Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tik Tok parody

Last year I posted a video I first saw on WGB in my entry, The gays love their close-ups.  Well the adorable guy who writhed on the sand lip synching to the catchy Backstreet Boy's tune, "I want it that way" has quite a few videos on his Youtube profile as it turns out. You can see the full list here - Linsbrothers.

In the video below, Ben Lins teams up with his buddy, Jimmy Culotta, in a Tik Tok parody.  The pop song is annoying in that once you hear it you can not seem to get it out of your head for the rest of the day, but it is still fun to watch.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stepping out of the closet and 'back from that ledge'

Earlier today I heard the song Jumper by Third Eye Blind and it brought me back to when I first moved to Boston from Atlanta. At the time, I was still closeted and trying to come to terms with my sexuality. Having the benefit of hindsight, I can see now that I was sort of a ticking time bomb. No wonder I always related to the chorus of the song. 

Wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend
You could cut ties with all the lies that you've been living in
And if you do not want to see me again
I would understand, I would understand
How strange is it that lyrics written by another and meant for someone else can become so intensely personal? I can remember feeling like the chorus was an existential conversation I was having with myself. When I heard the song today, many memories (both happy and sad) flooded back, and I thought I'd write about it before the feeling of de ja vu faded.   

Full lyrics on elyrics.net
About Third Eye Blind

Saturday, March 27, 2010

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe.  Last year, 80 million Americans and 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch, joining iconic landmarks from around the world that went dark for Earth Hour. 

Entertaining Mr. Sloane

Tonight I'm off to see my first show of the year, Entertaining Mr. Sloane at the Boston Center for the Arts. The play was written by the English playwright Joe Orton back in 1964. 

About the show:
The charming, enigmatic Mr. Sloane arrives to rent a room from Kath, a lonely, delusional landlady, in the junkyard house she shares with her declining father. A handsome opportunist, Sloane quickly ingratiates himself, entering into seductions offered by both Kath, and her estranged brother Ed, who soon employs Sloane as his driver.  Sloane's past misdeeds and dueling affections within the family soon collide, leading to a desperate act that proves the limit of his charms, and reveals the ruthless and cunning strategies that Sloane's 'victims' will engage in to preserve their unique arrangement.

Should be interesting and I'm hoping it will prove to distract me from the work which has dominated my attention now for too long.  I hope you have a nice weekend filled with pleasant distractions too.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Acne Drug Keeps HIV Dormant

Not sure how new this news is, but I had not heard about a breakthrough in AIDS research which found that a common acne drug first used in the 1970s can keep HIV dormant.  I first read about this in Brenton's popular blog, Aussielicious this morning.  And after a bit of searching on Google, I found that this study was actively being discussed back in 2008 at the XVII International AIDS Conference.

As Brenton says in his blog, any advancement that can help prevent the spread of or help improve the quality of life of those impacted by this virus is good news. If you'd like to learn more there is a brief (1 minute) video of Dr. Janice Clements explaining what the acne drug minocycline does to the virus here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Words to live by, "You need pro caulk"

I'll be the first to admit that my sense of humor is not appreciated by everyone, but this mini-infomercial stopped me dead in my tracks when I heard it last year and it had the same effect when I heard it earlier tonight.  Do the makers of "Pro-Caulk" realize what they are saying?   Check out the video. I was almost in tears listening to the enthusiastic voice practically shout "You need Pro-Caulk!" 

Just in case you think this is a farce, you can visit the official "Caulk" site as I like to refer to it by linking here. No worries unlike many "caulk" sites on the web this is totally safe to view from work. It might even inject some much needed humor into your day.

How television networks should really market themselves

Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe wrote an interestingly funny article back in November that I forgot to post until today.  In his article, Matthew writes, what if the networks and cable channels promoted themselves as they really are? He surmised that their names, slogans, and mission descriptions might look something like this. I've chosen a couple of my favorites.

