Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter in Vermont















We are in Vermont at a B&B for the weekend; helping the owner with some cleaning chores in exchange for a couple of nights. It is frigid up here with temps last night well below zero degrees F. I spent four winters in Vermont back in college and well, as pretty as winter can be, palm trees and a tropical breeze seems more to my liking for a winter getaway.


































Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cured or More Convincing Denial?

Ted Haggard claims he no longer has those troubling thoughts and urges that led him to seek out the services of a male prostitute.  He claims to be completely heterosexual ("We have a lot of evidence").  It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which someone must go to hold on to a belief.  Years of the right kind of "therapy" apparently helped Ted and Gayle to reconstruct a convincing denial.  Wifey Gayle is cashing in with a new tell-all book and says Ted confessed to having gay sex early in their marriage.  And the beat goes on...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Closet Angst, Gay Adolescence and Incarnation Prayer

Rummaging around old papers today, I found this, written just before I came to accept myself as a gay man:

1983
Don't get too close
I prefer to be alone
Masturbating in my room
Hating my very self
Remembering when I was demon-posessed by my own guilt
Alone and hiding in secret shame
And anguish
YOU were NOT there
To offer exorcism or forgiveness or understanding
TO HELL WITH ALL OF YOU
I am my own priest, healer,comforter, parent
I need no one else
It pleases you when I pretend that all is well
You see no further than my surface smile - or don't want to
Even when I cry and say nothing is wrong
I know you are relieved
I hurt, I bleed, I cry
I wipe my own tears, bind my wounds
And comfort myself with self-pity
LEAVE ME ALONE


And this, written in my gay adolescence; the song at the disco was "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle. You can listen to it in the playlist on the right side of the blog.

TO DENNIS C. June 1985

The one night you spent in my bed
is not worth crying over. And I think it
adolescent of me
to include you in my daydreams so often;
to drive down your street even when I know
you’re not there;
to pretend I need to be home at five-thirty
secretly hoping you’ll stop by
on your way home from work
You were compelling on first sight:
every other man at the bar suddenly uninteresting
like mere extras on a movie set
I wanted you – but pretended I only wanted
to dance
Your smile on the dance floor delighted me immensely
and made me glad for asking
That, and our talk on the patio were more than I expected –
until you kissed me
Did we but take advantage of one another –
sensing attraction and each other’s need?
You needed to tell your pain as much as to tell
your kisses
I needed to know about you as much as to know
your nakedness
Did we but take advantage of one another or did we
exchange gifts
when we made love?
I should make a list of reasons why it wouldn’t work:
One, I am self-conscious and analytical and
Two, have a fondness for Greek tragedies and sentimentalities
Three, you on the other hand are more spontaneous
Four, and act on impulse
Five, besides you drink too much and you would
Six, worry me forever with your self-destructiveness
Seven, and make life too much like tragic theater
Eight, not to mention that you have a lover
How could just one night with you cause me
to write a love poem?
What did your dark hair and deep brown eyes awaken in me?
How is it that your youth and beauty and innocence
have such power over me?
what is yours that I need so desperately?
How long will I crave your laughter and your caresses
and the pleasures of your flesh?
The one night you spent in my bed
is not worth crying over:
Je te veux bien.

Dennis C. - In Memorium



















And this a couple of years later:

Colors/Brattleboro, Vermont 28 February 1987
To Mark:

This is not a love poem
I can assure you
You are but another incarnation
of a kind of man
I am not accustomed to knowing:
who,
if it were not for sex
would probably never share with me
any moments of his life
You are another incarnation
of the kind of man
with whom I could lose all sense of myself
and wish to posess
to hold tightly and not let go…
and perhaps cry over
(Did I shed a tear
recalling how your body felt next to mine
when we slept together?)
Your kisses taste of beer and Marlboros
(like other incarnations)
and stir up vague and visceral memories
I touch almost with reverence
your muscled body –
firm and smooth and sweet
Your strong hands and man-touch excite me
like secrets shared by boys
in summer tree forts
For you life has few complexities
and there is no self-consciousness
in your love-making
I could easily become addicted
to the chemistry
of your gentleness and aggression
your innocence and your wisdom
I want to drink you in
absorb your incarnation to my very soul
You sleep the way you love –
with abandon
I lie awake
unable to abandon anything with ease my brain
stuck like a car horn making
incessant noise inside my head I am beside
myself as though not fully
carnate our differences too painfully obvious
again defined by this tragic flaw
When you embrace me
in the half-light of dawn
I feel sex pervade my body like a pulse
You surround my manhood
like a child at his mother’s breast
Your attentions
like those of a lord
lavished on a beloved servant
are your morning-gift
Our encounter ends abruptly
with the sounds of daybreak
I am never ready for such endings:
like scoops of ice cream dislodged from the cone
and falling to the sidewalk
at the first lick
You dress hurriedly a goodbye kiss a touch
incarnation fading…
we walk out to night-fallen snow to part
Et verbum caro factum est
et habitavit in nobis

Monday, January 25, 2010

Totaled

It doesn't take much to total a car.  The air bags never even deployed.  No one was hurt.   The picture is after they removed the front bumper and grill to inspect the damageto the frame...TOTALED!


My 2002 Mazda Protege.  It was good to me.

Sundance Festival

Link to 8 The Mormon Proposition at Sundance.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's That Time Again - King Cake Recipe


It's Carnival Time and ever since Hubby and I went to NOLA to see my sister back in the early 90's I've been celebrating with King Cake and Jambalaya, here in New England. Today a few of the boys from Leon's car club (Lambda, Nutmeg Chapter) are coming over for a Board Meeting, so I get to serve up a Carnival Meal.

Couldn't find Andouille sausage so have to use cocktail sausages. I did find it at another market, but at $5.99 lb, cocktail sausage will do...

This one is with sausage, chicken and shrimp, onion, pepper, celery, garlic, chicken broth, rice, hot pepper, seasoning.

This is the King Cake I made yesterday. One of my best attempts yet.

Put on the coffee, and get the meeting over with....and let's eat! Happy Mardi Gras!
Here is the recipe based on an internet find:

KING CAKE
This is the traditional New Orleans Carnival dessert or Brioche. Carnival (Goodbye to the Flesh/Meat) begins after Epiphany and extends through Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) the day before Ash Wednesday and Lent. Some lucky party-goer will find the plastic baby ( which is the Christchild - the King) and must bring a King Cake to the next get together. Commercially baked cakes bear a warning about the hidden choking hazard baked in the cake.

1/2 cup warm water
2 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
31/2 cups unsifted flour; 1 cup additional flour
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks, scrambled with fork
10 tbsp softened butter (1 stick + 2 tbsp)
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 small plastic baby doll (or dried bean or coin)

DIRECTIONS
Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl, add yeast and 2 tsp sugar. Mix and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes until the mixture bubbles. Add the 1/2 cup of warm milk and the egg yolks.

Combine 31/2 cups of the flour, salt, lemon zest, the remaining sugar, nutmeg, and sift into the liquid mixture about a cup at a time, mixing well with a wooden spoon. After adding about 2 cups of flour, beat in 8 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp at a time until you can't see the butter. Add the rest of the flour mixture. Place the dough on a floured counter or bread board and knead, gradually adding up to 1 cup more flour. Knead about 10 more minutes, till the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a large buttered bowl and butter the surface of the dough ball. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 11/2 hours, till double.

Coat a baking sheet or pizza pan with butter. Place the dough on a floured counter, punch it down a bit and sprinkle with cinnamon. Divide the dough in two and shape each into a cylindrical or rope shape, lay them side by side, pinch the ends together and twist them around each other. (Or make three ropes and braid). Form the twist into a ring or wreath and place it on the buttered baking sheet. Hide the plastic doll inside the ring. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for at least 45 minutes in warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the cake with an egg wash (1 egg with 1 tbsp milk). Bake for 25-35 minutes till golden brown. Allow to cool.

ICING
Prepare colored sugar by putting 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar into each of three small plastic containers with tight lids. Into one place a few drops of yellow food coloring and shake well till all the sugar is yellow. In the second, place a few drops of green and do the same; in the last place three drops of red and one or two drops of blue to make purple and shake till well blended. (adjust color if you like).

