Saturday, December 30, 2006

The code for responsible tourism is something I'll attempt to practice at home as well.

Remember those key words: "Please, Excuse me, Thank you, You're welcome, May I help you," etc.

Behave respectfully

Respect the dignity and privacy of others

Give with care

Consume local products when possible

Dispose of refuse properly

Minimize water and power use

Think about my impact

Ask what I will leave behind

...and don't beat myself up for my mistakes. I can always try again

Feliz Ano Novo!

With all the discouraging news in the year-end wrap up this morning on NPR, I came to the conclusion that the only 'non' resolution is to be the change you wish to see in the world.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Good bye, and good riddance

Two churches in Fairfax and Falls Church, Virginia have voted to secede from the Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Church of Nigeria Archbishop Peter Akinola over gay issues.

They'll be in good company, as the government of Nigeria is set to pass legislation that will outlaw belonging to a gay group, reading a gay book, watching a gay movie, visiting a gay internet site, and socializing by two or more gay people. Oh yes, and gay marriage, too.

Perhaps someday Akinola's statue will join Arthur Ashe as the only monuments honoring men of African descent along Richmond's Monument Avenue, lined with memorials to the Confederacy's attempt at a violent overthrow of the United States.

Maybe they could even put up one of those toppled statues of Saddam Hussein while they're at it. I'm sure Putin has some old statues of Stalin stored away somewhere that he could give 'em for good measure.

I'd just as soon have them relocate to the island of Lohachara. It would be more fitting.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A strange wind's a' blowin' ...must be a backdraft from all those holiday shoppers

I was surprised this morning by a light shower outside my door -barely more than a mist, really- that by breakfast gave way to a clear crisp powder blue sky. The wind, though, was something! What kite weather! I can only imagine how strong it must be down at Point Fermin or atop Twin Peaks.

We've been promised that this will turn into a mild Santa Ana that will last through Christmas. For now, the wind seems to blow west on one side of the boulevard, and to the east on the other.

I didn't find the pirate chantey CD I was hoping to play in order to combat the relentless onslaught of Christmas carols. My November Global Rhythm CD was more in line with the windy weather, which almost snatched the cap off my head.

Hopefully, if you're reading this, you had enough sense to stay out of the mall for your Christmas gifts. Vicki, Scotch, and Phideaux all have wonderful music you won't hear everywhere; and for books, Eduardo Santiago's Tomorrow They Will Kiss or Noel Alumit's Letters to Montgomery Clift.

You'll definitely be giving someone a cool gift they would appreciate!

Have a safe holiday, and be sure to hold on to your hats...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Winter Solstice!

The Roberts home in Solstice Canyon, "Tropical Terrace," was designed by architect Paul Williams in 1952. By the way, he warned them of the possible consequences posed by fire danger, and balked at introducing a non-native site into a pristine environment. Thirty years later, the house did burn in a forest fire, and the Roberts family sold the property to the National Park Service to become part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Ironically, amid the ruins of the Roberts home, the tropical vegetation survived the fire and still lives on today (the rest of the hike is relatively pristine with native flora to shade your hike to the waterfall).

It is one of the few year-round waterfalls that is a short distance from LA, just off Pacific Coast Highway, easily reachable by a pleasant hike. Millions of tourists to Malibu pass by it every years without even knowing it exists.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Photo by Eric Richardson

The newest bookstore in Los Angeles, Metropolis Books, has opened at 440 South Main Street, between Winston and Fifth Streets, to the West of Little Tokyo and the Toy District. A link to their website may be found to the left.

I've also added a link to blogdowntown, which is a great source of stuff about Downtown LA (yes, there is a downtown) who heralded their grand opening.

I've shoveled my last walk, I hope... THIS is my idea of how to spend the holidays...

I made "Aquarela do Brasil" my unofficial holiday carol for the 2006 season. This is what happens when you hang around with South Americans. Sunday, December 17, there will be a street fair of sorts at the Brasilian Market in West Los Angeles, and I'm due for my acai fix...

Thanks to Daniella Thompson for having the image of "Aquarela do Brasil" along with the lyrics on her site...

Happy Hannukah!

I had fun making this paper menorah with my niece as well as a small version of as a Christmas tree ornament (how's that for multiculturalism?).

