Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Winter in the High Desert

 Had a little snow last night. I often find the New Mexican high desert monotonous and drab. Endless Junipers, some living, some dead. And brown dusty and rocky earth. And weeds. And prickly pear and cholla cactus. 

Winter snow sheds a new light on our backyard desert.

Happy Mardi Gras - Martedi Grasso - Shrove Tuesday

This Year's King Cake

 Interesting that in French and Italian the day is Mardi Gras and Martedi Grasso "Fat Tuesday" and the celebration is Carnival: carne-vale (farewell to meat). It is a holiday to celebrate and appreciate the human, sensual, appetitive aspects of our lives.

But the Anglo-Saxon Shrove Tuesday has no implication for revelry or feasting or partying. It's all about confessing sins and being shriven. Sounds so depressing.

So, if you prefer, have a Mardi Gras feast ... for tomorrow we (supposedly) fast for 40 days. And so, the earthly and the spiritual and the yin and the yang of life.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day to my Love, my Husband, my Life Partner, Leon

Questionnaire borrowed from Bob at I Should Be Laughing 

Where you first met: I will say at the Rock River, Vermont but Leon says he met me when he and his then boyfriend came into the Gay Men’s Health Collective for HIV test.

How did you meet: He was on his way out from the gay beach after a thunderstorm at the River and we started talking; I said, “Wait a minute and I’ll walk out with you.” 

First date: Same day we met in August 1989; we decided to get a pizza in Brattleboro, he stopped at the ATM but the storm had knocked out service; I said, “My treat.”

How many years together: It was 32 years this past August.

Age difference: I am 14 years his senior.

Who was interested first: I think it was definitely Leon. The rest will be in my memoir, part two!

Who is taller: Leon by an inch

Most obnoxious in-laws: I refuse to answer as it may incriminate me.

Who said “I Love you” first: I really don’t remember, but it was most likely Leon.

Worst temper: I’m not sure I have so much a temper as impatience and grouchiness and orneriness; I can be loudly emotional and expressive. Leon is easy going but occasionally will blow a gasket or throw something when losing his patience with a piece of technology or machinery.

Most sensitive: I am most but Leon is becoming more or showing it more lately.

Most annoying habit: He begins a conversation in the middle as if I am privy to what was going on in his head up to that point; I get so focused on what I am reading, doing, thinking, so am oblivious to the last ten minutes of the conversation he’s been having without me.

Most forgiving: Leon is the most forgiving person I know. He doesn’t know the words grudge or resentment. I have learned some from his example.

Loudest: Leon will be heard.

Who has the most useless facts: Leon knows about cars, cars, trucks, engines, electricity, etc. Mostly useless info (as far as I’m concerned).

Funniest: Leon laughs at anything and likes to make silly comments; my humor is more sophisticated, of course.

Who wears the pants in the family: We really have a pretty equal say in decisions; we each have our expertise. Leon cars, mechanical things; me, dog, garden, kitchen

Most stubborn: That has not been an issue

Falls asleep first: Leon usually and hopefully without snoring.

Most impatient: I am definitely impatient and have a bad habit of always praying (Jesus Christ, this or that)
Better driver: The car guy. He can spot a pot hole a mile away and avoid it. Me, not so much.

Biggest neat freak: I am an organizer, Leon is a cleaner.

Most social: Definitely Leon. Will talk to anyone and everyone, even strangers, sometimes for hours. I will often take the long way just to avoid meeting anyone and having to talk.

Least likely to remember to do what the other one asks him to do: Not a big issue, but I am more likely to forget as my list is much longer!

Most competitive: Not applicable 

Best cook: I do 95% of the cooking and he would definitely say I am. Leon can cook if necessary.