Use about 1/2 box of confectioners sugar (about 11/2 cups) and add 1 tsp real lemon extract. Add cold water one tsp at a time until the sugar icing stirs easily but not watery.

When the cake is cool drizzle the white icing on the cake till it is entirely coated. Take the colored sugars and sprinkle on in bands of yellow, green and purple. (Three bands in each quarter of the cake). Place Mardi Gras beads around the cake for presentation.
(WARNING: Plastic toy in cake may be choking or dental hazard).

Friday, January 22, 2010

DECLARATION OF CORPORATIONS

When in the Course of MARKET events, it becomes POSSIBLE for CORPORATIONS to dissolve the political bands which have connected PERSONS with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and SUPREME station to which the SUPREME COURT and REPUBLICANS entitle them, a DISRESPECT FOR the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to TAKE CONTROL.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all CORPORATIONS are created equal, that they are endowed by their CEO with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are BUYING POLITICIANS, CONTROLLING THE GOVERNMENT and the PURSUIT OF PROFITS.  That to secure these rights, CORPORATIONS are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the AMOUNT OF MONEY THEY CAN SPEND, That whenever any Form of Government GETS IN THEIR WAY it is the Right of the CORPORATIONS to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their PROFITS and MARKET GROWTH.  GREED, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should --- be changed for SELF-SERVING causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to REALIZE WHEN THEY ARE BEING BOUGHT.  But IT WON'T TAKE a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object TO reduce them under absolute Despotism, FOR WITH OUR MONEY IT CAN BE ACHIEVED SOON.


CAN IT GET ANY WORSE?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wikipedia - Prop 8

Check out the Wikipedia article for background on the Prop 8 Trial.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

We've all seen the reports from Haiti. Yesterday I decided to skip a meal. I didn't believe how difficult it was. Food is so plentiful in this country and so immediately available: the fridge, McDonald's, sandwich shops and fine restaurants in every strip mall and downtown, grocery stores and gourmet shops. I was tempted to dismiss my resolution with a "this is just silly" argument when honey stopped at MickyD's. God knows I am not in danger of starving. I could use a few less meals. So I challenge you: skip a meal. Send the $10 lunch money to Americares, a local food bank or another charity. Put your money where your mouth is.




 



Public domain images

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pat Robinson Voodoo Doll - Too Kewl

Check out the Pat Robinson VooDoo Doll on eBay ... all proceeds go to Haiti.
Borrowed this from Jeepguy's Jazz, thanks Gary.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Disaster Relief

Two organizations with high ratings from Charity Watch - links for assisting Haiti:

Doctors without Boarders

Americares

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Peeking in, cuz I can't stay away

Amidst all the suffering and strife in the world from Uganda to Haiti to California about which I can do so very little, I find myself focused on pet peeves like public radio.

Dear Faith,
    I don't catch your show as often as I would like, but do enjoy it when I do.  However, I am often torn between being engrossed in the conversation and being distracted by the obvious (to me) fact that the conversants are oblivious to the realities that many of us live with.   You and your guests have such endearing qualities so that even when discussing the ease with which Tuna Noodle Casserole can be prepared, (by making a fresh tuna confit at precisely 160 degrees) or the unique qualities of salt from different seas around the world, I find myself both spellbound and incredulous.

    If I could afford fresh tuna, it would go on the grill, not swim with some noodles in a white sauce.  My salt is not even Morton's, but the "High Top" store brand from DFO (Discount Food Outlet).  100% salt is 100% salt, well, except for the sodium silicoaluminate, but hey, better living through chemistry.

    I would love to hear a conversation with guests who don't take for granted the ability of listeners to share in the world of privileged restaurant hopping, gourmet food store shopping and leisurely book browsing.  On an income of $------,  I can no longer go out to eat very often, I cook DFO gourmet and read blogs on the net.  Needless to say, I can't afford to donate to your salary by contributing to Public Radio.  So I guess in the great market analysis, the bottom line is that listeners like me count for little if anything.  But we keep listening for free.  Thank you for the vicarious experience of your reality.

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