Thursday, December 10, 2009

Justin Bond and a new blog


Photograph by Michael Hart

Hey y'all!  I'm writing for Queer New York, a new NYC magazine-style group blog.

Go read my review of Justin Bond's Christmas Spells, and keep coming back for the crazy good material from all of the contributors.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bounty.

Daisy and I stopped in at Destiny after spending Halloween in White River Junction. Exploring the garden, we found that there were tons of carrots still in the ground. The deer couldn't figure out how to pull them up and eat them! Fortunately, our carrot eating techniques are quite advanced.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Golden.

Last night's dinner: red lentil veggie chili, served with garlic sauteed spinach and a poached egg.

I cooked this week! Well, I cook all the time, but I haven't tried anything new or particularly creative for a while, until this week.

Chili isn't new, of course, but I tried a couple of new ingredients and techniques. Red lentils and split peas were a welcome new addition, though I think I should have soaked them overnight, rather than using the quick cook method, as they turned out a bit al dente. For the flavor base I diced onions very fine and caramelized them for quite a while, before adding in finely diced mushrooms, celery, green peppers, and bok choi. The resulting sauteed mash wasn't much to look at, but with the addition of tomatoes and chicken stock, everything disintegrated and provided a wonderfully deep and slightly sweet flavor to the chili. I only used one jalapeno, so the dish was milder than my usual chili. I'll definitely use some of these ideas again. I've never made chili that turned out the same way twice!

Garlic greens are old news as well, but I keep finding new dishes with which to pair them. They're so tasty and so good for you!

The poached egg was an experiment. I love eggs, but poaching has always been an intimidating mystery. This week I found a poaching recipe that used cling wrap to isolate the egg while it's in the boiling water, which seemed like it'd make the whole process much easier and more reliable. And what do you know? It totally worked. My only regret was that I didn't make two of them.

Earlier in the week I paired the chili with cauliflower sauteed with garlic and garam masala, which turned out really well. Cauliflower is not a vegetable I've used often, though after eating it a couple days, I can't imagine why. It's so yummy! I'm going to look for more recipes that feature it.

This is my favorite part of the cool time of year--making soups, stews, chilis, jambalaya, and every sort of big pot dish, and pairing them with new and classic sides throughout the week.

The law firm for which I work is moving to a different office building in March, so I'm enjoying my view of Autumn in Central Park for the last time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Filthy.

Here's a pic of Daisy and me at the Filthy Lucre opening last Saturday. We were modeling Justina's fabulous recycled fashions. It was fantastically fun!

I highly recommend stopping in to see the show. Waterfall, Rosie, Trixie, Wave, Justina, and Orange had works in the show. Agnes, Justin Sayre, and Reno all performed on Saturday. I'm sure I'm forgetting some names...there were tons of faeries in the show. And the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were in the house. Nancy did a fantastic curating job.

I always complain about going to Jersey, but every time I do, I have a blast!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Unfabulous.

It's a few days old, but the Westboro Baptist Church, comprised largely of the Phelps family, is at it again, this time in Brooklyn.

I lived in Topeka, Kansas for eight years before moving to NYC. For most of those years I lived near the Phelps's "church," first owning a house in the neighborhood of Westboro, then living with a friend who lived just a couple blocks away.

(As an aside, Westboro is a gorgeous old neighborhood filled with Tudor style homes, many of them on large estate lots. If you're a gay living in Topeka, it's the place to be. The Phelps's "church" is not actually in Westboro--it sits a couple blocks North of the neighborhood boundary.)

Every day, I drove by the Phelps's compound. The family owns nearly all of the houses in the immediate vicinity of their church. There's a high privacy fence around the entire compound. A major East-West road carries a large volume of traffic by the church, so they have hung a 20 foot long banner with the offensive name of their web site on it, which I won't reprint here.

Every day, I saw portions of the Phelps clan picketing along Gage Boulevard or other main roads in town.

Every Sunday, the cult picketed Grace Cathedral, the church where I sang in the choir, yelling slurs at us as we cued up outside on nice days to process in to the sanctuary.

