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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Wednesday Word: Homeless

home·less (hmls)
Having no home or haven.
n. (used with a pl. verb)
People without homes considered as a group. Often used with the.
homeless·ness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

homeless [ˈhəʊmlɪs]
a. having nowhere to live
b. (as collective noun; preceded by the) the homeless
homelessness n

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Talent: Getting Better

Thank you, Phillies.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Music: To Love Somebody

I'm a man, can't you see
What I am
I live and breathe for you
But what good does it do
If I ain't got you ...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Beefcake Thank You and Goodnight

Saturday Beefcake Foreplay

Your Saturday Beefcake Main Course: Alex Marte

Although it is Summer we continue to journey into substantial territory and here is something that it is undeniably so. Italy, not to be outdone by Brazil, has an offering that appropriately fits on the menu.

Beef Chuck Roast, one kilo, two pounds
Bacon, pancetta, quarter inch pieces
Basil, dried
Oregano, dried
Garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil
Onion, finely diced three tablespoons
Carrot, finely diced three tablespoons
Celery, finely diced two tablespoons
Barolo, dry red wine three quarter cup
Beef stock three quarter cup
Tomato Paste 1 tbsp
Thyme, fresh, four sprigs
Marjoram, fresh, four sprigs

1. Dry the chuck roast well on all sides. Tie the roast to keep it together. Season well with salt and pepper on all sides.
2. Cut quarter inch slits into the beef,
3. Take the pieces of pancetta and dredge them in the garlic, basil and oregano.
4. Take the pieces of pancetta/bacon and insert into the beef.
5. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy dutch oven over high heat. Brown the chuck thoroughly on all sides in the hot oil. Set the beef aside and discard the hot oil.
6. In the dutch oven, add 1 tbsp oil, the butter, the onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until the onion becomes lightly gold. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
7. Deglaze the dutch oven with the Barolo, scraping all fond. Add the stock and the tomato paste and stir well to incorporate.
8. Add the thyme and marjoram and return the beef to the dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, turning the meat every 20 minutes.
9. Remove the beef from the dutch oven, place on a cutting board, and cover with a towel. Remove the springs of thyme and marjoram from the sauce and discard. Reduce the sauce in the dutch oven over high heat until it starts to become syrupy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
10. Slice the beef against the grain and serve with the sauce on top.

Saturday Beefcake

Saturday Beefcake Afternoon Snack

Saturday Beefcake: Cool Potato on a Hot Summer Day

The key to good potato salad, by the by, is marinating the major participant in this creation, the potato.

Giovanni's Potato Salad

Baby Potatoes, boiled and marinated in olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic and a dash of worcestershire.
Pitted Chopped Black Olives
Chopped Whole Fennel or Celery
Hard Boiled Eggs
Lemon zest
Salt, Pepper

1. The amounts are left to the creative cook.
2. After marinating for at least 3 hours, drain the potatoes. If you don't have baby potatoes diced red are also very good. Don't rinse them.
3. Toss with the olives and the fennel/celery.
4. Slice the eggs. Put some slices aside for garnish and the others chop to toss with the potato mixture.
5. If there is the wherewithal and the will power, homemade mayonnaise is excellent. If not, add a bit of lemon zest to commercial mayo and then toss it with the potato mixture. Use your best creative judgment as to how much.
6. When complete sprinkle with paprika to add a bit of colour and garnish with the egg slices.

This is a great side along with cold Poached Salmon or Vitello Tonnato or a lunch meat tray.

Your August Saturday Beefcake Midmorning Moment

Good Morning from Saturday Beefcake

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Gay Republican: Puerto Rican Style

Republican Puerto Rican senator Roberto Arango won't say he didn't take a very explicit nude photo that has surfaced or that an alleged profile on gay hookup site Grindr is his, reports Gawker.

When confronted with the shirtless photo of a man holding an iPhone to block his face, Arango wouldn't confirm or deny that he took it or that the Grindr profile belongs to him. "You know I've been losing weight," Aango says. "As I shed that weight, I've been taking pictures. I don't remember taking this particular picture but I'm not gonna say I didn't take it. I'd tell you if I remembered taking the picture but I don't."

Arango, who is a member of the Puerto Rican Senate, was vice-chair for George W. Bush's 2004 Puerto Rico campaign.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gay Thursday: Before We Were Gay

Eugen Sandow (1867-1925)

Little remembered today, Sandow was the father of modern bodybuilding—and, for a short time at least, he was open about his sexuality: when he began his rise to international stardom in Chicago's Loop in 1893, he arrived with his boyfriend in tow.