Whatever you choose to celebrate, enjoy. Just do yourself a favor and stay out of the mall. Today is the last scheduled day of business for Equal Writes bookstore in Long Beach, one of my favorite 'brick and mortar' stores. Independent bookstores are a very special place, and I'd like to think that we won't lose any more of them if we don't have to.

Downtown Los Angeles, as it happens, just had a grand opening yesterday for a brand new indie bookstore, Metro Books. I didn't hear about it until after it had happened, or I would have tried to get there; I understand that award-winning author Naomi Hirahara gave one of their first readings.

Friday, December 15, 2006

For the nincompoops who run Sea-Tac

These are religious symbols. A "Christmas Tree" is not.

Although Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky has apologized for starting the whole furor in Seattle (and elsewhere) over his request for a menorah at Sea-Tac Airport which temporarily resulted in the airport removing all their Christmas trees, I've noted in a number of discussions over the past few days that most people are unaware of the origins of what we commonly refer to here in America as "Christmas trees."

Observances of the change of seasons from Babylon to Scandinavia for thousands of years have included putting up trees in homes, sometimes decorated, sometimes not. The pagans converted who converted to Christianity who had evergreen trees didn't happen until rather late in the middle ages. Early clerics were very much against the practice, as a matter of fact, as it detracted from the religious observance they were trying to cram down people's throats.

...NOT a religous symbol. Okay?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Because jewelry is no good after an earthquake or hurricane

I've had to limit how much of the coverage surrounding the James Kim tragedy I watch. Yet, at the back of my mind is the fact that for all those years in scouting, and my Dad's stint in Search and Rescue during his Air Force service, more times than I care to admit, I've gone out hiking without telling anyone where I'd be, or without having any emergency supplies in my car.

Last summer, a park ranger and I exchanged incredulous glances at each other as a seriously dehydrated biker in 100-plus degree temperatures had come up to us in search of water.

A few holidays ago, Dad gave each of us one of these Red Cross backpacks (we thought was kind of funny at the time). Now I know it's a very sincere gift to tell someone that you really care about them.

Friday, December 08, 2006

This Sunday up just past the chicken corner....

Peter Shire and Robert Berryman will host a holiday open house this sunday, December 10, from noon to 5 p.m., at Echo Park Pottery, 1850 Echo Park Avenue. At 4:30 p.m., there will be a live acoustic set featuring (drum roll please)

Vicki Randle and Robert Berryman

Vicki will be performing music from her new CD, "Sleep City."

Just when I was about to blare my Halloween special effects CD to blot out all those Christmas Carols from popstars I'd never heard of... some music I want to listen to! You will, too.

Refreshments will be offered up, alongside the works of some 20-odd local artists for sale. It's the perfect antidote for anyone who in the last few weeks had to stumble out of the mall to get away from the fake snow while gasping for a breath of fresh air...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Even if you missed "Buy a Friend a Book Week" it's not too late to get a signed a copy as a holiday gift

Eduardo Santiago will read from his novel, Tomorrow They Will Kiss, on December 10th at 6 p.m. at 8853 Santa Monica Blvd.

If you have the good fortune to be in Miami for Art Basel/Miami, click on Critical Miami to the left for a great overview guide and links to the goings on all over da Beach.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Yes, good things DO happen

We celebrated Mara's birthday a day early feasting on delicious homemade lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. I gave her a package of maple vanilla tea and a picture book of Nantucket.

It seems to be so rare that we have the opportunity to celebrate our mentors. I have a hard time thinking of Mara as being about the same age as my Mom. I can't even imagine what it must be like to retire from one career, move across a continent, and pursue your dream at long last.

Good things have happened to a number of people around me. If nothing else, what a great feeling it is to see dreams come true for good people who worked for them.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ceci n'est pas une avocado (This is not an avocado)

Poor Claire Regan. The Kraft Foods vice president of corporate affairs had to explain with a straight face that their guacamole has no avocado.

Kraft Foods is being sued by Brenda Lifsey, who told reporters, "It just didn't taste avocadoey. I looked at the ingredients and found there was almost no avocado in it."

"We think customers understand that it isn't made from avocado," Regan responded, presumably with a straight face.

With all the stuff in the news, at first this made me smile. Then I got to thinking; I had to go read the labels of the food in the fridge (I'm known for being a compulsive label reader in the market as it is, anyway). Who needs horror movies when all you have to do is see what's in your kitchen? Or, in this case, what isn't.