NBC =  SDTV: Self-Destructive TV
We dig ourselves deeper into the hole!
At SDTV, we don’t fool around when it comes to ruining our network. By placing our future in the hands of personalities such as Howie Mandel, Donald Trump, and Jay Leno, we pretty much guarantee our own failure.

Bravo = GLBTv
For Grace and her favorite Will
Need some fabulous fashion advice? Want a lesson in trendy lingo? We know absolutely everything about clothes, real estate, and hair. Plus, we have Kathy Griffin. Let us be your gay best friend.

Fox News = Fox “News’’
Who cares if it’s true?
In our shop, we believe that too much value is placed on facts. We’d rather just go after anything that moves in that unbalanced, unfair, democratic, liberal, commie kind of way. You know what we mean. If you like screeds, we’ll be there for you.

You can read the full article here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

No news here - I'm progressive

It has been awhile since I've posted a quiz, but I saw this on a blog I read called Iced Tea & Sarcasm, and I thought I'd share it as well. I suppose for those who know me and my philosophical leanings, this is not surprising. I'll be frank and say I'm not exactly sure how 'scientific' this is, but I've always enjoyed these sort of things and thought I'd share it.  It took me less than 5 minutes to complete the questions. Take the online poll if you like by linking here.

No shock that my focus on issues pertaining to social justice and human rights seem to not only skew my political ideology but also put me out of sync with most of my fellow Americans.  It is frustrating because I always feel like I'm either considered naive or some sort of lunatic.

ABC pilot filming in South End: Boston's Finest

An ABC pilot show called Boston's Finest is shooting scenes outside of my neighborhood cafe, The South End Buttery.  The catering trucks currently line Washington Street and the corner of Shawmut Ave and Union Park are blocked off.  The inside of the Buttery has been turned into a sort of holding pen for many of the extras and some of the wardrobe.  While I was ordering my lunch I did happen to see New England native,Treat Williams, walk by, which was sort of cool.  I was told that the filming for the pilot concludes today so I will be able to get my lunch and afternoon coffee without competing for space with all the extras who were essentially just sitting still and taking up space.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Personalized medicine

If you can get smarter by surrounding yourself with really intelligent people, then my IQ jumped a few points today.  Yesterday evening a few well respected doctors flew into Boston to attend a meeting my team hosted today to talk about a new and interesting area in medicine referred to as Personalized Medicine.  If people have heard the term before, they are most likely inclined to think of medical/testing products that can be purchased at a pharmacy (i.e. pregnancy tests). But P.M. is so much more. A popular definition is medicine that incorporates genetic profiles for the prevention, detection, and treatment of disease by taking into account a person's unique genetic profile. 

These 'thought leaders' shared stories about what they are seeing and their insights were extremely interesting. While some of the stories sounded a bit like something more suited for a science fiction movie the reality is that this is more real than fiction.  How our government and governments around the world react (either encouraging more development through investment or discouraging it by creating impediments) is yet to be seen.  The Human Genome project which started in 1990 and mapped the genetic make-up of humans has helped unlock significant opportunities for defining new treatments (medical, nutritional and behavioral) for keeping a person healthier longer. This international public/private scientific research project is what I mean by governments 'encouraging more development'.

Imagine being able to customize preventitive strategies so women with a genetic predisposition to develop breast cancer can have mamograms more frequently than the general public so they can increase their chance of an early detection? Imagine an individual likely to suffer from Diabetes Type II being 'prescribed' work out sessions with a trainer and sessions with a nutritionist to avoid this chronic disease, which now afflicts an estimated 20 million Americans? These are just some of the opportunities that exist as advances in personalized medicine are realized - pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A limerick in honor of St. Patrick's day

Lim’ricks are the naughtiest prose
Dirty rhymes we love to compose
Men from Nantucket
Shouting, “Go $uck it!”
Are fun to write I suppose

If you have a Limerick you'd like to share, I'd enjoy hearing it.  Feel free to e-mail me or leave it in the comments section. Oh yeah, and Happy St. Patrick's day - it's practically a holy day of obligation here in Boston.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Working on working out

This evening I was perusing one of my favorite blogs WGB (Mom you wouldn't like it) and there was a post about this being his 4th day working out and dieting; no doubt to get into shape before the warmer weather gets here. It made me realize the last time I referenced my work outs was in late January in my Resolutions Revisited post.