Who is the handy-person: Leon is McGiver when it comes to solving a problem, fixing things that can’t be fixed, figuring out how to do something. I am good at things like landscaping, working with wood, concrete, stone.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

"Well if the people are buying tears I'll be rich someday, ma"

 Look what they done to my song ma -Melanie

Look what they done to my song
Well it's the only thing
That i could do half right
And it's turning out all wrong ma
Look what they done to my song

Look what they done to my brain ma
Look what they done to my brain
Well they picked it like a chicken bone
And i think i'm half insane ma
Look what they done to my song

Wish i could find a good book to live in
Wish i could find a good book
Well if i could find a real good book
I'd never have to come out and look at
What they done to my song

Look what they done to my song
But maybe it'll all be alright ma
Maybe it'll all be okay
Well if the people are buying tears
I'll be rich someday ma
Look what they done to my song

Ils ont changé ma chanson, ma
Ils ont changé ma chanson
C'est la seule chose que je peux faire
Et ce n'est pas bon, ma.
Ils ont changé ma chanson.

Look what they done to my song ma
Look what they done to my song ma
Well they tied it up in a plastic bag
And turned it upside down ma
Look what they done to my song

Ils ont changé ma chanson, ma
Ils ont changé ma chanson
C'est la seule chose que je peux faire
Et ce n'est pas bon, ma.
Ils ont changé ma chanson.

Look what they done to my song ma
Ma, look what they done to my song
It's the only thing i could do alright
And they turned it upside down
Oh ma
Look what they done to my song

Friday, February 12, 2021

The Elephant In The Room And The Beat Goes On

Some random thoughts and comments on the Second Impeachment Trial of x45

 As necessary as I believe this impeachment trial is, the thing that irks me the most is that x45 IS STILL THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM ... and occupying my attention and that of the American people.

First off, it is my contention that our former "president" should never have been on the ballot, let alone been elected. His only "talent" is being a full blown narcissist:
- Grandiose sense of self-importance;
- Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;
- Belief they are special and unique and can only be understood by, or associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions;
- Sense of entitlement;
- Need for excessive admiration;
- Interpersonally exploitative behavior;
- Lack of empathy;
- Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them;
- Demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes.
A person with this type pf personality disorder should NEVER be allowed to run for high office. It is just too dangerous. His lust for power and adulation and his deep-seated narcissism should have disqualified him from even running for office. There needs to be much higher criteria than having money and being third-rate TV personality with a big mouth.

If the impeachment trial is theater, that is merely a side effect/bonus. I agree that the impeachment and the trial in the Senate is a necessity to put the traitor in front of all America and the world for his seditious acts and to demonstrate beyond all doubt that he is guilty. What the GOP cowards do will be on record for history to judge. I harbor a tiny hope that 12 of them may actually be persuaded to do the noble and right thing and convict. I'm hanging on to that hope for as long as possible.

Listening to the pathetic "defense" is tortuous...I have to take the dog for a walk.

The problem with an incompetent defense: The GOP Senators don't care; they've already decided.

I think I heard a threat: "if you do this,we will impeach a Dem president for something at the first opportunity"

Hubby and I both cried when we saw the events as they were happening. It is still very emotional to watch or to hear those who were there in the Capitol, speak about it.

Acquittal is a foregone conclusion…but for some unforeseen event. Like half the GOP Senators vacating at the critical vote.

McConnell: “Vote your conscience.”  This can be shredded on so many levels: 1. Anything McConnell says cannot be taken at face value; 2. There will ALWAYS be repercussions and retaliation for voting against the "party". 3. There are no, or at most a handful, of republicans with a "conscience". 4. He is a sleazy swamp creature and cannot be trusted. (We must postpone a Senate trial until after the inauguration....Now: it's unconstitutional to hold a Senate trial after the former president is no longer in office.)

Any Senator who does not vote for conviction is blind, deaf or still on the Koolaid. They will be committing political suicide.