And people still wonder why "they" hate America. They tasted the dip.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A few new links

There are several new links to the left I ought to tell you about:

Beantown Cuban is the blog of Johnny Diaz, journalist and author.

Ego the magazine
is an online publication of arts and news of the South Asian and people of color communities.

Espresso Mi Cultura
has found a new home at 1166 Whitter Blvd., Unit A, at First Street in Montebello.

Open Bod is the site of Matt's writings and electronic greeting cards for those who don't think Hallmark.

Vidur Kapur is a man of many talents, among them, he is one heck of a comic.

Bebe Moore Campbell

Novelist Bebe Moore Campbell died November 27 at her home in Los Angeles of complications from brain cancer. She was 56.

She won many awards for her books covering a wide range of subjects. I can tell you that the first time I met her, she carried herself with a sense of grace and dignity.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Emilio Ildefonso Velasquez Ruiz

The weather is much nicer than we had been lead to believe it would be for the holiday.

The town of San Luis Obispo was caught up in "Black Friday" frenzy; so I only took a brief walk downtown today.
There is still a kind of disconnect I feel between my consciousness and the world around me.

I found out online a only few hours ago that Emilio Velasquez Ruiz passed away on September 29, in Mexico. I had read somewhere that he had late stage cancer, but I couldn't get ahold of him or get any sort of confirmation from anyone who knew him as to how he was doing. There as yet has been no obituary in any American publication; I found only a few mentions online from Mexican websites.

Emilio swept me off to Mexico when I was but 23 years old, and had been a significant part of my life from that point on. I was with Emilio when I saw the newspaper headline that Harvey Milk and George Moscone had been assassinated. The City was still reeling from Jonestown, then that shocking event was followed by another...

When I get home, I'll dig through my boxes in storage for a suitable photograph that I can try to post. I have one of him marching in CSW from around twenty years ago, as handsome as ever; others from the San Diego AIDS Walk sometime in the 90s; and somewhere, two albums full of photographs of Cafe Emilio's along with a broken cassette tape of his incredible voice that I had refused to throw away.

Emilio was responsible for translating "Hair" into Spanish. As he showed me his notes for the translation, he recalled dryly how the government had shut them down by their third performance. This was not long after the police massacres in Tlatelolco.

He was the reluctant lawyer who wanted to perform, never thinking that one day his skill as a lawyer would come in handy when he became an activist. In 1986, he came to LA as a presenter at the International People of Color conference at the Ambassador Hotel.

There are more organizations that he founded or helped to start than I could possibly name; I hope the link at the top of the post is still working. What comes to mind is that there are countless people who had no one else to turn to but Emilio; that there is an enormous empty space unfilled with his passing.

That summer, there was an ice cream truck that would play the introduction to "Souvenirs" on an endless loop as it wound its way through the dusty streets far below us as we sunbathed on the roof.
I can hear his voice in my mind as if it were but yesterday, sitting on a stool with a guitar in the darkened cafe after closing, singing to me when everyone had left for the evening. When he sang Billy Joel's "I Love You Just The Way You Are" in Spanish it sent a tingle down my spine.

f you get one or two great loves in your life that lift you above the clouds and suspend time and make everything magical it's a wonderful thing.

I think I'm going to lose it and I want to concentrate on all the good memories I will take with me for the rest of my life --
and that's all I have of him. Precious moments, far less than I would have liked, that are too big to be filed away and forgotten... I want to play with my nieces and nephews and embrace the life and laughter in them here in the present and that's all I can write now because I'm already sniffing away the tears... and when the it's the right time I will be able to let them just flow when they will, but not now...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"They say I did it, nobody caught me, y'all got to prove it on me..."

Rupert Murdoch can say that he's sorry until the cows come home; but who --who?-- in their right mind, okay'd the publication of that travesty in the first place? How many people up and down the chain of command have to answer for the decision to publish that book, much less air that interview? I'd love to hear what j-school profs across America are saying about this as it unfolds. I've already got a pretty good idea what the business schools are saying.

And they fined CBS for a "wardrobe malfunction?" And don't even get me started on all the homophobic,
racist, xenophobic crap to come out of American media. My cousins in Hanna's town, Pennsylvania grew up with stocks in front of their house (my Uncle Walter was the caretaker for the colonial village). If it were put to a vote, probably more people would want to see someone pilloried for this than voted for Bush in 2004.

Frankly, when they grind those books up into pulp, I wonder what will grow atop where they dump it...

