Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

To keep with today's theme I thought I'd post this song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I selected this particular clip in honor of my good friend Brit who will be tending bar this afternoon at dbar for their halloween themed tea dance. If you go, say hello to him he'll be dressed as "Rolinda Hay" pronounced, roll in da hay.

If you went out last night, tell me all about it since I'm still taking it easy and recovering from meningitis. You can shoot me an email at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bigots, Jerks and Homophobes - Oh My!

As my previous post indicates, I'm not at the top of my game right now but the recent rant from Clint McCance, School Board Member from a small town in Northern Arkansas, on his Facebook page shook the haze from my head and had me seeing red earlier today.

In response to the October 20th Spirit Day, conceived on Facebook to show GLBT youth they are not alone and should not feel isolated by encouraging people to wear purple, Clint McCance had this to say on his Facebook page.

"Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearing it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE."

Want to express your outrage? Friend, the "Fire Clint McCance" page on Facebook. But really the best thing you can do is spread the word. Use this as an opportunity to have a rational conversation with others. Mr. McCance will not change his views (although he may learn to keep his mouth shut) and he will have plenty of sympathizers who will see the movement on Facebook as part of a Liberal conspiracy. Too often this kind of news also flies under the radar of people not glued to a 24-hour news network so spread the word.

For those who may not know, the image above was used in the 80s by ACT UP, an AIDS activist group. However, recent discourse from men like Clint McCance, Carl Paladino, Andrew Shirvell, and Tom Demint, make it important we all start speaking up and saying enough.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yes, it happened again

This past weekend I had to admit myself to Beth Israel (BIDMC) because I contracted viral meningitis (again). For those unfamiliar, meningitis is a relatively rare infection that affects the delicate membranes called meninges (men-in'-jeez). These membranes cover the brain and spinal cord; generally the only way to confirm one has meningitis is to have a lumbar puncture more commonly referred to as a spinal tap.

Viral meningitis (the variety I seem prone to) is more common than the bacterial form and generally less serious. The really frustrating part of contracting this is that it really knocks the wind out of me and that doctors cannot seem to identify why I seem so susceptible.
I first contracted meningitis about 10 years ago. That first instance was the most excruciating of the four probably in part because I thought I was suffering a migraine and delayed going to the hospital to get treatment. Many of the symptoms used to describe meningitis sound similar to a migraine and since I never suffered headaches - I just assumed that was what I had. I did not have another episode until Memorial Day Weekend 2009; I wrote about it in my entry, Thank goodness for Percoset. Because of my previous episode, I was able to more quickly self-diagnose and get to a hospital to receive treatment. Approximately 16-months later (September 2010), I contracted meningitis for the third time. I wrote about my frustration in my entry, Meningitis (again). However, I have to admit I was completely taken by surprise with this latest episode occurring seven weeks later.

Unfortunately, the doctors are no closer to figuring out why I'm so susceptible. I've always been quite a healthy person so these episodes definitely shake my own confidence. I try to live a fairly healthy life by working out regularly with a personal trainer, eating (relatively) healthy, and getting sufficient rest. On this most recent visit, I requested that the doctor extract extra spinal fluid from my lumbar puncture to allow them plenty to run tests. We'll see what happens and if any test results come back conclusive. I have to schedule a follow up with my primary care physician and am going to request to see if a specialist will be able to help crack this seeming conundrum.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Head of the Charles Regatta (this weekend)

The Charles River divides Boston from Cambridge and each autumn the Head of the Charles Regatta takes place. The two-day sporting event includes more than 8,000 rowers competing in over 50 races and draws more than 300,000 spectators (many of them college students proudly -and somewhat drunkenly- cheering on their school).

The seven bridges that criss-cross the Charles River along the race course provide excellent vantage points, but I'm more partial to viewing from the Cambridge side nearer Harvard University and Harvard Square. If you are new to Boston or rediscovering the city after many years of calling this place home - I would strongly recommend that you come and watch the Regatta. Harvard Square pubs and streets are overflowing with people and the city is abuzz with rowers who have come from all over to compete in this prestigious and largest regatta in the world.