About the trial being “a waste of time”
It is a just and necessary "waste" of time. No matter the outcome, this trial must be held and the Senators must see and hear the facts as presented by the house managers. The Senators must be put on the record as being sympathizers of a traitorous x-president and his lies or as having the guts to convict

On Lindsey's "Offensive and Absurd" comment: I watched the house managers. Their presentation was riveting, gut-wrenching, compelling, factual without being “political” – quite the opposite of “offensive and absurd” – unless by offensive you mean that the xpresident’s behavior was indeed offensive. These GOPers will just not admit that they have been kissing and continue to kiss the orange ass. I hope many will find themselves torn between their conscience and their loyalty to x45. I’m kidding. At least they will go on record and down in history as supporting a traitorous president and as being an accomplice to sedition and an attempted coup. May they forever have blood on their hands.

Pence was a fool and a lackey. He behaved like one of those half-naked movie-actor fan-wavers to the Pharaoh for four years. He was close enough to 45 to know what kind of sociopathic ass he was kissing daily. He should have known he was being used like toilet paper. Betrayed by his boss. So now he's a hero. Well, if it get's x45 convicted, good. He should be called to testify.

I think the House manager's arguments have been quite compelling. A slam-dunk under most people's reality. I'm not sure what would be slam-dunk in this trial. It is not an impartial jury. Quite a number of Senators have already decided how they will vote, slam-dunk not withstanding.

The GOPs are not there as an impartial jury. But as this goes on they are hopefully more and more between a rock and hard place.

My fear is that the rebuttal, no matter how incompetent, will have enough time and distance from the presentation of the evidence as to cloud their (GOPers) short memories and make their decision to acquit palatable (to themselves).

The trial is not a farce, but the GOP Senators certainly are doing their best to make it one. This trial, no matter the outcome, is on the record, the facts are clearly outlined and presented to the public and will hopefully come back to bite the GOP big time. There is such a thing as being on the wrong side of history.

The "defense" is that there is no due process. The house managers made it perfectly clear that all due process was granted and followed. The defense is a hollow argument, because they have nothing else. And they know they don't have to actually have any legal ammunition because the verdict will be presented to them on a silver platter.

And the beat goes on.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

My Recent Schpiel ON Joe.My.God

I am not commenting here [on JMG] as often as I used to. Sometimes I just skim the stories on JMG now, since the inauguration. 

I can't say I've completely stopped watching news or reading news articles but I no longer do so with the compulsive need to be informed of the daily atrocities and evil doings of the former president and his incompetent, destructive administration. And harboring the perpetual hope that the day would be the one in which the evil one would finally self-destruct. (We've had teflon presidents but that orange thing was annoyingly elusive and manipulative and evasive and slimy.)

There is at least some sense of relief knowing that adults are mostly in charge now and I can go about the mundane tasks of everyday living with so much less anxiety. The occasional news of a MAGot or insurrectionist or anti-LGBT bigot in particular does still trigger my anxiety and even at times a gut-wrenching fear of these scary folks. 

It often seems that the world has become a frightening and unkind place. I take note, but I'm not dwelling like I used to.

Hubby works, I'm retired, so I've been doing lots of yard work, landscaping, mulching, preparing the garden soil, starting some seeds, baking bread, cooking for hubby and me, walking the dog, watching too much YouTube: Gardening videos, How to build dry stone walls, recipes, "Pasta Grannies", videos in Italian, "Pasta Grammar", and "Leave Everything and Wander".

If it were not for the pandemic, things would seem almost normal. 

I know that after #45 things will never really be the same; we are forever in the age of alternative facts, up is down, lies are true, truth is relative, greed is virtue, power is currency, hate is acceptable, survival of the selfish, excuses and monumental projection.

But I'm choosing to ignore all that as much as possible, at least for a while while I enjoy the illusion that everything will be fine now that we have a president and an administration that operates in the realm of reality, predictability and normalcy. 

I am so fucking tired and exhausted after the past four years....Thanks for listening/reading. Just had to relieve myself of that.

Cowboy Joe

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your journey.

