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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Slaying the Dragon

"Ending the pandemic will depend largely on changing social norms like empowering women, reducing the stigma of the disease and encouraging a greater reduction in the number of sex partners, the report said. Most countries have strong foundations for building an effective response against AIDS, the report said, but systems to carry out the plans remain inconsistent ..."

See the rest in the New York Times

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Pleasant Surprises

One of which came today in the form of great photos from the AIDS Walk Fundraiser at Prohibition on May 17th. Kelli Giddish and Sydney Penny were in attendance that evening and were exactly that: pleasant surprises. Welcomed images on an otherwise serious day. Considering what a lovely time was had that day while raising awareness and money for a serious cause, the arrival of these pics on a day when a visit was made to Saint Pat's to get a mass card seemed par for the course. So, rather than write a dissertation on the value of mass cards in this Day and Age, let's reflect on the goodness and generosity of lovely ladies, oh, and, yes one rather lovely man.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial

Death is a fact of life and it comes to everyone. War brings death but it is not inevitable. Today's remembrance is for the fallen.

While there is no such thing as a good war, There are perhaps those that are righteous.

There can be on the other hand a peaceful death and it is the best anyone can hope for. The sadness of those left behind knows no equal and it forever changes their lives. Still a creative life full of dear people enables that final peace for the departed. It's been said that fear of death is tantamount to fear of living and living necessitates being surrounded by loving friends and relatives. Grieving is that process that helps the living to go on after the departure of a loved one even if it does not supply any revelation as to the meaning of life.

Death by war necessitates fear and turmoil. Support of the soldiers means that we want them to come home to their loving friends and relatives. We want their good intentions to protect them. We hope that there will never again be unknown soldiers and that the final peace will be as such for everyone.

A First for Brokeback Mounties


Pookie sent this from Canada:

By LYN COCKBURN

Will Angelina and Brad ever get married or will they spend all their time creating, producing, adopting and acting like children?
I don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that Jason Tree, 27, and David Connors, 28, are indeed getting married. On June 30. To each other. In Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Their nuptials will constitute the first ever same-sex marriage in RCMP history. And yes, the two constables say they have heard the phrase "Brokeback Mounties" several times since they announced their intentions. And they don't seem to mind the various headlines that read "Mounties get their men - each other."

The two met in high school, got together in university, have been dating for eight years and living together for several. They have obviously not made a secret of their sexuality. In fact, when Const. Connors graduated from RCMP training, he had Const. Tree present him with his badge - and announced to the entire class that this was his partner.

"I've been open about my sexuality ever since I began this job," said Tree. "Co-workers, supervisors, management - everyone is supportive."

Or they simply don't care. In the small fishing town of Meteghan where the two live, most residents shrugged their shoulders when the media hit town to ask them what they think of two male Mounties getting married.

Gerald Deveau, 59, who identified himself as a regular churchgoer, said "It's their business ..."
And Dwayne Beck, 23, said he's comfortable with the idea of gay, married cops.
"It's just their choice as men," he said.

Not surprisingly, Herm Wills, president of the Nova Scotia branch of the Campaign Life Coalition, had a different opinion, saying that while he's not opposed to the men doing what they want to do, the traditional definition of marriage should be respected.
And it is. As much as possible, that is, in a nation where the divorce rate is astronomical. If anyone has disrespected marriage, it is us straights. We've stomped on it, kicked it around, neglected it and laughed at it.

It was last summer that gay marriages were legalized across Canada when court judgment after court judgment stated it was unconstitutional to ban them. And up until that time, straights effectively and continually spit on traditional marriage without any assistance whatsoever from gays.

Perhaps the advent of gay marriage will presage a renewal of commitment to the commitment. Maybe, thanks to gays, the divorce stats will go down.
In any event, Connors and Tree are expecting a fairly good crowd at their wedding, with many fellow officers attending.

As much as there is an ongoing controversy about same-sex marriage, this is also a matter of firsts. The first black man to play major-league baseball. The first black woman to win an Oscar. The first woman firefighter, the first Canadian woman to die in combat, the first aboriginal to graduate from medical school. The first Sikh boy allowed to wear his kirpan to school.
In every case, there was an outcry, a sense of outrage, however muffled, however loud.
Opposing pitchers threw balls straight at Jackie Robinson's head. And why did it take until 2001 for Halle Berry, a black woman, to win an Oscar?
The firsts go on and on, dragging prejudice, controversy and condescension with them.
Until, that is, we get bored with them. We are no longer surprised or even interested that the cop is a woman, that our doctor is East Indian. We are surprised at the 1963 fuss when Sidney Poitier became the first black man to win an Oscar.