Every performance I attended at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, I had to walk by signs telling me I was going to hell because of who I am.

Every time a concert or event was held at Washburn University, the hate slogans were blared in bright neon and chanted loudly at children and their grandparents.

For the most part, any time a group of people of any size is getting together in Topeka, the Phelps are there to tell us how we're all going to burn in Hell.

No, I'm not afraid of the Phelps. I don't believe anything they're saying. On the other hand, I can't deny that it affected me. Reading and hearing the vitriol every day was demoralizing. And while the Phelps are too smart to physically assault anyone themselves, they are only too happy to incite violence in less visible bigots, and I am quite sure they would rejoice to hear about the countless slurs, threats, and assaults I endured in Topeka.

Unfortunately, many queers think that the Phelps are actually helping the gay liberation movement. (There's a lot more than Joe, but he's where I read it most often.) The argument is that their extreme politics polarizes those who otherwise wouldn't much care about gay rights, and as most people are sensible, they're landing on our side and supporting us.

I couldn't disagree more. First, this belief focuses on the benefits that might arise from the Phelps, while entirely ignoring the negative effects. Second, generally only those polarized to our side are vocal about it, while there is a large and largely silent group of people who go to the Phelps side, believing them to be correct and worthy of support, even if this group is quiet about their agreement.

I know first hand how difficult it is for an out queer teenager to survive high school in Kansas and I've heard a variety of horror stories from queers who attended public school in Topeka. The Phelps clan is large--young queers aren't simply encountering the hate speech on the street. Phelps kids are in their classrooms, and while they may not be carrying picket signs at school, their beliefs that it's OK to bully, antagonize, and basically do anything negative they can get away with to a queer kid, are well-known to everyone and have the effect of emboldening casual bigots and bullies. Imagine trying to learn mathematics when you know the kid next to you will be holding signs calling for your death as soon as the final bell rings and everyone leaves school property. The suicide rate in queer teens is alarming and I firmly believe that this kind of hatred is a big contributing factor.

I'm very glad the students of the Brooklyn high school being picketed took a stand. I imagine they learned an important lesson. The support they show their fellow queer students and the queer equal rights movement is touching and inspiring.

Unfortunately, such a display never happens in Topeka. The Phelps won't be picketing once and then going away--they'll be on the streets of Topeka most days this week, and the next, and the next. The police won't be keeping an eye on them. No one will be counter-protesting.

Queer middle and high school kids in Topeka are and will be on their own.

Many members of the Phelps clan are lawyers. They run a law firm in Topeka. This is part of why they are so successful--they don't mind being sued. They are happy to go to trial, risk judgments and liens, and file appeals ad inifinitum. Given their horrid reputation with all but extreme right-wingers and fundamentalist Christians, you'd think they wouldn't stay in business very long. But they have, for decades.

How? The simple truth is that many people in Topeka and beyond agree with the Phelps, even if they're not willing to be associated with their tactics. They send donations. They hire the Phelps firm. For every bit of money we raise in counter-protest, be sure that there are equal or greater dollars being sent in by wingnuts from all over the country, who happen to see a Phelps story on CNN.

Other members of the Phelps clan work everywhere in Topeka, including some high levels of state government, bringing some version of this kind of oppression to workplaces, grocery stores, churches, bars--basically all parts of daily life. Adults may be better equipped to deal with the oppression and less likely to kill themselves because of it, but they still feel the negative effects--many queers in Kansas are closeted to a great degree and suffer from the resultant depression, self-hatred, substance abuse, and other problems associated with compartmentalized, oppressed lives.

This is the part that non-Kansans easily forget: the nebulous and arguable benefits of polarization caused by the Phelps come at the price of daily, concrete, and I'd argue deadly levels of oppression for the queers of Topeka.

The needs of the many do not outweigh the needs of the few. It is not acceptable to sacrifice Kansas to daily oppression in order to gain progress on the coasts. It is not appropriate to thank the Phelpses for anything!