The Boston Globe has an excellent article, full of photos called, Head of the Charles 101.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Obama says "It gets better"

Thanks David over at WGB for bringing this to my attention. Again, here is another example of only one party talking to the GLBT community. Is it any wonder I'm a stalwart of the party?

If McCain / Palin were in office what do you think might have been their message? Am I being unfair raising speculation that there would not have been a response? History leads me to believe not.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Growing up gay

In response to the recent rash of gay teen suicides, The Boston Globe has prominently displayed "Growing up gay" on The article includes personal stories of Bostonians who open up about the homophobia, fear, and isolation they endured as teens — and how they made it through.

This is just one example of why I moved and stayed in Boston some 13+ years ago. How many cities and parts of the country have so directly and compassionately addressed this issue? Certainly many sympathize privately with this situation, but the key to addressing this issue is publicly proclaiming your frustration and saying "life gets better." This is not an issue to be meek or shy about if you hope to make a difference so I wanted to thank my hometown paper, The Boston Globe, for taking on this issue and sharing so many stories with its readers. I'm sure somewhere there are teens reading these stories, nodding their heads identifying with those same issues - even here in liberal MA.

The Globe cautions that some of these stories contain homophobic epithets but you can check out The Boston Globe article here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anyone going to this party?

Tickets can be purchased at Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project.

Shoot me an e-mail at if you plan to go.

Spirit Day - Oct 20th: Wear your purple

Tomorrow, Wednesday October 20th has been designated as "Spirit Day" to acknowledge the recent rash of LGBTQ youth who have committed suicide and to reaffirm to those youth who feel alone and isolated that they are not and to paraphrase an often used phrase now, it gets better.

Why purple? According to the GLAAD website, purple symbolizes 'spirit' on the rainbow flag. Although there is no meeting place or rally planned - this is a national event that you can help to raise the visibility of if you are a blogger by promoting and everyone can contribute to by wearing something purple.

GLAAD has more information about Spirit Day, check it out here.

Sometimes the strongest statements are our actions.
Will you help make a statement on October 20th?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Support your local theater and artists

Ministry of Pleasure blog recently referenced one of my favorite musicals of all-time, Avenue Q. It is no longer on Broadway but continues to tour, and although seeing a broadway show is not quite the same as supporting your local theater scene - I still hope it inspires you to purchase tickets to a local play or musical.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Joel Burns of Ft. Worth TX: It gets better

Its upsetting but worth the watch... If you're moved and want to do something, take the pledge and share your story It Gets Better Project.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Republican hall of shame

So many horrible things have been said by Republican candidates or elected officials with nobody from that party stepping forward and saying "Enough" or "Shut up" it makes me ill.

Considering how many kids have committed suicide from gay bullying - why aren't parents speaking up? Why is there not a single elected Republican telling these people, "Shut up!" Obviously the hate-laced speech from these people are somehow telling bullies that what they are doing is okay and nobody in the Republican party thinks its worth addressing. That tells me where I (and anyone like me) stands. Hello Mr. "Dick" Cheney who supposedly loves his lesbian daughter - Mary - why haven't you spoken up? You're such an obnoxious loud mouth on so many other topics. Hello Gov. Shwarzenegger (and wife Maria), care to say something and call these people out for their hateful speech? Apparently not...

The latest example:
"I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option - it isn't."
-Carl Paladino, Republican hopeful for NY governor.

You would expect this sort of thing coming from someone running for office in the southeast - not NY. And this coming on the heels of Rutgers freshman, Tyler Clementi, jumping off the George Washington Bridge in NYC after being outed in a most base and horrifying way. For the record if the same thing happened to me - I'm pretty sure I would have done the same thing. The only difference would have been the bridge I jumped from.

How sad that nearly every day of the year, I could identify a different Republican elected official or candidate saying something equally hurtful / hateful without a single leader from their party deploring the hateful speech. Is it any wonder that the GLBT community runs with fear from nearly any candidate with the letter (R) next to their name? Even if they bear the gay community no ill will - what would be your reaction to a powerful political party that has no history of doing anything but causing you pain and wishing you ill?

Weekend fun in Boston

Despite the rains and wind forecast this weekend, the Boston Book Festival will be in full swing on Saturday. If you've never been to this festival - you should really check it out.