And one day, probably soon, we will hardly notice that the latest combat casualty in Afghanistan was a woman. We will not be writing articles and letters to the editor that somehow suggest that, had Capt. Nichola Goddard of Calgary been a man, she would not have died in that intense firefight on May 17.

When a first becomes a 10th, then 150th and then 2,000th, we tend to forget we were ever upset in the first place.

And so, for those among us who are worried about the erosion of dignity within the RCMP, there's really nothing to fret about. I doubt Connors and Tree will do anything silly at their wedding - like wear turbans with their dress uniforms.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Song of the Week: What Can I Do For You


When Patti Labelle & the Bluebelles reinvented themselves in the 1970s and became the marvelous triune Goddess known as Labelle, a power was unchained and that power was perfectly expressed in "What Can I Do For You?" from what was probably their best album Nightbirds.

Their performances brought out a generation that itself was eager to be unchained through their music. The Vietnamese 'Military Excursion' was over and Watergate was behind them and the plague had yet to hit.

People want truth or nothing at all People want sincerity and nothing more
...
People want to live not merely exist People want to enjoy not suffer in peace ... What Can You do, What Can you Do For me?


Their performances at Oakland's Paramount in 1975 and 1976 gave ample evidence to the unchained generation. The performances brought out people as diverse as Dusty Springfield who joined them on stage for the song you're hearing now and Sylvester who could have easily been one of them. Most of the crowd were almost as entertaining as the performers.

Labelle literally descended upon the stage from above and like birds being set free dispersed that freedom to those who came to hear them. San Francisco was not only one of the more politically correct places to live it was also one of the more happily correct places to live.

"What Can I Do For You?" was a different kind of protest song, if you will, it was defiant and liberating at one and the same time. When Patti sets herself free with the ad lib at the end you are there along for the ride. Ah, what a ride it was.




Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday Beefcake



Pictured is Matthew Mills a New York City Firefighter and the photo comes from their 2006 calendar. Mr. Mills graced the month of April. He is only one of many reasons to love New York.

Summer is another reason to love New York and this weekend gives it an unofficial start, although there is still a little something called the Solstice in about three weeks that actually kicks off Summer. Restaurants in these parts will be very busy and most good ones will offer their summer fare. Below is a type of Summer gnocco a bit lighter than its traditional counterpart in that it lacks potatoes. This recipe is called many things and has more than one version, here it is entitled Naked Ravioli in honour of Mr. Mills being halfway there and with the fond hope that he and his kind will have a relaxing tourist Season.

Ravioli Nudi

1 1/2 kilos of fresh Spinach
500 grams of Ricotta
4 egg yolks
250 grams of grated parmigiano
Nutmeg, grated
salt, pepper, flour
melted unsalted butter
olive oil

1. Simmer the spinach for two to three minutes in a little olive oil, press dry and chop very finely
2. Blend the spinach with the ricotta, egg yolks, and cheese. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch or two of nutmeg.
3. Shape into balls -- 3 cm (an inch in diameter) -- coat with flour. Place them on a tray untouching.
4. Place a few one at a time in rapidly boiling salted walter. Remove immediately when they rise to the top and place them in a baking dish with the melted butter, toss.
5. Dust with more grated cheese and place them in a preheated oven 350F. Bake until hot.

When complete, if possible, take them to the local NY firehouse and feast your eyes.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Face of AIDS





Marj Dusay has been all over the Soap Opera Globe from Guiding Light to Santa Barbara to All My Children to Capitol. She is a journeyman actor and where she shows up it is all the better. To have an AIDs Walk fundraiser with Soap Opera actors and not have her there is tantamount to discounting first hand experience.

She has stepped into many a difficult situation as an actress, but none so difficult as the real life situation as losing a son. During one of her stints as Alexandra Spaulding on Guiding Light, she was interviewed by Soap Opera Weekly and shortly thereafter the unthinkable happened to her. She said this in an addendum to that interview entitled, "A Mother's Farewell" as advice to the parents of children with AIDS:

Be there with them ... at least write notes, talk. Say, "I care." It's a very lonely -- very lonely -- embarassing disease. You're sitting around not knowing when you're going to go ... A lot of them are really trying to accept their own fate ... the only thing that you can do that'll make you feel better is at least get the word out there that you love them ... Let them know you care ... You can do that.


`



Thursday, May 25, 2006

Still Goin' Strong


One week later and the feelings continue from what was acomplished at Prohibition. Sweet Southwest Charlotte provided us with a couple of photos. These photos contain elements -- not all the elements, but important elements that made helping raise money for the AIDs Walk a unique and memorable experience: pictured are Thorsten Kaye, Ilene Kristen and, of course, Sweet Charlotte -- the elements are performance and presence.