I'm quite pleased to say that I've been fairly disciplined going to the gym and meeting with my trainer, Stu, twice a week. Tonight I lifted 85lb dumb bells (the heaviest I've done to date) for single arm rows. Since I had no idea what this back exercise was prior to working out with Stu, I've included a photograph..

I've not been quite as good about going to the gym when I don't have a standing apppointment with Stu, but I'm working on getting better and plan to try and get in a cardio work out 1-2 days a week.  I'll keep you posted.  If you're also struggling to make time for your work out let me know - misery enjoys company.

Anyone else feel like this?

Coloring by Sergio Mazon

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ken Oringer's, Coppa Enoteca, worth trying

Saturday night I had an early dinner at Coppa Enoteca, Ken Oringer's newest restaurant which opened earlier this year in the space formerly occupied by The Dish.  The space has been completely remodelled, but it remains a tiny place seating no more than 30-40 people. When dining al fresco is an option, I would guess that they will be able to increase seating by 50%.

The menu is filled with small plates intended to be shared.  My favorites included the handmade pasta dishes and white pizza, but everything we ate was delicious.  The space is tiny and in cold weather everyone gets chilled each time the door opened.  Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette need to figure out a fix for that, because I won't go there again in bad weather and next winter this place will no longer be a novelty.

However, despite the rain and chill, the place was hopping so you need to arrive early to snag a table.  Since the menu is Italian tapas, you end up having a leisurely dinner and it is easy to lose track of time (we did). But after 2+ hours of eating the bill was a reasonable $55.00 per person (drinks and tip included).  I'll definitely be back when it is better weather.

253 Shawmut Avenue, Boston MA

Haven't met you yet

Isn't it funny the power music can have? When I was driving today this song came on the radio and it made me think of a good friend who recently broke up with a guy she had been dating.  You can read her dating chronicles on her blog, My quest to find a husband. Although I've no doubt she's heard this song countless times, I'm going to suggest that she listen to this song by Michael Buble for therapy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gay fiction

I just finished reading two gay-themed stories which I really enjoyed, and for those few of us out there who like reading gay literature sometimes the options can be quite slim so I wanted to give an online 'shout-out'.   The first is a touching story about two men who grow up in Melbourne, Australia in the mid-70s and their life together.  It is well written and very touching; normally I shy away from stories that take place during the AIDS epidemic - I just find it too sad, but this really touched my heart.  Title: Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave, 286 pages, Published by Penguin Books, ISBN: 978-0-14-320282.

The second book takes place a decade later (1983 to be exact) in New Jersey and is about a high school senior's plans to attend Julliard to become a famous actor.  The story is entertaining to say the least and the author's wit and humor had me unexpectedly laughing out loud at times.  Title: How I Paid for College: A tale of sex, theft, friendship and musical theatre by Marc Acito, 276 pages, ISBN: 978-1-4088-0221-2.

I've read many gay-themed books (fiction and non-fiction), but if you would like to comment on a book of particular interest or a favorite please share with me as I'm always looking for another book and appreciate personal recommendations.

Leaving on a jet plane

Sergio is heading home to Brazil for a couple of weeks to be with his family (his Dad turns 80), and his departure will definitely make our apartment feel empty.  Since Sergio was laid off in August, I've become accustomed to having him here during the day while I work, and I enjoy being able to spend time (not just quality time - whatever that means) together.

I know that the next two weeks will pass quickly and he will be home before I realize it.  I hope with his arrival home more temperate weather will be here.  Last weekend and the first half of this week was in the low and mid 50s in Boston, but that is all a distant memory with colder temperatures and rainy weather dominatinng this weekend's forecast. By contrast the weather in Brazil looks to be in the low 80s by day and low 70s by night for the next week.  Am I jealous? Perhaps a bit.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Need some ideas for your next date?