10:14 p.m., Saturday Feb. 6

'Til Tuesday ❤️️💙💛💜💚 wrote:

I too limit my exposure on the political stuff on here. I don't read every story that's posted. The trick is to wait for the Blue Bear each evening, where anything can be talked about. I comment during the day, but it's the Blue Bear that I wait for, which is when the best stuff gets posted. While there's political stuff posted on the Blue Bear, most is other interesting stuff. For me, it's when I get to post about music, my first love.

greenmanTN wrote:

Good for you! I think everyone here's anxiety is down about 10 notches at least! (Not counting Another_Steve of course. 😜)




Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Map of Election Results by Neighborhood.

Courtesy of New York Times.

Interesting map of election results to play with. Blue and Red trends are pretty consistent.

Click Here For Map

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

My Thoughts on Christopher Columbus Statues

I received an email today asking me, as an Italian-American to sign a petition about preserving statues of Christopher Columbus which are being removed from various locations because they are reminders of the oppression and genocide against Indigenous Peoples of America.

This was my response:

As a 72 year old proud descendant of Italian immigrants (all four of my grandparents came from Southern Italy) and as one who daily celebrates my culture with food and music and even with how I plant my garden, I am not inclined to expend much energy, emotional or physical, in defending Christopher Columbus or statues of him.

Yes, he is a historical figure whose life and work served prominently in the story of the Americas. But I, for one, am not ready to canonize him as some sort of Italian "saint". I don't particularly need any heroes or saints other than my brave grandparents who also sailed the Atlantic in search of a new land.

I now live in New Mexico where the tensions between Indigenous Peoples, the descendants of the Spanish settlers, immigrants and descendents of Mexican descent, the "Anglos" and just about everyone else are sometimes very obvious and easily ignitable. 

So, if a statue serves, rightly or not, as a reminder of genocide, enslavement and suffering then it is not worth fighting to keep it in any prominent place, regardless of the ethnicity of the person so cast in bronze or stone. Some revered book has warned us against raising up idols and graven images.

My grandmother used to tell me the story about my grandfather who worked in a factory along side individuals of many other ethnic groups. One day after work he invited a co-worker home for a glass of wine. He and his black friend sat and chatted and drank wine together. 

After his friend left, my grandmother, took the glass that the black fellow drank from and threw it into the trash, because, well, it was "dirty". 

My grandfather scolded her, "What-a you do that-a for? He's a man-a just-a like-a me." He took the glass out of the trash and said, "You wash-a this, just a like-a mine." 

And grandma understood and took the lesson to heart. (And passed that on to me.) They owned a six tenement building and during the depression they not only didn't collect rent, but grandma fed their tenants until her own family lost the house to the bank. These are the values I was taught and believed all Italian-Americans held sacred.

As an Italian-American, what DOES embarrass me and fill me with shame are those Americans with Italian surnames who are a disgrace to our ancestry and to the values which I believed we shared. Values such as taking care of the less fortunate, being truthful, holding learning, education, medicine and science in high regard, being of service to society without regard to personal reward. 

But so many have drifted away from those core values and chosen instead to serve an ideology of superiority and privilege. Or should I say, serve the devil?  (https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-paesano-of-shame-trumps-italian-american-consiglieres/)
and  (https://italicsmag.com/2020/10/28/donald-trump-and-his-italian-american-supporters/)

We so quickly forget that our Italian ancestors were considered "darkies" and worse, by white America. And that we as an ethnic group had to earn our white privilege. 

So now, having become white, do we now also become comfortably racist? (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/12/opinion/columbus-day-italian-american-racism.html

And does our worship of Columbus become, rather than a badge of honor, a symbol of divisiveness? 

Yes, we are proud of our Italian heritage. (Oh but there was a time when even Northern Italians despised and looked down upon those dark, Southern Italians - remember, Christ Stopped at Eboli).

But we are AMERICANS first. Let us not allow a few statues to get in the way of that.

New Photo Format HEIC on iPhone????

 Just a note for Russ in case you didn't see my reply:

1) for some reason I cannot reply to individual comments

2) My camera is my iPhone SE 2nd generation which I recently purchased because I was having issues with my old phone.