Ilene's performance last evening at the Triad lived up to expectations and provided two surprises in the form of One Life to Live's Tuc Watkins who seemed to enjoy the music and Heather Tom who seemed to enjoy being in the presence of her boyfriend.

It was typical of an evening with Ilene: talent everywhere.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Once and Future Singer

Hey,
This week's "Undercover" show features a genre I specialize
in, "Cheesy" '80s Songs. Not much to say about that, except you
haven't really heard "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" until you've heard
my version. Ok, that's not true, but I will be debuting a new song
and we will have a great guest performer visiting from Nashville, Jon
Bozeman. You can check him out at www.jonbozeman.com. He will be
performing "Jenny, (867-5309)" in the spirit of the evening along
with some of his originals. Hope you can make it out to Mr. Denehy's
on Carmine @ 7th Ave, downstairs at 8:30 PM, Thursday.
MAJ

P.S. I'm playing at the Harrisburg Art Fest this Sunday in PA, in
Frederick, MD on Monday and then I'm doing an all night show uptown
in NYC on Monday June 5th at Prohibition, (503 Columbus Ave.).
Details on that show will be coming next week. Send a friend if you
know anybody in my path. Thanks for the continued support.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Once & Future President

From Arianna Huffington:

"The pressure on Gore to run will continue to grow because watching him speak out so eloquently, so passionately, and so personally on this issue -- in other words, displaying real leadership -- is like suddenly being served a steak after a steady diet of fast-food burgers. It's a stark reminder of just how far we've lowered the bar on what we expect from those we elect.

It's as if we've been so pummeled by ersatz candidates espousing focus-group approved piffle that we've come to accept as normal the idea that if you are going to be in politics you are going to have to sell out -- shaped and molded by campaign consultants and pollsters, your ideals and principles wrung out by the very process of becoming a candidate. Each disappointment (et tu, John McCain?) is like a wound, and the scar tissue that remains has desensitized us.

When people are exposed to the new Gore -- authentic, funny, self-deprecating -- you can almost feel their relief and surprise as they suddenly come to face to face with what a real leader could be."

Go for the rest of it here

Monday, May 22, 2006

Song of the Week: Relentless Talent



Ilene Kristen's "Flesh and Blood"

The ways of the world we don't understand
Everywhere leads us to why
Hold on to the earth with your own two hands
And never say goodbye

Following Ilene's participation in POZ magazine's AIDS Walk fundraiser at Prohibition, a staff member remarked that she is a "force of nature." Coining a phrase from Brokeback Mountain's advertising campaign nothwithstanding, it is an accurate although hyberpolic description of a woman whose heart is unique and universal at one and the same time.

One gets the sense that she's an old soul that will go on forever holding on to the earth with her own two hands. Her performance last Wednesday showed all who were there that she is indeed worthy of all that.

Once again she is showcasing her talent at the Triad this coming Wednesday at 9PM 212.362.2511. Do yourself a favour ...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Walking On 2006

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from completing the 10 kilometers that are assigned to the AIDS Walk around Central Park. It is an event that takes place in a city that many consider to be a cultural nucleus. Many of us have survived a plague that decimated our generation and what was once called Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome has changed its complexion. There are still many a white Chelsea "boy" at the Walk but there are also many young African Americans. the satisfaction comes from raising money and being there to raise awareness.

The money helps -- and yes, there are those who are concerned about where the money goes, perhaps Africa itself is more in need -- but there are still those here who need it and the ones who need it most might not yet know that they do.

The satisfaction comes from being among those who make it known. The last three months spent nudging friends, shamelessly requesting help from people who are virtually unknown and actually creating a party atmosphere to get people to pay attention is that part of a person's life that sheds light on those who are true friends and those who truly care.

Many come to mind and the mind's eye will be revealed soon, because expressions of gratitude are due.

In the meantime it is satisfaction on bringing to fruition the task at hand that makes the pillow softer to sleep on.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Saturday Beefcake


Having a conversation with Alec Musser involved talking about his good experience working on All My Children and it did not get around to discussing his nutritional tips for staying in the flawless shape he's in, not to mention that not a small part of his perfection is his creative thinking as well as emotional depth. Some were hooked even before knowing all of that. In the meantime the recipe we offer is an old favourite along with one of Alec's better photographic images in the hope that Alec is well on his way to becoming a perennial favourite.

Pollo alla Birra
1 kilo of chicken (breast and thighs or any combination)
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 pint of beer
Lemon
Unsalted butter, flour, oregano, salt & pepper
1. Marinate chicken for 24 hours in the beer and onions with some essence of lemon
2. Season the flour with the spices and mix well.
3. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture
4. Saute the chicken in the butter until tender
5. Serve with lemon slices.
(variation: dredge the chicken in a bread crumb mixture with parsley, dried basil, salt, pepper and some grated parmigiano)
For 4 normal people or two ravenous Alec Musser fans.