The Boston Globe has interviewed local celebrities asking how they would spend an evening in Boston. Some of the ideas are pretty interesting and I might check out.  After living in Boston for a number of years you start to take for granted the options available on any given night.  While Boston might not have as much to offer as some larger cities, there is still plenty to do.

Running out of ideas for your Friday night or are you stumped by an upcoming date and you want to make it special?  Check out these suggestions by local celebrities.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Saudade Brazil

I would love to be on Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro today.
If you could be anywhere, where would you spend your day?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Taste of the South End - buy your tickets

The Taste of the South End is TUESDAY! Get your tickets online so you too can enjoy the more than 40+ restaurants who will be participating this year.  The thing I love about this tasting is that it is so social and because it is not massive you can sample all sorts of great foods without wading 8-10 people deep at each food station. Be sure to purchase your tickets online - HERE.

Has Spring Sprung in Boston?

Spring in Boston (if it ever arrives) is fleeting at best each year and generally long overdue so it is with a bit of trepidation that I write that Spring has arrived.  However, this past weekend which had temperatures in the mid-50s and was filled with sun really put Spring front and center in my mind.  I spent Saturday afternoon sipping bloody mary's with a few friends at the Tremont 647 bar looking out on to Tremont Street, and could not help but notice all the people out enjoying the weather. 

More over, this was not the first weekend in Boston which saw the mercury rise above the 50 degree mark.  Boston still does not have any trees in bloom (the photo is wishful thinking on my part) and we are likely to encounter more winter weather before long, but as the length of days continues to progress it seems like we might be able to say goodbye to Winter and greet Spring with open arms.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Can you relate?

Its sort of ironic that my "paperless office" is filled with dozens of sticky notes that are filled with hand written tasks that need immediate attention; reminders I can't afford to forget; and countless activities that have imminent deliverables.  I work hard so I often have to remind myself that this is just a job.  Unlike a neurosurgeon or a manager of a nuclear power plant - if I have a bad day nobody dies and life continues.  

I've found it is easy to get sucked into this job, working late into the evenings and through most of my weekends.  However, I only have myself to blame when that becomes a lifestyle vs. a once in awhile occurance meant to get me through a tight deadline. Do you know how to disengage?  When you look at this picture do you see a stock image photograph or is it your face you see? 

Urban limericks

In a nod to St. Patrick's day which is fast approaching, The Boston Globe is soliciting new poems for their annual "urban limerick" contest.  Interested? Submit your poem here.

I've included one of my favorites from last year.

A drink for every occasion
A young colleen from West Roxbury,
On ale was loving and merry,
She dallied with sin,
On vodka and gin,
But was rigid and frigid on sherry.

By: saigon (Laurie Swope)
You can read other popular limerick submissions from 2009 by visiting here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Boston's Paramount Theatre opens Saturday

The Paramount Theatre which first opened in 1932 as a movie house will re-open this Saturday according to an article in today's Boston Globe "Paramount Theatre regains its grandeur"
According to the article, the renovation which has been years in the making, has a 7,000-bulb marquee that will light up Washington Street, and a new LED wall next door is being programmed as a video art installation.

The Boston Globe includes a pretty cool 1:00 minute video showcasing the LED Wall which is worth watching.

It is hard to imagine that this nearly 600-seat theater and just two doors down the beautiful Opera House have been so meticulously restored in what was once Boston's red-light district known to locals as The Combat Zone.

Photo by Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

OUT at work

Last Thursday I had an all-day meeting in our Boston office. I assumed I would end up walking out with a long list of action items. What I did not anticipate was that I would end up joining my firm's GLBT affinity group.

Although I'm 100% out at work I never contemplated joining the firm's affinity group.  I was a bit surprised by the request when it was made mostly because of the source and felt compelled to say yes, but now that I've given it some thought I think it might be both interesting and help me meet more co-workers here in Boston. 

Does your employer have a GLBT affinity group and if so do you belong to it?  If so,do you like it, or are the members reminiscent of those kids who would file off to band camp each summer?