In "The Dying Gaul", the nude Sandow, again lying on the ground, looks up. His thighs are spread, his right arm up, his right hand open, palm out, imploring the gods to spare him from impending death even as his face suggests a pained acceptance of his fate. This, at any rate, would be the "straight" interpretation of the scene.

Sandow's debut in his skimpy outfit received thunderous applause, and as Sandow took his bows, Ziegfeld appeared on stage, announcing that women who donated $300 to charity could come to Sandow's dressing room to caress his muscles. Mrs. Potter Palmer and Mrs. George Pullman, grand dames of Chicago society, were first in line. However, men got in for free, and they were the ones who crowded Sandow's room.

Excerpted from "Eugen Sandow's Gift to Gay Men." Read the full article from The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jack Layton 1950 - 2011

Jack Layton, leader of the official opposition in Canada's parliament, died of cancer at the age of 61 on August 22, 2011. His death, although not entirely unexpected, still came as a shock to most of us. He had undergone treatment for prostate cancer previously, but his death was the result of another type of cancer which has not yet been disclosed.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledged the sheer determination of his 'colleague and friend.'

" 'We have all lost an engaging personality and a man of strong principles,' he said.

"Harper recalled that Layton was a natural musician. 'And we always talked about getting together to jam. But it seemed we were both always too busy. I will always regret the jam session that never was. That is a reminder, I think, that we must always make time for friends, family and loved ones while we still can.' " Toronto Star

In a rare move, Harper offered Olivia Chow, Layton's widow, a state funeral and she accepted. In a statement Monday, the Prime Minister's communications director Dimitri Soudas explained that the government's practice since Confederation has been "to offer a state funeral to current and former governors general, current and former prime ministers and ministers of cabinet." But a special exception was made in Mr. Layton's case.

To those of us in the gay community Jack Layton was a true friend and advocate who will be sorely missed. Some of his contributions are detailed on the Xtra web site

Layton wrote a letter to his party and to Canadians 2 days before his death.

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don't be discouraged that my own journey hasn't gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we've done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let's continue to move forward. Let's demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada's Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one - a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world's environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don't let them tell you it can't be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Talent: Abbey Lincoln

In honor of today's mini-quake:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Musing: Bisexual

Northwestern, reported that “with respect to sexual arousal and attraction, it remains to be shown that male bisexuality exists.”

Here's the rest [tried to link to you, NY Times, there was no cooperation]

In an unusual scientific about-face, researchers at Northwestern University have found evidence that at least some men who identify themselves as bisexual are, in fact, sexually aroused by both women and men.

The finding is not likely to surprise bisexuals, who have long asserted that attraction often is not limited to one sex. But for many years the question of bisexuality has bedeviled scientists. A widely publicized study published in 2005, also by researchers at Northwestern, reported that “with respect to sexual arousal and attraction, it remains to be shown that male bisexuality exists.”

That conclusion outraged bisexual men and women, who said it appeared to support a stereotype of bisexual men as closeted homosexuals.

In the new study, published online in the journal Biological Psychology, the researchers relied on more stringent criteria for selecting participants. To improve their chances of finding men aroused by women as well as men, the researchers recruited subjects from online venues specifically catering to bisexuals.

They also required participants to have had sexual experiences with at least two people of each sex and a romantic relationship of at least three months with at least one person of each sex.

Men in the 2005 study, on the other hand, were recruited through advertisements in gay-oriented and alternative publications and were identified as heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual based on responses to a standard questionnaire.

In both studies, men watched videos of male and female same-sex intimacy while genital sensors monitored their erectile responses. While the first study reported that the bisexuals generally resembled homosexuals in their responses, the new one finds that bisexual men responded to both the male and female videos, while gay and straight men in the study did not.

Both studies also found that bisexuals reported subjective arousal to both sexes, notwithstanding their genital responses. “Someone who is bisexual might say, ‘Well, duh!’” said Allen Rosenthal, the lead author of the new Northwestern study and a doctoral student in psychology at the university. “But this will be validating to a lot of bisexual men who had heard about the earlier work and felt that scientists weren’t getting them.”

The Northwestern study is the second one published this year to report a distinctive pattern of sexual arousal among bisexual men.

In March, a study in Archives of Sexual Behavior reported the results of a different approach to the question. As in the Northwestern study, the researchers showed participants erotic videos of two men and two women and monitored genital as well as subjective arousal. But they also included scenes of a man having sex with both a woman and another man, on the theory that these might appeal to bisexual men.

The researchers — Jerome Cerny, a retired psychology professor at Indiana State University, and Erick Janssen, a senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute — found that bisexual men were more likely than heterosexuals or gay men to experience both genital and subjective arousal while watching these videos.