A Force of Nature


Ilene Kristen and friend at the POZ magazine fundraiser on May 17, 2006.
Ilene's friends are blessed to have her in their lives.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

They always get their man

Gay Mounties To Wed
from 365gay.com

(Halifax, Nova Scotia) In what may be Canada's highest profile gay wedding of the year two Mounties will wed next month in Nova Scotia.

It is the first same-sex marriage within the RCMP. and the couple will wear the distinctive scarlet dress uniforms the force is known for worldwide the Chronicle Herald newspaper reports.

Const. Jason Tree, 27, and Const. David Connors, 28, met while in high school. They've been a couple since their university days eight years ago.

In an interview with the Chronicle Herald Tee said they have never experienced a problem on the force. They are so well liked members of the force, also in their dress tunics, will form an honor guard at the wedding.

"This is a first for us," RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Skidmore told the paper. "Certainly, the RCMP welcomes a workforce that is representative of Canadian society, and that is the case here."

Canada last year became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The legislation was passed by then Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal government. The new Conservative government has pledged to overturn the law.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he expects to introduce the bill in the fall.

Earlier this week Canadians for Equal Marriage, a national group that supports same-sex marriage said that a survey it conducted of Members of Parliament oppose re-opening the marriage debate.

Before he could put a repeal bill before the House Harper would need approval of a majority of MPs to reopen the issue. CEM's poll showed that 158 MPs would vote against re-opening, 137 would vote for it, and 12 are undecided or will abstain.

Love Out Loud


Ilene Kristen, Michael Clay & Mark Aaron James at the finale for POZ magazine's AIDS Walk fundraiser

1000 Words


This is a scene you're not likely to see on All My Children any time soon, but it was indicative of the good feelings that were happening all over the place last night at Prohibition for POZ magazine's AIDS Walk Fundraiser. Thorsten Kaye and Alec Musser were there to lend a hand.

Mark Aaron James News


One of last night's stars, goes on once again today

Hey,

This week's "Undercover" show will feature songs with numbers
in the title. It's an interesting genre that will allow me to play
songs by Prince, Britney, Meatloaf, Janis Ian, The Doors, Wallflowers
and many more. I plan on starting with "One is the Loneliest Number"
and finishing with "If I Had a $1,000,000." Hopefully, a good number
of you will come to catch what's in between this Thursday, Mr.
Denehy's, Carmine @ 7th Ave, 8:30 PM.

MAJ

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

See Below




generous

One entry found for generous.

Main Entry: gen·er·ous
Pronunciation: 'jen-r&s, 'je-n&-
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French genereus, from Latin generosus, from gener-, genus
1 archaic : HIGHBORN
2 a : characterized by a noble or forbearing spirit : MAGNANIMOUS, KINDLY b : liberal in giving : OPENHANDED c : marked by abundance or ample proportions : COPIOUS
synonym see LIBERAL
- gen·er·ous·ly adverb
- gen·er·ous·ness noun

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


The publishers and staff of POZ magazine and Real Health cordially invite you to an AIDS Walk New York fundraiser on May 17, 2006 from 6 to 8 pm to be held at

Prohibition . 503 Columbus Avenue . New York City . 212.579.3100

This effort has been a labour of love for all involved. The staff of Smart & Strong and Poz magazine would like nothing more than to make their mark contributing to New York’s most significant fund raising event which just happens to coincide with their daily activity, the search for the cure and making life productive for the hiv+.


It’s about life. It’s about being who we are.


Monday, May 15, 2006


From David Kirkpatrick in today's New York Times:

WASHINGTON, May 13 — Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress, warning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion.

"There is a growing feeling among conservatives that the only way to cure the problem is for Republicans to lose the Congressional elections this fall," said Richard Viguerie, a conservative direct-mail pioneer.

Who knew that finally a neo-con evangelical could say something that made sense? Republicans losing this fall might very well be the way to start solving a lot of problems.

Elsewhere in today's NY Times there's that Cheney woman again calling John Kerry "slime." It's becoming more like a case of the pot calling the kettle annoying. Isn't there some type of Roy Cohn Anonymous Meeting that ignorant Republican Lesbians can attend everytime they exhibit oppressive behaviour that mimics an equally ignorant parent?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Chris Meloni's Autographed Picture


This item is being put on auction on Ebay (Item number: 7619504621) to help defray the cost of an AIDS Walk New York fundraiser that will be taking place on May 17th at Prohibition in New York City -- go here to check it out. It is already autographed by Chris Meloni -- about 4 years ago -- with a black sharpie, so it's somewhat less conspicuous than it should be -- but definitely there. It is framed! 24 x 36! It's a great addition to a Chris Meloni fan collection. The winning bid is a donation for what promises to be a great event.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Marshal Arts, Part Four




Marshal Arts, Part Three

No, he's not Mr Dillon.

