by his daughter and is no longer with the company, a Trump representative said on Thursday.

…. And finally there's no reason left to watch The Apprentice!


3. The Wilson Bridge span here in DC was demolished by one Daniel Ruefly. He was selected because his commute was officially declared the worst ever. It starts each day at 5 a.m. at his Accokeek home and somewhere around 90 minutes later, depending on about a thousand things on his 50-mile drive from Maryland to Virginia and back, he gets to his job in Rockville. He said he's been doing this every workday for the past 30 years.

That means he's been in his car in the neighborhood of 1,350,000 minutes. Which is about 22,500 hours. Which is like 937 days. Which is 2.56 years.

As if that's not enough, it's painful for Ruefly to sit still for so long, because driving aggravates the hip injury he suffered when his pickup truck slammed into the back of an illegally parked tractor-trailer on the bridge in 1999.

So my question is, why the f*ck didn’t you move closer to your job? Is it like the poor little frog who doesn’t know the water is getting hotter and you didn’t notice how bad the traffic was getting?

4. I hate Jeffrey tattoo neck no chin and his ass face. Rock star? More like Leather Clown.

5. Last week, the Washington Post mistakenly used a picture of John Mark Karr for RNC chair Ken Mehlmann. BWAHAHA!

6. Matthew McConaughey is shirtless, a lot…. Thank you.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hit me with your best shot.



Hit cookies, I am your bitch.

You are the perfect cookie, so light, so tasty. You can eat one or an entire roll and it's oh so good.

Where butterflies are still free

I stopped by Goldie Hawn’s house last night. Well, ok it wasn’t her current house, but the one she grew up in. Just a few streets over a little Goldie learned to paint flowers on her arms, legs, and chest and to pop over walls and giggle. It’s a cute little brick duplex on a dead-end street near the downtown. If only I’d had my camera! Oh well, I’ll stop by later for a picture.

Takoma Park fits her actually. It’s a very liberal, rather hippie little town. I would imagine that in her day it was even more granola.



Excerpts from a Post interview:

“Every year or two Goldie Hawn drives back to the brick duplex on the dead-end street in Takoma Park where she grew up. Sometimes she comes alone and sometimes with her sister Patti, or her old friend from childhood Jean Lynn, or her partner of 20 years, Kurt Russell. If there's no one home she finds a neighbor to let her in; once there was no neighbor around, so she sneaked in through a front window the owner had left unlocked, and then wandered around, through the kitchen where the family used to hang out, down to the basement, up to her old bedroom.”

She remembers the azalea and hydrangea bushes her mother planted, the dogwood trees she loved, now in full bloom in the front garden. "Spring is a nostalgic time for me," she says. She remembers the wild violets she picked on Mother's Day every year from the hill sloping down behind the house, "the biggest bunch I could get in my little hands. For days I smelled like violets," she says. "Nothing smells anymore."
She remembers the "cast of eccentrics," the guy in the neighborhood she and her friends used to call the child molester because he looked so creepy. The blue house on the corner that didn't quite fit in, that always had junk in the back yard (it still does). At Blair High School "I wasn't one of the girls in the 'A' crowd," she recalls; her social life revolved around the kids on her block who all went to different schools: Jimmy Fisher with the two sets of teeth, "who I still connect with," and Jean Lynn, "the one girlfriend who was my heart and soul," who now lives in Florida but is still her best friend.

The street is still much the same, or at least recognizable; as with many in Takoma Park, each house displays the owner's particular pride. The blue one has a row of mismatched pots out front and the flatbed of a truck piled with stuff; another is neat with a white picket fence and a pagoda-like entrance. Hawn's old house is the only semi-detached on the block, set back behind a full garden; the houses on either side of it have "War is Not the Answer" signs stuck in the front lawns; across the street hangs an old tire swing, bumping up against an SUV.

"I don't always go in," she says. "Sometimes I just drive by and look and cry."
The first time she goes back is in the mid-'60's, after she had just landed a spot on the sitcom "Good Morning World," after the first time she's confronted a group of fans screaming for her autograph, photographers blinding her. "The yellow taxi turns into my dead-end street and I finally exhale," she writes. "Cleveland Avenue, Takoma Park. My childhood home."