Please, put yourself in the shoes of those who don't have the luxury of living in NYC. Decry oppression everywhere it is found. Don't pretend that hate has any up side, or that the despicable behavior of this cult is actually a net benefit to our community. It is not.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wow.

Last night I finally met Father Tony in the flesh. For once I was hardly nervous about meeting a new person, because I've known Tony through online interactions and I've had the sense that we'd get along famously. I think my instincts were correct; I certainly had a lovely time. Tony is one of those amazing people who excite by proximity and potential. Around him I felt carefully attentive, like a miner panning for gold, bending my senses to catch flashes of new insight and perspective. When will casual conversation suddenly lead to a story of the Vatican, or a new angle on politics, or some elusive artistic concept? With Tony, I felt as though every haphazard tangent could lead to a vein of wisdom and humor.

The cherry on top was also meeting David, who immediately impressed with his perfectly balanced fashion sense, and charmed his way right into my heart with stories that ranged back to when he was only four years old. Beauty will save us, indeed! I look forward to reading his blog and getting to know him better.

The impetus for our meeting was Tony's next project, the upcoming Bilerico-NYC blog, salon, and online magazine. I'm in a bit of shock that I have been asked to contribute to this project. The group of writers Tony is assembling is intimidating and humbling. If I stop to think about it closely, I get very nervous and begin to doubt myself. So instead, I've decided to simply be thankful for the opportunity, and forge ahead as fearlessly as I can manage.

Tony currently contributes to The Bilerico Project's national blog, as well as his own blog, linked above. I recommend checking them both out, and of course you should be waiting with baited breath for Bilerico-NYC!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In which I disagree with a luminary.

A big brouhaha has been going through the leather world and for the first time in a very long time, I feel compelled to comment.

Chuck Renslow, President of IML, has declared that nothing will be allowed in the vendor mart that tends to promote or advocate barebacking, i.e., bareback porn.

For this Mr. Renslow has been widely and loudly lauded. The sycophants of political correctness are shouting a loud "AMEN" at the sermon. So caught up are they in self-righteousness that they don't see the insidious destruction of a fundamental principle of democracy and a turn to the dark side of conservatism.

To begin the discussion, I refer you to a Merriam-Webster's definition. Liberalism is: (c) a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically: such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class).

Queers and liberals are usually outraged when conservative Christians attempt to ban books with "gay themes" in order to protect their children from making what they believe is an unhealthy choice. We call this censorship--a constraint on civil liberties and freedom of expression--something we usually abhor.

The situation is somewhat different with STIs and HIV, of course, as the consequences of the choice to bareback are more scientifically concrete and less about culture. But the idea behind the comparison is the same--one group is deciding what is best for others to read, see, or know.

This edict that bareback porn will not be allowed at IML is an admission of defeat. The powers that be have failed to educate the community at large into making the healthier choice. Having failed to persuade, despite piles of money and decades of work, the freedom to choose is now taken away.

This action is not progressive or liberal, it is the essence of conservatism. By stooping to censorship, we have become what we most decry. We have violated a principle to which we expect others to adhere.

Yes, sometimes the results of the principle of free speech are hard to swallow. Sometimes the consequences are sickness and death. The principle of freedom of expression--our civil liberties--were bought with the lives and blood of thousands. It's an American principle, generally believed to be worth dying for.

I have heard the argument that IML is a private event and can set whatever policy they choose, which is true. However, in his letter, Mr. Renslow says, "We believe that it is our duty to inform and educate." In other words, he's using his position to influence the public and set public policy. IML cannot state its intent to influence the public and then retreat behind the defense that it is a private event. This is not an invitation-only party held in a basement, and pretending that it is in order to escape criticism and the scrutiny aimed at public policy setters is a specious and ineffective tactic.

With all that said, I know that this cannot have been an easy decision. I understand why it was made. I, too, want my brothers and sisters in leather to live long and healthy lives.

But while this policy may be for the best, it should not be lauded. This decision should be mourned as the sad last resort, and understood for what it really is: an admission that sometimes the conservative approach is necessary in order to achieve the greater good.