Martial Arts, Part Two

Saturday Beefcake: Eat or Be Eaten

It's not so much that meat is necessarily good for you that beef recipes sometimes accompany this Saturday tribute to the prurient interest. In fact it was an originally a beef recipe that inspired the term that was itself inspired by a half naked Guy Madison.

Eating another creature to some is a sign of strength. There is much to say that that's all it is: a sign, religious beliefs aside. Still a great many adhere to the belief that beef once a week does no harm. We live in a carnivorous society and it can't be denied that a good hunk o' meat every so often is enjoyable to the senses and the protein gives a nice physical jolt.

Speaking of strength, it is exactly what is needed in a carnivorous society, it is necessary for defensive combat. It's not necessary to list the ills and evils that need to eradicated, religious beliefs aside. Self defense is necessary on a number of levels and, therefore, strength on many levels: inner strength being the least of them. Meat remains an easily accessible source of nourishment and Contemporary North American society is not about to go vegetarian soon.

So, for this Saturday Beefcake the feature is martial artists, or as they are listed in the galleries on the main site, Gladiators and a very beefy recipe:

Beef & Brew

2 kilos of Stewing Beef
Flour, salt, pepper
Olive Oil
Unsalted butter
8 medium Onions, sliced
2 pints Dark Beer
Cognac
Bouquet Garni: consisting of a clove of garlic, 5 sprigs of parsley, 2 bay leaves, a few slices of fennel
Worcestershire Sauce
Thyme
Chopped parsley

Get the oven ready at 350F

1. dredge the beef in flour and then saute it in a large casserole (6 litres) in olive oil over high heat
2. saute the onion in butter in butter in a skillet and then add it to the beef
3. in the same skillet add some flour to make a light brown roux
4. Slowly add beer and 2 shots of Cognac, stir until slightly thickened and then add to the casserole
5. Tie the bouquet up in cheesecloth and place in casserole
6. Stir in a dash of thyme and a shot of Worcestershire
7. Cover and bake for at least 2 hours
8. Garnish with the chopped parsley

This is great with rice and a salad that's been tossed in a cleaned kitchen for 12 regular folks or 6 gladiators.



Friday, May 12, 2006

From Jay Spears

And what's up with the Mighty I Like Mike? He's been drafted by the NFL, that's what! The song was used on a nationally televised NFL game last fall, Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons. Mike Holmgren is the Seahawks coach; Michael Vick is the mega-star quarterback for the Falcons.

I didn't see it, but I'm guessing they had a "Mike vs. Mike" thing going. What's not to like?

Just what you need: new pics of Jay! Right on the front page of my website there's a link to a gallery of new photos by my pal Sean Maguire, who took the photos of me on Boy Howdy. I'm sure you'll find something there to amuse you.

See Jay perform live in the flesh...!

The MainStreet Songwriters Showcase ...because there's nothing like a great song!

Café Bellissimo
22458 Ventura Blvd. (1 block west of Shoup)
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
818-225-0026

Host Garret Swayne leads off at 7:30, followed by featured guests WeirdBrother, an eclectic folk duo.

Then at maybe 8:30 it's me, even singing some songs from that New CD -- first time ever! World Premier!

(not counting in my shower of course.)

Click the "Live gigs" tab at jayspears.com for more details and I'll send out a reminder as the date approacheth.

Did I say "new CD"? Well yep I'm still working on it, polishing & fine-tuning. Nothing short of "really really good" is good enough for my fab fans! I'm just about ready to hand it over for mixing and mastering. Please be patient, I'm dancin' as fast as I can but like a fine wine, I'll sell no CD before its time.So that's the latest from me -- I hope your Spring has sprung and April showers have brung May flowers.

Jay Spears
www.jayspears.com

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Quite Contrary

It would be too easy to call Mary Cheney a stupid bitch. First of all she's not at all that stupid in view of the fact that much of what she has said recently is calculated to get the book buying public to read her book, including those who don't like her.

From rawstory.com:
In response to an article Wednesday in which Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter is quoted as calling Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) a "RAW STORY....“Seems like a suspicious lecture from a political operative who flacked for the most anti-gay administration in history and allowed Karl Rove to divide America for political gain," Wade said. "She’d be more credible if she pushed dad’s administration to support hate crimes legislation and equal rights for gay Americans.”Miss Mary accuses the Kerry-Edwards ticket for exploiting her sexual orientation for political gain.