The block is still the same. There is a timelessness about Takoma Park. It's a place where people stay, it's a destination and not a moment. There is a pride in its quirkiness and in the uniqueness of its children. Takoma is a place full of homes not houses.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bring your pic-a-nic basket!




You know I can’t join any group without volunteering in some way, so this year I’m helping to plan and organize our annual picnic. Announcement as follows:

On Saturday, Sept 16th from 3 to 6 PM, Rainbow Families DC will be hosting a family picnic/end of summer celebration at Jequie Park (in Takoma Park MD near DC and close to Metro).

This is a wonderful organization and I’ve met some great friends and families. If you’re interested in attending you can email me at dcrunner@yahoo.com for the details!


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Donde esta mi bola de playa?

Children are irrational. Sick children are irrational and a bit mental. Oh I know that’s a bit unfair. I suppose when you’re E’s age it’s akin to being in a foreign land and you want coffee and people keep handing you random things like a beach ball or a pair of socks. All you really want is coffee but no can understand you.

Just got off the phone with my partner and talked him down from banging his head on the counter 30 times to somewhere around 15. The outgoing little one becomes a demanding wailer when he’s ill.

The brunch/ birthday party for my mother-in-common-law went well. Everyone seemed to have a good time and our house has been broken in with its first party. E’s fever has subsided and he’ll back to normal very soon. In the interim, deep breaths and a few more aspirins...

Monday, August 28, 2006

zzz

Another rough couple of nights as E managed to get an ear infection in his left ear. Mind you this is a couple weeks after an ear infection in his right ear. Poor little boo. We let him sleep in our bed rather than continue the constant getting up and holding routine. He slept through the last half of the night that way but his body was like a clock becoming more and more perpendicular to the length of the bed as the night went on. I was clinging to the edge by morning.

We also discovered that he talks in his sleep which is the cutest thing ever. What does a 15-month old dream of? I don't know but it was damn adorable.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pains, trains, and aspirins

E is becoming more vocal and expressive. It has its pluses and minuses.

On the downside, he’s learned to shriek. It’s not a scream, it’s above that. Neighborhood dogs are in agony because of this sound, I’m sure of it. I’d forgotten that the human body was capable of making this high-pitched terror. He uses it randomly too. We went out to dinner to celebrate the house sale and in the middle of eating he lets loose the Banshee EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! I’m glad I love him that’s all I can say about that.


On the plus side, he’s learned to say wow. I need to tally it up but now he’s over 10 words at this point. Probably no one else can understand all his words though. There’s a little girl at his daycare who always comes up to talk to me and I can’t understand a thing she’s saying. I know it’s language because of how deliberate and intent she is but I end up smiling and agreeing with her most of the time.

So E and I were in the toy store and as were walking along he was letting out these wow’s as we turned into each new aisle. It was the cutest thing a child has ever done. I'd hand him a toy to play with and he’d say “wow.”

We bought a little train set:



He has a lot of fun with it except he tends to go Godzilla on it, derailing the train and tossing people about. Whenever it pulls into the station it plays a little tune so I ‘ve had “I’ve been working on the railroad” looping through my brain for a couple days.

(all the livelong day)

We’re hosting the family for brunch.

(don’t you hear the whistle blowing)

hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Have a great weekend all!




Dinah blow your hooooooooorn! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

DC / MD

So, it finally happened, at long last. We sold our DC house! No longer is this Debtasaurus stalking us nightly. I can spend money again!!!! It was getting a bit worrisome there folks.


I’m going to miss this kitchen. I remember picking each element and L and I talking about the design and the space and how we’d be using it. All the applicances are new and shiny and ever so modern.



I’ll miss the little garden, that slowly took shape around Nemo’s big feet and our haphazard skills.




Walking through the house yesterday was striking. This is where we started our family. This is where E took his first steps. This was a really good home.



And a new chapter opens.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

All Along the Tower

Sad news this am from the Post:


Tower Records, the iconic chain where generations of music lovers have gone to lose themselves in record-store reveries, is up for sale in bankruptcy court, forsaken by consumers who favor digital music and discounts at big-box superstores.

...

In 1991, there were roughly 9,500 chain music stores in the United States, compared with about 2,000 now, according to Billboard magazine. Although many independent stores continue to have loyal followings, those, too, are on the decline.