3) the other "new" issue is that sometimes the photos taken with the new iPhone are JPEG and sometimes have a new format called HEIC (High Efficiency Image File) whatever that is. I don't have clue why some photos are in one format and some are in the other...if in HEIC format, I have to convert them to JPEG in order to upload them to the blog ....just more steps and hoops. 

Anyhow this was from today's hike around the trails in our town, Cochiti Lake.

Our Little Town

Monday, January 25, 2021

Getting Back To Life As We Once Knew It (Kind Of)

 Some photos of what we've been up to since we aren't on edge about politics so much, although with COVID none of us are really back to "normal" yet.

Moon Over Cochiti Lake (or Moon Over Neighbor's Roof)

Inauguration Evening

My Version of Chili con Carne

Not Bad, Actually
On the Way to Faywood


Gila National Forest

One of the Pools at Faywood Hot Springs

Leon and Benni Lounging at the Cabin - Faywood Hot Springs

Benni Late Afternoon in the Dessert

Home by the Hearth

Pond at Botanical Gardens

Leon, You Have a Surgical Mask Hanging from Your Ear....

Ducks and Koy

Pond, Japanese Garden, Botanical Gardens Albuquerque

Pond, Japanese Gardens

Pond, Waterfall, Japanese Gardens

Feral? Horses by the Rio Grande, Pena Blanca

Post script...this blog is a chore...I cannot upload more than three photos at a time because one always fails and if one fails, it will not allow me to insert ANY of the ones that uploaded! So I have to do it in small batches. And then, ocassionally two photos will "stick together" and it is a nightmare trying to separate them.

Time for a New Diet...NO! WAY!

 Now that you-know-who is out of Washington and the news is not a matter of what new atrocity has been perpetrated by the Commander in Chief....and I can relax and pursue my food hobby....

I can now watch more FOOD and COOKING VIDEOS on Youtube.

Many of you may know that cooking is my main hobby, next to eating, that is. And I have been doing the Mediterranean diet for years. 


Lasagne like Mom used to make

The problem is that we, Leon and I, eat way too much of the Mediterranean diet (and unfortunately, New Mexico is not known for fresh seafood, so we probably eat too much meat.) And also too much in the sweets department... muffins, cookies, danish...oh, you say Denmark is not in the Mediterranean? Oh well...

We do eat lots of veggies - tons of broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, mushrooms, kale, cabbage, chard, escarole, celery, carrots, onions and of course a major staple, garlic.

And we eat plenty of pasta, homemade tomato sauce, homemade bread, homemade pizza, and cheese, preferably parmigiano reggiano, mozzarella and provolone, as well as muenster, cheddar, etc.

Well, back to the world of YouTube where there are all kinds of Doctors and Nutritionists and Quacks touting the healthiest diets that will cure every ailment and make you lose pounds and regain your youth and make you wealthy or whatever. Among them are several that espouse the Keto Diet. 

I will freely admit that I've never actually WATCHED any Keto Diet videos. Just the thought makes me ill. I do not claim to understand the "science" behind Keto, nor am I inclined to research it. All I really know is that in the Keto Diet, Carbs are poison. 

And as the Italian proverb goes, "Un giorno senza pasta/vino/qualcosa e come una giornata senza sole." "A day without pasta/wine/whatever is like a day without sunshine."

So I came across this cute video by a cute couple, Ava (a native Italian) and Harper (her cute American husband) who live in Maine and do a series of cooking and food videos some of which compare foods from both sides of the Atlantic. And some in which Ava is introduced to American foods, usually ending with severe critiques.

If you are into Italian cooking as I am you may find some of their cooking themed videos delicious.

In this one Harper is half-halfheartedly trying to get Ava to try the Keto Diet.