"Sitting in the studio audience when Edwards mentioned her sexual orientation, Cheney said she looked at the vice-presidential candidate and mouthed the words 'Go F* Yourself' a phrase her father had earlier employed against Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy"

Go here for the full story

This woman's self expression is about as appropriate for a Vice President's daughter as it is for any allegedly articulate and educated woman lesbian or otherwise. More importantly where was the supposed gain to come from?

Wait, maybe it was from pointing out the hypocrisy in Bush-Cheney's position regarding Gay and Lesbian Americans, but a great many of those who were going to vote Kerry-Edwards knew that already. Was it to point out that very same hypocrisy to the so called religious right's support for the Republican Party? Very small chance that those very same minds would be changed in favour of the Democrats.

More than likely it was an effort to get the Cheneys to address it publicly more than making political gain.

Does anyone remember Lynn Cheney publicly denying during the 2000 campaign that her daughter was an out lesbian? Is anyone aware that the elder Ms Cheney writes about lesbian love in her fiction?

Is anyone on the left angry? Does anyone on the right feel exploited by people who have only the strength of their opportunism?

Coors Beer received praise for reaching out to the Gay Community after a rather successful boycott against them during the company's homophobic era. "For a long time, gay people were implored by activists to boycott Coors, based on its funding of anti-gay causes. Mary got in there, talked about Coors's new domestic-partner benefits for employees. Mary said, here, try a Coors. She was good at that, and the boycott wafted away, and you didn't see as much Bud Light in gay bars." (Washington Post, 2004)

When she went to work for her father's campaigns Ms mary was no wilting flower. It was (and is) the Cheneys that make political hay out of the pulbic mention of her homosexulaity by pretending it was inappropriate to bring up what was already a matter of public record by pretending that Mary was a private person. It was the perfect way to avoid the real issue: that Cheney was supporting a political agenda that was anti-gay/lesbian, making Mary a supreme hypocrite and, therefore, making any accurate discussion of the issues impossible. Dick Cheney's platitudes about personal freedom didn't address the rights to which everyone is entitled. There were no productive discussions or debates about gay people in the United States only about Kerry and Edwards stating the truth.

Mary Cheney may be a lesbian but she is a poor excuse for one.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Leftovers?



Cultural identity can be viewed from many angles and often is. The words "immigrant stock" can be interpreted from more than one angle either as a compliment -- usually for physical strength, as in "Strong like bull" or as an insult, "fat like cow." Well, the positive side of the terminology often refers to diligence and strong family ties. Like many nations all over the world the United States for the most part is a polycultural mixture of a nonindigenous populace. Yes, Virginia, the history of the world teaches us that many nations were/are so-called melting pots. The melting is continuous, it should be noted -- no nation is melted.

Of course, Native Americans or Indians are still here as a people, but their culture isn't. Not per se.

One of the world's most interesting melting pots next to Hawaii is Sicily. Its governing peninsula Italy is also a rather interesting and very beautiful melting pot. Italians are also a rather large part of immigrant populations worldwide adding a bit of flavour, if you will, to cities like Melbourne, Toronto and, of course, New York.

Immigration makes the world go around. That's all there is to say about it. Coming from immigrant stock sometimes makes it sound like a recipe. In a way as noted above human culture is a recipe. The family's culture often finds its nucleus in the kitchen where recipes are created and repeated based on traditions. Even the simple ones.

It's a very valid stereotype that Italian daily life is fueled by pasta. Sicilians have a creative way to make use of leftover spaghetti. Some authors call for cooked vermicelli in their versions, but any kind of pasta will do, although "little strings" are best.

This is a good version that originated in an immigrant's kitchen and evolved into something a bit more cosmopolitan. It's simple and non pretentious.


Frittata alla Giovanni


500 grams of cooked thin spaghetti
6 eggs
Milk or Cream
Olive Oil
Grated lemon peel
Nutmeg
Grated parmigiano, or Romano, or both
salt, pepper

(optional: anchovies and roasted peppers)


1. Saute the cooked pasta in a large skillet with olive oil
2. While the pasta is heating, the eggs need to whipped until frothy, adding salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of grated nutmeg and generous portions of both the cheese and the lemon peel.
3. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and let it cook while tilting the skillet from side to side and making sure it doesn't stick to the sides.
4. This is the easiest way: when the bottom and sides are cooked, place the skillet under the broiler in order to brown the top.
5. The top can be garnished with either strips of anchovies or roasted red peppers
6. Of course, since it is a frittata and there are leftovers involved, it invites creativity. Culture is a creative and ongoing process.




Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Vlad Honey, Would You Mind Passing Me The Agenda?


From Gene Stone over at HuffingtonPost.com

"There's been a great deal of talk over the last few decades about something the reactionary far-right wing calls the 'homosexual agenda.' This agenda seems to have many differing and apparently, to the right wing, confusing points, so it's time to clear up exactly what the homosexual agenda is -- in five words or less."