Tower's parent company, MTS Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday night in Delaware, putting its 89 stores on the block. The company hopes to complete a sale within 60 days. Tower's brand is used by 144 international stores, but those licensees will not be affected by the bankruptcy process.


***


Sign from original Tower store

I understand the market reality of it. Like so many others I’d rather peruse my musical selection from home and hit that download button and aaaah, instant gratification.

Still, I can remember my trek into the big city of Nashville and entering my first Tower Records. As the doors whooshed upon the cool manufactured air blasted out and the angelic choirs began to sing. It was beauty upon beauty facing the rows and rows and rows of cd’s.


Growing up in a small town in the days before cable each little drop of a new artist was like quenching a thirst. The listening stations featured new artists and not just the latest Garth Brooks or whatever country artist was pushed on the local stations. The cd racks had even more listening stations, it was the coolest thing ever.

I’ve been trying to pare back my massive cd collection. I just don’t have the room for all those cases. Storing the music digitally just makes sense for space saving and portability. Just like the arcade, it’s strange to think my son probably will have no idea what a record store is like.

So long Tower, you'll be missed.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don't Stop the Smashing!

I never got the Wentworth Miller craze. The new star of Prison Break is certainly blandly handsome but it doesn’t spark my engine. I feel happily vindicated from the latest Entertainment Weekly in which Wentworth ( what is up with that name anyway?) reveals that his Must List includes an album by Journey. Journey.

If there were any artist that would cause me to plunge a sharp object into my ear it would be Steve Miller’s over-emoting wailing. I’m sure his music somehow spawned the flipped collars of yore.

No the true star of Prison Break is Dominic Purcell. I first noticed him in Blade Trinity as the lead vampire. With Parker Posey as a fellow vamp I quickly turned my allegiance to the bloodsuckers. True Ryan Reynolds in that famous bondage scene was tempting.

It looks like Purcell is going to star in an Incredible Hulk remake. Hopefully Purcell can reverse Ang Lee’s misguided overemoting Hulk. The big green guy is about one thing only: Hulk Smash!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Make it work time

The following commentary appears in the new Advocate:

Bombing the Runway
We're on the verge of World War III and all we gays can talk about is Project Runway? Wake up, people! The war in the Middle East is the same war we're fighting here at home, battling antiquated religious beliefs that are used to justify hatred and murder.

By Karel

It appears I’ve fallen horribly out of the gay loop. While sitting thinking about my next column for Advocate.com I decided to snoop around the Web site to see what’s going on. What I found was that one third of the stories revolved around Project Runway. Now, I’d like to comment on that, but I don’t watch it. I’m not a fashionista, unless you count my seeing The Devil Wears Prada and seeing absolutely nothing wrong with the lead character or the way she behaves.

My mind is elsewhere: in the world, in the Middle East, in New York City. I’d like to be able to write a gay editorial right now about a pressing issue in the gay community, but world events are such that they transcend sexuality. We are poised on the brink of WWIII, for those that are paying attention, and gays will die just as easily as anyone else.

Sanctimonous commentary linky here

The premise here that while we chat about Project Runway we are unable to discuss other topics is horribly insulting and presumptuous. My brother is in Iraq right at this moment. Do I need to post about this, to be reminded daily of this fact as I go about my routine? No, it doesn’t take much to make this evident. A picture, a comment, the word Iraq reminds me that he’s over there.

There is bad news fatigue I’m sure. The news is soul-deadening in its ever increasing violence and war and corruption. I take every opportunity I can to talk to friends and family about the upcoming election and to point out the incompetence of this administration. Don’t lecture me about having some fun with Project Runway Mr. Karel. I give my time and my money to enact change. I pray for brother’s safety every day.

By the way, there’s a nice size Design Star ad right there by your commentary and what’s that a shirtless guy on your cover. Tsk tsk. Perhaps your “news magazine” could use a little talking to before you lecture us.


This post is probably incoherent but it felt good to write.

Carry on!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bless me father, rowr!

The hot priests calendar is out. Go ahead take a look and I dare you not to have an impure thought or 2.

Calendario Romana 2007

I think I’m partial to Mr. July


and Mr. October:


So, who’s your favorite?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006