Dr. Lisa Diamond, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and an expert on sexual orientation, said that the two new studies, taken together, represented a significant step toward demonstrating that bisexual men do have specific arousal patterns.

“I’ve interviewed a lot of individuals about how invalidating it is when their own family members think they’re confused or going through a stage or in denial,” she said. “These converging lines of evidence, using different methods and stimuli, give us the scientific confidence to say this is something real.”

The new studies are relatively small in size, making it hard to draw generalities, especially since bisexual men may have varying levels of sexual, romantic and emotional attraction to partners of either sex. And of course the studies reveal nothing about patterns of arousal among bisexual women. The Northwestern study included 100 men, closely split among bisexuals, heterosexuals and homosexuals. The study in Archives of Sexual Behavior included 59 participants, among them 13 bisexuals.

The new Northwestern study was financed in part by the American Institute of Bisexuality, a group that promotes research and education regarding bisexuality. Still, advocates expressed mixed feelings about the research.

Jim Larsen, 53, a chairman of the Bisexual Organizing Project, a Minnesota-based advocacy group, said the findings could help bisexuals still struggling to accept themselves.

“It’s great that they’ve come out with affirmation that bisexuality exists,” he said. “Having said that, they’re proving what we in the community already know. It’s insulting. I think it’s unfortunate that anyone doubts an individual who says, ‘This is what I am and who I am.’ ”

Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston, echoed Mr. Larsen’s discomfort.

“This unfortunately reduces sexuality and relationships to just sexual stimulation,” Ms. Ruthstrom said. “Researchers want to fit bi attraction into a little box — you have to be exactly the same, attracted to men and women, and you’re bisexual. That’s nonsense. What I love is that people express their bisexuality in so many different ways.”

Despite her cautious praise of the new research, Dr. Diamond also noted that the kind of sexual arousal tested in the studies is only one element of sexual orientation and identity. And simply interpreting results about sexual arousal is complicated, because monitoring genital response to erotic images in a laboratory setting cannot replicate an actual human interaction, she added.

“Sexual arousal is a very complicated thing,” she said. “The real phenomenon in day-to-day life is extraordinarily messy and multifactorial.”

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Beefcake: Happy Trails to You

That ought to get you through the night

Your Saturday Beefcake Main Course

Saturday Beefcake Summer Risotto

Zucchini Risotto al Limone

Mark Bittman The Food Matters Cookbook
1 cup short-grain brown rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Black pepper
1⁄2 cup dry white wine or water
3 to 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
4 small or 2 large zucchini (about 1 1⁄2 pounds), grated
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1 tablespoon butter or additional olive oil, optional
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish, optional

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and salt it. Stir in the brown rice, adjust the heat so that the water bubbles steadily, and cook, without stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well.

2. Put the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with oil, just a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the wine. Stir and let the liquid bubble away.
3. Begin to add the stock, about 1⁄2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition and every minute or so. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Keep the heat medium to medium-high and stir frequently.

4. After about 15 minutes of adding stock, stir in the zucchini and cook, stirring, until it releases its liquid and the mixture again becomes dry. Begin tasting the rice about 5 minutes later; you want it to be tender but with still a tiny bit of crunch. It could take as long as 45 minutes to reach this stage. When it does, stir in the lemon zest and juice, and the Parmesan, butter, and basil if you’re using them. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, garnished with additional basil if you like.

Saturday Beefcake Afternoon Tryst

Summer Side Dish Beefcake: Summer Squid Salad

This is inspired by a salad at Adesso in Oakland, where the best Happy Hour can be had and parking isn’t a nightmare. The salad can be made a few hours in advance of serving but not longer as the squid will turn rubbery from sitting in lemon juice. [from www.beyondtheplate.net]

•Six medium-sized squid, about 11/2-pounds, cleaned
•1 lemon, halved
•2 teaspoons salt
•3 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch chunks
•6-8 ounces fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced, fennel fronds reserved
•2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•1/4 cup olive oil

1.Toss the squid with the juice from a lemon half and a teaspoon of salt. Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes while you prep the vegetables.
2.Heat the vegetable oil in a grill pan then toss in the squid (be careful the oil will sputter), leaving each body on the pan for up to a minute. Transfer to a plate.
3.When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch rings and place into a medium bowl. Add the chopped fennel and celery.
4.Whisk together the olive oil, juice of the other lemon half and the remaining teaspoon of salt then pour over the squid and chopepd vegetables. Add the fennel fronds and toss to evenly coat