All leatherfolk lost some freedom today. I hope the upside is worth the sacrifice.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More ups than downs.

Above: a Spring sunset over NYC from my roof in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

I bought a bike this week. I haven't owned a bicycle since I was a child.

Last night I rode over the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan. John and I hung out in the East Village, had some killer burgers, and went to Beastie's to celebrate her graduation from college.

Then we biked home. Oh, my gawd. I thought I was going to die. Did you know that those gorgeous suspension bridges are actually giant, artificial hills? Very steep hills!

And I'm out of shape. I nearly died crossing the bridge. I don't entirely remember the trip after that, as I was huffing and puffing too much to really pay attention to the world. All I could think about was getting home. Of course when we finally arrived home, then I had to carry my bike up to the fourth floor. My legs were noodles and I could barely stand!

Biking will definitely be good exercise. Hope I do it often enough to get super buff!

I'm heading to Vermont tonight with D for a glorious holiday weekend among the fae. I'm so excited I could pee.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Artichokes.

"The major novel about love and terror at the end of time."

That may be a bit much. Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany, is a major novel. It's definitely terrifying at times, and terrible (in the "formidable" sense) in scope and construction.

The novel is classified as science fiction. I'm not sure I agree with that classification, but if we accept it, then it's one of (if not the) best science fiction novel I've ever read. Beyond the questionable genre assignment, it's one of the best novels I've ever read, in general. It should be studied at every level of academics. It should create its own genre and classification, because there simply isn't anything else like it out there, at least in my 33 years of reading.

The story follows the life and adventures of a man who cannot remember his own name, but who is soon given the appellation "Kid." It suits him, and of course it refers to a few of the Greek, Roman, and pre-Greco-Roman gods on whom the character is based. Reducing the character to its ancient references would be criminal, however.

Kid is a drifter, apparently, who has some mental problems in his past, has selected but deep amnesia, has a tendency to lose time (sometimes hours, sometimes days), may be a touch schitzophrenic, and writes poetry that may or may not be brilliant.

At the opening of the book Kid is headed to Bellona, a city in the American West that has been devastated by some unknown tragedy, and because of this has dropped off the map--both literally and from the consciousness of the country. Perhaps a few thousand people remain in a city which was once home to many millions. There is no law and no explanation for how this came to be. In time it becomes apparent that Bellona may not actually be in America anymore, though how and why it shifted into whatever dimension it now inhabits is never explained.

Kid quickly begins to meet the major figures of Bellona. Things get off to a good start with Tak, a gay leatherman who shows Kid around and takes him home for the night. Lanya quickly enters the fray and becomes Kid's girlfriend. She remains the next major character for the duration of the story, but don't think his relationship is simple--Kid also aquires a boyfriend before too much longer. What's that? A three way bisexual relationship at the center of a major literary work? Yes, this was first published in 1974.

Don't think for a second that Delany deals with the unusual sexuality of his characters in an oblique way. No, this novel is very nearly pornographic. In fact, had it not so much literary value, I would simply call it pornography. But Delany has written a lot of pure pornography, and to reduce Dhalgren to that status would be incorrect. Still, I have never had a hard-on so much while riding the train to and from work! Gay, straight, bi, butch, femme, interracial, gangbangs, oral, anal, vaginal...they do it just about every way possible in this book.

But I think I've been a touch unfair, as all my glowing praise and rampant sexuality may have the reader running out to buy the book. And you should! But I must confess, nothing about this novel is so simple.

Bonfire admitted, after he'd given me the book and I was drawn in, that this was one he had never been able to get himself to read. And, researching the novel as I neared the end of it, I found that some literary critics at the time the book was first published couldn't stand it--one literally threw it against the wall 300+ pages into it, and refused to pick it up again!

Because you see, Kid may be schitzo. Or time may be running in reverse, occasionally. Or perhaps Bellona is warping space, because nothing is ever in the same place twice. It's entirely possible that the book begins in the middle of Kid's story. And none of the mysteries are explained. That's right--none of them. Why do half the inhabitants of city wear an "optical chain" of prisms, mirrors, and lenses? Why won't anyone explain how they got the chains? What do they mean? Why do some buildings in Bellona burn for weeks, but never fall down, and sometimes show up whole and unburned at a later time? Why are there two moons?