If you want to know why there are those in the world who hate America, look no further.

Monday, November 20, 2006

As if I wasn't already in a good mood

image from Towleroad

West Chester, Pennsylvania has named a new high school for Bayard Rustin, the architect of the March on Washington. This makes for one more addition to the very short list of monuments to gay people -especially gays of color.

It's just too friggin' beautiful outside to describe... too bad you're not here! I feel for you, I really do. The people at Fox, not so much. Even though they came down off their crack high long enough to realize what a stupid thing they did with that OJ interview, and cancelled it.

So, you see, we do have to put up with some crazy ass shit as a price for being in paradise...

It sucks not being in California, doesn't it?

At least it's dry heat... here.

The weirdest thing about the heat today is that I actually agreed with Bill O'Reilly on something (the OJ book). Is somebody passing a crack pipe around at Fox? Of course, I still haven't forgiven them for tearing down the Welton Beckett building in Century City (amongst their many other crimes against humanity). I have to side with Jay Leno in his suggestion last week that everyone boycott any and all advertisers for the interview... and I'll expand that to the network as a whole --oh, yeah, I forgot: I don't even watch Fox. It frightens the horses when I yell at the television.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happy birthday to me!

I recently discovered that I share my birthday with the date of the opening of the original Shakespeare & Company by Sylvia Beach in 1919. When I went to Paris for my 21st birthday, alas, the original Cafe L'Abbaye was no longer in existence. The present-day Shakespeare & Company, of course bears scant resemblance to the original. I did walk down the street where James Baldwin stayed his first nights in Paris, however.

I began my birthday celebration at the "Ansel Adams at Manzanar" exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum, as I previously mentioned. A cool chill sifted through the air of the museum; it provided a perfectly controlled climate for the artifacts within. So different from the relentless cold wind and dust and searing heat at Manzanar...

Manzanar covered some 5,700 acres. Over 60 acres were 36 blocks of 16 barracks with three to five apartments
measuring about 20' by 25' in each. Schools, lavatories, parks, warehouses, canteens, mess halls, service buildings; 860 buildings in all, made up the virtual town of 10,000 internees. Mt. Williamson, at 14,8 feet, is 10 miles due west, with a 'seven mile shadow.'

Manzanar is one of those places where you can hear the stillness of the air, the heat, the desolation. Every history, American government and civics teacher ought to go there (with their students, hopefully). The next Day of Remembrance to mark the anniversary of Executive Order 9066 will take place on February 19, 2007. Admission to the Manzanar National Historic site is free, however, and one may visit year 'round. Most tourists driving to Reno or Mammoth pass by without even knowing it is there...

This morning at Nick's Cafe, I had a short stack and sausage, and enjoyed the goings on around me at one of the last of the little hole-in-the-wall diners in LA. The couple to my right ordered their usual, but the cook already had their order up before the waitress brought it to him. They were with an artist friend just back from Paris. Everyone lamented the rising cost of rents in the Artists' District. The framed LIFE magazine cover from April 12, 1948 was missing. So were all the railroad caps, leaving the rack looking empty and forlorn. A film crew had re-arranged everything when shooting a commercial, and nothing got put back where it was before.

Two cops in suits dove into their regular breakfasts to my left. Their super-neat haircuts were the one give-away as to what kind of civil servants they were --that, and their sidearms.

The skies are blue (if a little smoggy) and the weatherman is actually apologizing that the temperatures will remain above normal at about 78 degrees throughout the weekend. The tourists don't seem to mind, though. It is snowing somewhere, as I recall...

For my birthday so far I've scored a gift card from Barnes and Nobles (but I'll spend my money at my favorite independents), some Atkins protein bars, a T shirt from radio station 106.7 fm in Santa Maria ("La Preciosa"), and dog tags to honor Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit, the three young Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped this summer and hose fate remains unknown. It was their kidnapping that in theory sparked the war that ripped apart Beirut and Lebanon. It isn't a contradiction for me to be angry at the Israeli government and Hezbollah and Hamas, too. Today, though, I want to enjoy the beautiful day, and hope that all those in the Middle East will soon be able to also. Someone already asked me about the dogtags, so they're doing their part to spark discussion and keep them in the public eye.

If I'd wanted a perfect day for my birthday, I think this is it. Nothing like listening to the tourists gush about their once-in-a-lifetime vacation in fabulous, sunny Southern California to remind you how lucky you are.