Authors like Dennis Lehane - author of best sellers like Shutter Island and Mystic River, Pulitzer Prize winning non-fiction author, Stacy Schiff and Joyce Carol Oates are among a long list of distinguished and accomplished authors and poets who will be present. For more information check out the link above or you can go to the BBF blog.

If food is more your thing then come over to my neighborhood and attend the Boston LobsterParty. Unlike the BBF, this will cost to get in, but you can easily purchase tickets online here, and all the proceeds go to the very deserving Community Servings charity, which brings warm nutritious meals to those suffering from critical and chronic illness and diseases like AIDS.

How can you go wrong with chefs from all around Boston sharing different dishes with lobster and plenty of beer available to wash the tastey crustacean down. Event details: Saturday from 2:00 - 4:30pm at The Trolley Barn. 540 Harrison Ave., Boston.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

M.I.T.'s cool architecture

For anyone who has visited Boston they know the city's architecture is synonymous with brick and brownstone. Check out some recent photos I took from BackBay last month for an example of what I'm referring to. Nearly half of my neighborhood (the South End) is comprised of mid-nineteenth century brick Victorian bow-front town houses. Despite this city’s love affair of all things brick – there is some really beautiful architecture that is really exciting if you are in to that sort of thing (and I am).

The NY Times has a cool article in today's business /real estate section about M.I.T.'s campus transformation and the very edgy and modern buildings they have built across the Charles River. According to the article, M.I.T. has spent $1.4 billion constructing 10 buildings over the past decade. No wonder there does not appear to be a downturn in construction industry in the Boston area. They've engaged giants in architecture to build these "trophy buildings" including the likes of Frank Gehry.

I’ve included some photos of buildings on the M.I.T. campus I like.

M.I.T. Media Lab

M.I.T. Stata Center

You can read the full article here.
You can view the slide show of construction projects here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guy candy

Since Halloween is just around the corner I figured I'd provide some guy candy to spruce up my site. I wonder if he's really Brasilian or if that just happened to be the bathing suit he was given. He looks like some of the guys you'd see on Ipanema Beach in Rio.

Windows 7 mobile software

Microsoft's ad campaign for their new Windows 7 mobile software is funny, spoofing peoples addiction to their smartphone, and the new software may be quite cool, but I have to say the image above which was shared with news outlets all around the country to promote Microsoft's latest attempt to break into the mobile market seems weak.

For the record, I'm a Microsoft fan (my first job out of school was with Microsoft down in Atlanta), but the phone lacks any kind of wow factor as near as I can tell. If anyone ends up purchasing one of these phones when they start going on sale next month, I'd be curious and would ask that you e-mail me to let me know if you like it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What you want to do?

I've seen this song popping up on a handful of blogs and now I can't get the catchy hooks from the chorus out of my head. I assume a video is forthcoming from Nelly Furtado so if you like keep an eye out on her fan page. Beware the song is catchy and you may end up humming it all day long like I've been doing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hanging the painting

Thank you to everyone who left a comment and the few who e-mailed me directly. I never anticipated so many responses.

I suppose the question of "which way" was misleading because before posting the question on my blog the decision had been made to hang the painting as the artist had intended - vertically / portrait. It was very validating to see that nearly everyone who did comment or e-mail expressed that this was also how it should be displayed. Thank you again.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Social media psychology

Suddenly I feel like I understand why these social media platforms have become so popular!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nothing gold can stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

According to Wikipedia, this poem by Robert Frost was first written and published in the Yale Review in 1923. It is one of my favorite poems and each autumn I like to post this to share the beauty of Frost's words.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Which way?

I've included two photographs of the painting by Fernando de Oliveria we purchased this past weekend through a charity silent auction. A couple people left comments in my entry An evening at the Four Seasons that they would like to see the painting so I've posted it. We really like the painting and have a few places we can hang it. Let me know how you prefer this displayed.

You can click on either image to make it larger.



Monday, October 4, 2010

Why I'm a Democrat

Sometimes friends and family are surprised by my support for the Democratic Party and more specifically the Liberal base of that party, but my political views were shaped in the 80s and 90s when I was coming to grips with both my sexuality and the politics of that time.