Whatever is going on in his head, Kid quickly becomes a big man in town. He gets a job working for the Richards, a family whos matriarch is intent on denying that anything has gone wrong in Bellona, even as anarchy reigns outside her apartment building. Kid is smart and just, and so becomes the de facto leader of the scorpions, a rough gang who live communally, wear projectors that can surround their bodies with holographic shields, and who are feared and respected more for the violence of which they appear capable, rather than anything they've actually done. The town is lead by the never-seen Roger Calkins, who prints the local newspaper (and every day usues a different, apparently random date), and who ends up publishing a book of Kid's poems. The interaction between the classes who remain in the city, between Kid and the various outrageous characters who inhabit the city, and with his own mental challenges, form the basis of the novel.

But there is no linear plot arc. Kid doesn't have an arch nemesis to overcome. The story is circular. It returns to the beginning, repeats, refracts, changes slightly, and repeats again. There is no beginning, middle, and end. It's a riddle. It was not meant to be solved.

This novel is structured dramatically different than anything you've ever read before. If you can relax and enjoy that, then you'll love the hell out of it. But if you want the traditional rewards for reading, you may end up throwing it against the wall and never picking it back up.

One of the major themes is writing, which is definitely a subject that interests me. As Kid fills in the blank spaces in the notebook he finds at the beginning of the novel, he writes his poetry, but must struggle with the question of how much of that art is his own product and how much was inspired by the unknown previous owner of the notebook. From where does the urge to write come and why does it overtake him when it does? Are Kid's writings any good, and who gets to decide what is good, anyhow? Was the novel itself written by Kid, or was it written by an unknown third party who found Kid's notebook? When the passages of the book begin to break apart, end suddenly, begin in the middle, and repeat with small variations, how much of what we are reading is real and how much is fantasy, delusion, or simply recalled incorrectly?

It's a challenge. But in the end, it's a challenge I'm glad I was able to stick out. Because while the ordinary rewards are not there, I feel I may have learned more about storytelling from this book than I have since I was a child. I feel I have experienced something that is truly unique and has no peer in literature.

I really hope I get to meet Samuel Delany soon. I'd almost go back to college just to hear him speak.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thinly veiled.

Above: a pic of me at the faerie sanctuary in Vermont earlier this month. The black flies were thick, necessitating the elaborate chapeau, which I think is rather fetching.

And speaking of hiding behind a thin veil, D and I saw the movie Outrage last week. It's a documentary about closeted gay politicians who vote contrary to their orientation and community.

There's a lot to be said about this movie, both positive and negative. I won't go into it deeply here, because if you're all that interested you can find thorough reviews elsewhere.

What interests me most was a concept explained by one of the interviewees of the film. He said that closeted people often have an "I'm strong, you're weak" attitude. The assertion is that coming out of the closet is taking the easy route, and conversely, the person who refuses to discuss his or her sexuality is actually walking a more difficult, more noble path.

Of course, this is bunk. Out people are not following the path of least resistance--on the contrary, we face all kinds of discrimination and loss of opportunities because of being out.

The discernment that I make her is that yes, in a way, closeted people do have to work harder. They must compartmentalize their lives and work every hour of the day to keep those compartments separate. They must expend incredible amounts of energy lying to almost everyone in their lives. In that sense, yes, the out person has an easier life, because we don't have to play those elaborate games.

However, there is nothing noble about the lies that closeted people tell. The challenge of living a dual life is not greater than the challenge of living an open, out life. Even if it was, no credit for that work is earned by the dishonest person. Credit goes to those people who have the courage to be honest.

This concept especially struck me, because I think I have encountered it many times in my life, though I have never been able to articulate it. Now that the idea is crystallized in my mind, I am better prepared for the closeted person who tries to look down their nose a me.