My November 17th birthday horoscope:

November 17 birthday:

Your momentum is strong. This year you are too bighearted to be easily offended and way too busy to get knocked off course by minor distractions. The final weeks of the year bring you new opportunity for love and connection. A trip in February amps up your earning potential. Give yourself time off in March. Gemini and Libra people adore you. Your lucky numbers are 9, 36, 2, 19 and 50.

LA Times Horoscope

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm gonna start my birthday with breakfast at Nick's Cafe

Photo by Maxwell M

I don't know if there's something customarily done for a special birthday (no, I'm not going to say what year... yet; I'm still trying to get over the shock myself), but I
do plan to start with a real breakfast of comfort food at Nick's Cafe, across from the Cornfields. When the state park eventually does get built, this place will be mobbed by everybody and their cousin --it's unfortunately already been written up too many times as it is. So I'm going to enjoy it while it languishes in its final days of near obscurity...

Ansel Adams at Manzanar

My birthday plans have yet to be finalized, but one thing I want to be sure to visit is the new "Ansel Adams at Manzanar" exhibition at the Japanese National History Museum in Little Tokyo. Most Americans have never been to Manzanar ...I can tell you it is one of the most powerful sights and experiences one could have in the whole of the entire United States. If you ever get the chance to go, do.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Eduardo Santiago reads from "Tomorrow They Will Kiss" on December 10th.

If you can't get to the International Book Fair in Miami (the Mecca for booklovers, but of course, you know that already), Eduardo Santiago will be reading from his novel, Tomorrow They Will Kiss at A Different Light on Sunday, December 10 at 6 p.m.

Photos: Skylight Bookstore

Losses on both coasts....

From New York comes word that the latest incarnation of the Stonewall has closed. There is always hope, in a more perfect world, that the space becomes a National Historic Site with interpretation of the Stonewall's contribution of to GLBT history.

From Long Beach, I just found out that the Equal Writes Bookstore will soon be closing, despite the best efforts of owner Dan Wall. Too often those who
leave a mark for the better through their service to the community go unthanked. I hope Dan realizes what a difference he has made in the lives of countless people.

Photo by Sylvar

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Before Kristallnacht, there was another "Night of the long knives"

This is the lynch mob posing in front of my great-grandfather's newspaper after they'd burned it to the ground on November 10, 1898. Accounts vary from 30 to 300 as to the number of people killed by roving mobs. Many people fled the city to hide in the woods, with only the clothes on their backs. Fortunately, my great-grandfather escaped, making his way to Washington, D.C., or I probably wouldn't be here now.


Tomorrow is Kristallnacht.The only LA observance I know of at the moment will be at Loyola Marymount University, but I'm certain there will be others. Click on the header for more information.

"Wait! Wait! It's not REALLY free..."

After years of renovation, the Griffith Park Observatory has reopened --at a cost of $93 million. That buys a lotta bells and whistles, but they couldn't be bothered to install any new bicycle racks (according to the LA County Bicycle Coalition, there are only two old racks located behind the bathrooms... for a city of three million people).

Officially, admission is free, but depending on which news source you listen to, no walk-in visitors will be allowed, and visitors must ride the $8 shuttle to alleviate overcrowding.
Since the Observatory reopened Friday, there is currently a two month waiting list for the shuttle. At least that's what the Observatory spokesperson said on the KCRW news. The LACBC site reports that visitors arriving by bicycle or foot may make reservations 48 hours ahead --yet cyclists and hikers are only allowed entrance until 3:50 p.m.

One thing the $93 million renovation couldn't fix is the smog and light pollution, which has obscured the view of the night sky a heck of a lot more than when the observatory first opened in 1935.

Apparently the restricted access for pedestrians or bicyclists is in violation of city law, and the existing bike racks are not up to code.

No one seems to know if or when mass transit will be restored to the Observatory. In my 20's, I was able to jog up to the Observatory, but that was a long time ago, and I wasn't aware of the rattlesnake factor. I guess when the oil companies got their revenge on Californians for Prop 87, they didn't pussy-foot around.

Arizona goes "English Only;" it will now be the state of "the place of the small spring"

In Tuesday's election, Arizona voters approved Proposition 103 by 74%, making English the official language of the state. There is some dispute among historians as to the origin of the word Arizona, from the Pima Indian language. It is generally referred to as "the place of the small spring" or "small spring."