And here's another video all about Eggplants - Melanzane:

Thursday, January 21, 2021


 This pretty much sums up how I feel (the actual Fireworks, not the song, as I cannot understand but half the words she sings...I think I have chronic "lyric impaired hearing" especially for voices like this that are shrill and piercing...and painful).


Now, Lady Gaga, I understand perfectly.  Her voice is gorgeous, and has a range that is pleasant and dynamic and filled with emotion. Probably the best rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that I've ever heard. No exaggeration.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Some Thoughts on Current Events

 Our neighborhood has a social media platform with some rules about keeping political and certain other topics confined to sub-groups so as not to offend others. I deliberately broke the rules on Wednesday in the midst of the TV coverage of the Nation's Capitol. So did others who responded. There were only a few, but they seem to reflect what many others were saying and thinking.

I wrote:
And I don't care if I am breaking any Nextdoor rules but there is no place in our democracy for this kind of violence. This is TRUMPISM in action; he is knowingly and deliberately adding fuel to the fire. He is intent on destroying our democracy before Jan 20th.

How ANYONE can or could have supported this maniac is beyond me. and that's all I have to say about these sickening people and these horrible events. For now.

So ban me, Nextdoor! (My post and comments were removed but I copied them)

Talk about a year that has brought me to tears so many times...sad, angry, tearful. This is disgraceful.

AB replied:
Today’s event showed me the hypocrisy by allowing these terrorists to do what they did AND no police or law enforcement of any kind stopped them. Yet for Black Lives Matter protestors who protested for the killings of so many black people being killed daily…

For Native Americans who protested the pipeline on their lands who were brutally attacked with rubber bullets, bullets, teargas, yet today pice stood by and did nothing. Curfew was set, protesters still walking around!

Tell me how we are continuing to tolerate all of this! Sad that people of color do not matter

CD said:
Yep, you are very right. I know this but a part of me just doesn’t want to believe it. No denying it now. Am sickened as well. I’ve spent time in DC and on Capitol Hill over the years. This is what sickens me: The Capitol Police, who spent the summer wearing full riot gear and using tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets against genuinely peaceful protestors blocks away from the Capitol, are now not even arresting Trump supporters who have forced their way past every security line, invaded the Capitol, and even injured police. It’s why they were able to breach the building.

I said:
I will be the first to admit that as an aging "hippie" I am not a flag-waving patriot and I have some issues with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or any prescribed display of patriotism, mainly because such things have been, for so long, associated with right-wing politics.

However, that is not to say I am un-patriotic. It is, as is my nature, more quiet and reserved. But at times like this, when everything this country is about is violated, I feel the need to speak out my truth to whoever might hear, regardless of whether my speech will be banned. (My comment was removed)

Anyhow, thank you for your kind words. Let's all look toward the future with hope and optimism.

EF said:
Amen, Frank. The beauty of who we are as a country is that you can be anything you choose. If it is your choice not to wave a flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance then God Bless You. It’s all about freedom. With this evil troll who presently occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and his idiotic offspring, it’s all about hate, and destruction.

And my 2 cents on Impeachment and the 25th:

Impeachment at this point is both a necessary step and also ultimately symbolic. It can not come to fruition/conviction by the Senate in the limited time available even if there were enough GOP Senators willing to convict. Even if willing in spirit, they are mostly cowards when it come right down to casting that vote. 

As for the 25th Amendment, it all depends on the VP who has given no indication of his willingness to go that route; even if he did, is there a sufficient number of cabinet members to follow through? It seems that resignations are their way to avoid having to deal with that possibility.

So, I don't see either of these options as viable for stopping the maniac from causing more harm and destruction to our democracy. There are, I believe, Executive Orders still in the works and a slew of "pardons" to be issued, no doubt, among them, his own. The shit show, I'm afraid, will continue until Biden/Harris are sworn in.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Cucumber - A British Gay TV Series

OK, HAPPY NEW  YEAR. And that's all I'm going to say about that. We'll see.

An Amazon Prime pick for binge watching this weekend.