In the mid- to late-80s I could not understand why President Ronald Reagan sat idly by while tens of thousands of quilts were being sewn in memory of those who died from AIDS. In the 90s the Christian Coalition reached the heights of its influence in the Republican Party and with leaders like Speaker Gingrich they drove through discriminatory legislation like Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don't Ask, Don't Tell all while funding local initiatives to limit and deny gay men and women basic rights such as adoption, hospital visitation rights, etc...

No longer a kid and no longer apologizing for my sexual orientation, my disdain for the Republican Party started to turn to rage when in the 2000 Presidential election Bush returned campaign donations to The Log Cabin Republicans (a GLBT Republican group) and several high profile gay donors, because they were gay and then was applauded by the entire leadership of the Republican Party.

Obama's win knocked the wind out of the Republican Party. But now the party is back and will likely take control of one or both of the houses in the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, this isn’t the result of the Party moving to the center or becoming more inclusive. This comes from what I describe as an unholy alliance with the newly, rebranded Christian Conservative now called The Tea Party.

So discussions about taxes, economics, foreign or domestic policy aside - until the Republican Party defends GLBT rights and calls out the homophobic slurs their supporters seem content to regularly hurl at me and people like me, I will not consider any other alternative when I enter a voting booth. To the rest of the US who seem to be readily accepted and have representation in both parties - I say lucky you, but think of me when you’re voting because who you elect impacts me too.

Update - 10/5/2010
Earlier this month, GOP Senate leader, Tom DeMint's told attendees at a rally that had significant media coverage he would work to deny gays the right to be in certain professions, such as teaching school.

No wonder I feel like I'm at war with this party? Insert the word Jewish, Black, Latino in place of the word "gays" and the Republican party would be distancing themselves. Sadly this is just the latest in an onslaught of weekly garbage I have to listen to. Is it any wonder gay kids are being bullied or feeling isolated. Look what the "adults" of this country are saying with impunity and often times to the cheers of thousands. You can read the full story here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

An evening at the Four Seasons

Last night's gala at the Four Seasons was beautiful. I've included a few photographs Sergio snapped on his i-phone. Much thanks to Jeff Smith for inviting us to join him at his table and James, his partner, for being an excellent host introducing us to their friends. It was a fantastic evening from start to finish. Thanks to some aggressive bidding from Sergio we're now the proud owners of a new painting from the Brazilian-born, Boston artist, Fernando de Oliveria.

Jeff's attention to detail was evident through out the program; even down to the exquisite table settings and dramatic centerpieces.

After dinner and the evenings' heroes were recognized the program concluded with a surprise appearance from cast members of Wicked, which is currently in Boston. Elphie and Glinda performed three numbers accompanied by only the baby grand piano at their side. After the performance they were gracious enough to pose with me for a quick picture.
After the event, we went down to the Bristol Lounge, and had a nightcap. Steve A. was good enough to come and join us rather than meeting at Club Cafe.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Double date: Black tie event and cocktails at Club Cafe

Tonight Sergio and I are off to the Four Seasons to attend a black tie fundraiser for the Visiting Nurses Association of Boston. Proceeds from this event go to support the VNA's Maternal Child Health and Charitable Care Programs, which serves almost 2,400 children and their families in Massachusetts.

A good friend who works at the VNA Boston invited us to join him at his table so we're dusting off our tuxedos to get them ready for tonight. I was pleasantly suprised to find that I still fit into my tuxedo pants (although I think I'll refrain from eating for the rest of the day so I don't push my luck).

The event concludes early so I plan to come home and change to meet Steve A. (author of Long Haired Boy blog) who is flying in from the Cayman Islands. Sadly we'll only be able to connect tonight because he's off to see a show on Sunday and flies back home the following day. Such is the life of this jet-setting tall drink of water who I met in person for the first time earlier this summer.

I was reviewing my recent posts and realized that there's been a lot of venting. I've either been lamenting being ill, hurt or commenting on various politically-charged themes.

I want to lighten this up a bit so I've added some guy candy to brighten my day and to bring smiles to those nice enough to stop by my site. Thank you again for your comments and checking out my little corner of the internet.