Here's the link to the rest.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pondering the political atmosphere let alone writing about it is infuriatingly frustrating. The sense of powerlessness is depressingly worse than the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Era. the silliness of scapegoating is exacerbated by the lies and manipulation for getting into an unnecessary war. It cannot be said enough.

Those of the generation that marched for Civil Rights and protested another unnecessary war yearn for the time when the current regime might be brought to task. This administration it was recently announced is over. It was mentioned here that the events surrounding Katrina signaled the virtual end of this Presidency. This is not a time for rejoicing.

Listing the lies and posturing that is Mr Cheney would take up much too much space. He is a paradigm for eliciting gut wrenching anger, especially with the exploited and exploitive existence of a lesbian daughter. His departure from public life cannot happen soon enough.

Whatever satisfaction might be gleaned from Mr. Bush's personal suffering pales in comparison to the spectre of what lies ahead because of his policies. Whatever satisfaction comes from the Fall of Tom Delay will be lost if his Democratic rivals do not step up to the plate.

Doing the right thing for most power seekers seems to take second or third place to opportunism and holding on to power. There is no better example of that then the current occupant of the White House.

Democrats seem to take steps in the right direction, but then immediately start pandering after they allow their rivals and the press to define who they are and mostly by distortion, exemplified in the failed Presidential run of the current head of the Democratic National Committee.

That anyone should have to struggle for rights in the 21st Century is a sign that little progress has been made in the last 40 years.

Whoever seeks power via the electorate needs to focus on issues, problem resolution and goals as opposed to dogmas. Those who participate in the process for the sake of those who benefit from it must stop focusing on the process itself -- e.g. whether Howard Dean projects his voice properly while using a microphone, whether Al Gore is wooden or not, or John Kerry changes his mind or is too wordy -- and focus on reality.

We have an allegedly just plain folks kind of guy as President who bamboozled too many people into believing that%

To Know Her Is To Love Her

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Song of the Week


The Wisdom Of Time
(W. Robinson, P. Moffett, C. Burston) - Produced by "Smokey" Robinson

Baby crawls before he walks
He coos and mumbles before he talks

As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time
As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time

Growing up through years of wonder
While some grow older and some go under

Life seems a strain
But it stands to gain with the wisdom of the time
Yesterday we've been separated
Today our thoughts should be integrated

Divided we'll fall or together stand tall with the wisdom of time
Yeah, Divided we'll fall or together stand tall with the wisdom of time

Time the healer of wounds
The sealer of fate
With the greatest power to educate

Through your wisdom teach us not into hate
Before it's not too late

Narrow minds keep us locked up tight, but
Broader minds are the key to what's right
So let's keep hopin'
For minds to get open with the wisdom of time

Baby crawls before he walks
He coos and mumbles before he talks

As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time
As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday Beefcake

Weddings are fun. They are great fun all the way down to the cake. They are fun even for those who are not necessarily supportive of everything matrimony entails. So, along with a recipe for what will be called a Sicilian Wedding Cake, the Beefcake portion of this weekly post will include photography of same gender couples who are not necessarily married, but may or may not have great fun eventually.

While searching for recipes for Pan di Spagna, which is an integral part of this recipe, it is evident that it requires much work because all recipes require much manipulation especially of the eggs and sugar. This posting will forego that and focus on the construction of what has been called a Cassata alla Siciliana. This recipe is a bit different from the cassate that one might find, hence, Sicilian Wedding Cake --

Torta Matrimoniale alla Siciliana

1 Pan di Spagna
500 gr of Fresh Ricotta
Heavy cream, whipped
Confectioner's sugar (about 150 grams)
Cointreau or any orange liqueur
Citron
Semi-sweet Chocolate (chopped or in chips)

1. The cake, homemade or otherwise, should be chilled. The number of layers is dependent on the constructor. The layers should not be very thick. While preparing the following cream, soak the cake with the liqueur to taste.
2. Force the ricotta through a sieve until it's smooth. Beat it constantly and add the cream and confectioner's sugar.
3. Take equal parts of the citron and chocolate -- about 3 spoonfuls of each and put them in a blender for a minute and then fold them into the ricotta cream.
4. It is now time to build the cake spreading the mixture between the layers and then allow them to sit for a time in the refrigerator while the frosting is prepared.

1. Remainder of chocolate
2. Small cup of strong coffee (about 3/4)
3. 250 grams of chilled sweet butter cut into slim slices

1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the coffee stirring constantly
2. Remove from heat and beat in the butter one piece at a time, beat constantly until it achieves the right consistency. The consistency may vary from very creamy to smooth and buttery. Some refrigeration may help.
3. The frosting will cover the cake layered with the cream. Let it 'ripen' for at least six hours or overnight.