We have Amazon Prime for another week or so until our free month runs out. We probably won't renew as there doesn't seem to be a lot of good stuff to choose from and we don't order a lot of stuff for free delivery to make the subscription price worth it.

But while we have it, here is one pick that some readers might enjoy. "Cucumber"


The series follows two middle aged gay men Henry and Lance who have been together for nine years but have never been on the same page sexually. Which gives the writer the premise to explore gay sexuality among a group of ordinary gay men in, non-romantic, and often non-erotic contexts. 

The series exposes some real-life complexities, hang-ups and fears and fetishes men have about sex in contrast to their ideal fantasies, desires, and hopes about what might be. There is humor as well as some darker moments in the lives of the characters. This is more true in later episodes.

The Brits' penchant for reticence or politeness often gives way to very strong, pent-up emotions and shouting matches between Henry and Lance as they try to alternately mend and end their relationship. Very well written, great dialogue, good acting, interesting cinematographic techniques and an intriguing theme.

My only negative is that for some of the characters their accents, both English and various other ethnic-English accents are often difficult for me to understand. Add fast talking and throw in references to pop English culture and other specifically English slang, you may have to concentrate a little harder to follow some of the conversations/arguments.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Remembering Marcus D'Amico - Michael Tolliver/Mouse

The actor Marcus D’Amico has died at the age of 55. D’Amico is best remembered for playing the role of the beloved gay character, Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver, from the 1993 TV production of Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

I am feeling like I've just heard that a best friend has passed away.

The books, Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, etc. came into my life just as I was embracing and celebrating my gay identity in the eighties. 

My first trip to San Francisco in 1984 or '85 for an AIDS Conference was one of the most exciting events that ever happened in any job I'd ever had. San Francisco, from the moment I left the airport, seemed like being home. But of course I had to return to Connecticut where reality consisted of holding a job, being self-sufficient and not dreaming too big, let alone even thinking of moving across the country.

But when the TV series, Tales of the City aired on PBS, it was like being transported to OZ. Back to San Francisco!

Very soon, it was like I knew all these amazing characters and knew them personally. They were a temporary but significant part of my early gay life. They all became acquaintances, and some, like Michael Tolliver and Mona and Mary Ann became like friends I'd known for years. They helped make my being gay a positive, life-affirming reality.

I was an invisible tenant at 28 Barbary Lane and secretly watched all the drama. I lived vicariously through all of them and their many misadventures, loves and intrigues.

Funny, I never even knew the actor Marcus D'Amico, never knew his name until now. But his character Michael Tolliver was sweet and shy and fun and cute and vulnerable and sincere and loving. The actor Marcus' passing is also the death of Michael (despite the title of one of Maupin's later books, Michael Tollive Lives.)

 This has truly been a year of sadness.

 If you have never seen the series (the original PBS and Showtime series 1994. 1998. 2001) treat yourself. It is available on Netflix and possibly some other platforms. Here is Season 1, Episode 1. 

Letter from Michael Tolliver to his Momma as read by the cast of the 2019 Tales of the City Netflix update: (Italian captions were not intentional on my part, it's the only version I could find)

Friday, December 25, 2020

This Old Scrooge Thanks You

Just a short note to my readers: I got up this morning and was going to delete the long rant about my Christmas conflicts and inadequacies before anyone actually had a chance to read them. But alas, the cat was out of the bag so to speak and there were already comments from you all. 

So I just want to thank you for visiting and for the support your comments have provided. I don't know what gets into me at Christmas. Perhaps there are some repressed feelings or memories that come to the surface...but whatever.

I want to let you guys know that I enjoy visiting your blogs even if I don't always comment...sometimes I get so caught up just reading blogs and news items that the hours pass and I've not done anything away from the screen...

Enjoy your Holiday. Stay safe, stay well, and lets hope for better things in the New Year. I hope we can all get through to January 20th without further disasters. 

Tacky But Bright

The Yucca Lit Up

Our Rainbow Luminarias/Farolitos



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