The Hohokam indians that have lived in Arizona for tens of thousands of years could not be reached for comment.

I just wanna know how he budgets!

According to the antigraft watchdog Global Witness, the son of Equatorial Guinea's dictator for life, Teodoro Nguema Obiang, has purchased a $35 million beach house in Malibu on his official salary of $60,000 per year.

There was no word in the New York Times if he has cleared this purchase with Mel Gibson, who claimed after his recent arrest, the he "owns" Malibu.

Isn't South Florida the preferred vacation home of choice for the families of dictators? The climate there, after all, would be comparable to their homeland.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Seriously, didn't we see this coming when Bush said Rumsfeld was 'doing a heck of a job?'

Maybe we can work out a deal to turn Rumsfeld to the Iraqis for their next trial for mass murder and the insurgents will leave our boys alone...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm already running behind, but I'm still in the game...

November is National Novel Writing Month, if you didn't know. Click on the header above for the basic info. I'm trying not to get too bogged down in one of my favorite sidetracks, research. And I've got a lot yet to read to help put get it all together. And I didn't have my espresso this morning, either (it was way too hot, and I had to go vote).

Enough with the excuses, though. I'm going to forego the endless repetitive election night blather on television tonight, and see what I can do about getting caught up...


If enough of us go out to vote today, it will make it that much more difficult for them to steal the election.... and since the conservatives in power seem Hell-bent on stealing as much of the election as possible, I'm all for making them really sweat while doing it. Why should I just hand over what little say I have in society?

Take a look around you at what ever you hold near and dear; it's only a matter of time before they'll eventually come for that, too. Universal suffrage? Free schools? Privatized beaches from Malibu to Palm Beach? A repeal of the Thirteenth amendment? I wouldn't put any of it past them. I, for one, am not going to be forced into the fields to pick their cotton. And if you want a say in anything that concerns you tomorrow, better start today by getting off your ass and going to vote.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Cat in the Hat couldn't have removed all trace of last night's Halloween carnival any better...

All that was left to show for a two hour trip to the Boulevard and another two hours to get home was a little pink feather from a boa...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo. Now gimme chocolate.

The universe is giving me some not-so-subtle signs that I might want to consider forgoing Halloween on the Boulevard and head for home while the getting is good.

The fun part about West Hollywood's Halloween celebration is the topical costumes (I presume there will be a number of Korean dictators, Foley's Follies and "running with scissors" themed characters). The downside is fitting X number of people into X minus Y amount of space. That, and it is already clear that the MTA isn't adhering to the detour schedule that they've been telling people that's news.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Give Peace a chance...

I didn't even know that today was "Make A Difference Day." I guess I'll have to read USA Today more often. I do know that there's a peace march about to begin in Hollywood, so I'll go over and take a stroll for peace. Ironically, it's starting at the same part of Hollywood where the hooligans tend to act up (or out) around Halloween, which is why, in part, West Hollywood's Halloween celebration became so huge.

It's become very chic in WeHo to sniff, "Oh I don't go anywhere near the boulevard on Halloween!" I say, put some drag queens at the entrance and have 'em give all the straight boys a big wet kiss. Then we'll get our celebration back to ourselves, tout suite. Especially if you kiss 'em in front of their friends ('cuz living in the Historic Drag Queen Prostitute District, I can attest that plenty of those straight boys wouldn't mind it if their buddies and girlfriends weren't around to see 'em...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Methinks they doth protest too much

Photo: J. Santy, Provincetown Tourism Office

Heterosexuals in Provincetown are complaining that they have been unfairly singled out as bigots after their signatures on an anti-gay petition have appeared on the website

Here in California, the LA Times did an interesting piece on the "experts" who have appeared in commercials against various ballot measures. What really concerns me is that the head of the California NAACP has taken blood money from Big Tobacco, claiming that taxes on cigarettes would unfairly hurt lower income and minority smokers. Yeah, like disproportionate tobacco-related illnesses and deaths is preferable.

Gerry Studds, 1937 - 2006

It's probably old news to everyone by now, but Gerry E. Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress died on October 14. To honor his passion for protecting the marine environment, Congress named the 842 square-mile Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary after him in 1996, possibly the first national landmark to be named after an openly gay man. The sanctuary is located off the coast of Cape Cod. Its protection and preservation is probably a far more fitting monument than any statue. Click on the header above for a link.