This is a taste treat that is very close to being on a honeymoon.

A Couple Waiting to Happen?


Heath Ledger was considered for the part of Alexander in Oliver Stone's film, instead it went to Colin Farrell. Heath went on to Brokeback fame and, of course, most movie buffs are aware of the travails of Alexander the Great Poofter or not so poofter as the edited cut may be. Mr. Farrell also gave the world his sensitive portrayal in Home At the End of the World. Now it seems that Mr. Ledger is slated to replace him in the Bob Dylan biographical film.

Columnist Roger Friedman says: "The reason for Farrell's departure is unknown."

Both Ledger and Farrell seem to be of the same ilk, viz. a very fine ilk, a very fine talented ilk that has caught the imagination of filmmakers and the viewing public alike. Have they ever been in the same room? It seems that their careers overlap in more than one instance and it also seems that if the imagination were to be captured in any other ways, these guys should capture it together somehow someway.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Thank You, One Life to Live

There is often a person who is part of a cast that the viewer would like to see more of and that applies to One Life to Live's Timothy Adams in every sense. More attention would have been paid to Marcie and Michael's wedding had it been known that Ron Walsh was going to show up. Of course it makes sense that Marcie's family would show up. Still the exceptionally fetching Mr. Adams has had precious little screen time since being cast as Ron Walsh so it was a great surprise. It is hoped that the tornado doesn't take him away forever.

By the way, Llanview's not in Kansas and tornados in the Philadelphia area are rare if not nonexistent. So, who's quibbling? When Ron's around the facts don't matter. Too bad a beach wasn't invented for Pennsylvania.

Of course, his appearance will be too brief. Recurring status for Soap Opera actors is a hit and miss situation. For the avid fan it is a miss most of the time.

Some are satisfied with whatever they can get. Never let it be said that this site does not celebrate those who put a little spice in everyday life. Sunset Beach seemed to make the best of Timothy Adams' presence. We are doing our best here. Visit his gallery here. It is often said what variety does to the one life most people live. Hint to the production team: share the wealth.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Joey Figgiani used to play at the Psychic Cafe in the Village. The Psychic is no more but Joey's music lives on. It was a joy to watch him perform because he was genuinely enjoying his musical expression. Since those not so long ago days, Figgiani went to Music City, a.k.a. Nashville, TN to record what he does best. Go here to find out more about him. What follows is just a glimpse:

"The songs on Joey Figgiani's new album The Place Between Moving And Standing Still are like a collection of thumbnail sketches that will resonate with anyone brave enough to have taken this journey.

The album showcases an eclectic musical style, ranging from Pop Rock to Alternative, Americana to Delta Blues, showing Figgiani as a true artist who cannot be categorized by typical standards. Each song takes the listener to life’s most basic experiences, and reveals a meaning that grows more profound with each listen. The collection is sometimes smooth, often gritty, but always sincere. Any listener can identify with one, if not all, of the perspective from which Figgiani pens his songs.

For his previous album, Under the Memphis Sun, Joey joined forces with Elvis Presley's original band mates, DJ Fontana and The Jordanaires and recorded half the album in the legendary Sun Studio, Memphis. The Place between Moving and Standing Still, relies less on "star power" and more on the impact of profound lyrics and a musical pallet of richness, texture and color."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One Hand, One Heart, part two


In West Side Story Tony & Maria get married in the dress shop with only each other as the ministers of the sacrament. It is in fact theologically sound for the bride & groom to do so. Priests, ministers and such are mere witnesses who provide a public blessing. The Catholic Church has done so many songs and dances around the institution of marriage but its dogma remains that the true ministers of the sacrament are the bride and groom. The beauty of Tony & Maria's marriage as celebrated in "One Hand, One Heart" is that it is forbidden love and that they go forward all the same.

Yet again the ruling party in the United States is making noises about an amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as only being valid between a male and a female which would in effect ban homosexual marriage. It is often referred to as a gay marriage ban.

Perhaps some should remind the powers that be that if two people want to get married, they will anyway. It can be done publicly or privately -- people of every stripe have been doing it for years without government interference. People have been doing it even with government interference.

It is silly to make arbitrary laws trying to regulate personal lives that will be expressed no matter what the Government as God says or enacts.

What the government ought to do is recognize a couple's, a family's rights as a tax entity. If the Federal Government wants to function as a Church then it has to sanctify all relationships that present themselves at their altar.

Better to ban all marriage than to turn a small segment of the population into a campaign issue. All couples should be legalized via civil unions. Let the Churches do the marrying.




A nation can become more religious rendering unto God that which is God's and rendering unto people their own day to day lives and a tax break or two for their households and dependents.