A final note: I am sick of Jim McGreevy. He is generally portrayed in this movie as a noble, enlightened sort of guy who realized the error of his dual life and corrected it. Maybe I have it all wrong, but as I read the story, he only came out when he was caught in his indiscretions. I'm sorry, but coming out because your lies are found out is not noble. McGreevy is not a shining example of anything other than a sad coward trying to capitalize on the fact that he couldn't play the game as well as some. Dude, just shut up and go away.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Order! Order in this kitchen!

Above: our kitchen before new shelving (but after John had already cleaned it out a lot--I couldn't take a pic of how cluttered it was before that). Below are a couple "after" pics.

Some say that a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.

Um, yes. I am sick. Terribly, terminally ill in my head. Not only do I have an organized desk, I like to have an organized home. I like everything to have a place and be in it.

Of course, I don't always succeed. There are times when my dirty laundry and dirty dishes pile up. It's always a challenge for me to see a project all the way through to the end, including cleanup--all too often I find myself living among the pieces of a half-baked scheme or the detritus of a weekend whim.

Clutter is like awful static for me. My eyes can't focus on it. They slide off, looking for any unblemished surface. My senses shut down and my world begins to contract, until I am paralyzed in the small areas that remain relatively neat. I become uninterested in starting new projects or putting my space to its proper use, because I'm daunted by the noise.

Yeah, yeah, I know you feel this way too. Most do. But darlings, I am afflicted with this to a degree that I can't put into words. And I think it's getting worse as I get older.

I'm becoming my mother.

On the up side, I now have a roommate who understands this. John appreciates surfaces. Last night he and I went a little gangbuster crazy on our kitchen. I am immensely pleased with the results. I can't wait to cook in there--in fact, I already have the perfect recipe for tonight.

There are several young punk kids living on the second floor of our building. They're absolutely adorable--authentic, anarchists, destroyers, chaotic, circus freaks, head bangers, tattoed, long haired, insane kids. They're dirty, sullen, and indifferent to consequences in a way that only our post-grunge, post-everything culture can produce.

But if you want true depravity, look for it in the details. It's very easy to embrace chaos. One must be deeply disturbed to try imposing order.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Yeah, right.

Above: two weeks ago, Daisy and I went on walkabout to Roosevelt Island on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Ain't he cute?

I spend way too much time on Facebook lately. That is one big element that has cut into my blogging. I post so much there, especially pics, that I don't feel the urge to re-tell my stories here. That's a bit silly, of course, because writing is nothing like uploading a few iPhone pics.

Another annoyance about Facebook is the groups and pages some people create. Today I had an invitation to join a group called "Sarcasm!" Someone out there wants me to "become a fan" of it!

Sarcasm is an insincere form of expression. You're saying the opposite of what you mean. The Webster's definition says it is used to "cut or give pain;" it is "bitter," "caustic," and "often directed at an individual." In other words, it's not nice.

Much has been written about the origin of the bitter, sarcastic tone that is so often used by queer people. Some think that it's a mechanism learned to survive the discrimination and hurt inflicted by a world which torments minorities. I tend to agree.

I can be a sarcastic, sardonic, bitter, ironic, and all of those bitchy things, with the best of them. Lately I've chosen to avoid all that, in the hopes that I'll get something nicer out of life, having put something nicer into it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Still

Above: a photo I took last weekend while in Vermont, as photoshopped by Chris S. to remove some power lines.

I have resolved to write as often as possible, preferably every day, in order to build my blog momentum once again.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure what to write about today. The zillion topics zooming through my brain all seem banal when reduced to writing.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Long Time Gone

I haven't been writing much lately. Life has been full of changes, at work, at home, with my family, and with my health. I have had a very busy six months or so.

Everything is going well, now. I have many fun projects on my list and lots of fun adventures on the horizon.

I hope this Summer will bring more time for reflection and writing.

I was in Vermont last weekend at the first work weekend of the season at Faerie Camp Destiny. We started planting the garden and getting the land open. I made a little video, which I'll try to post below, that shows some of our handiwork.

I am trying to write from a new place--a quiet place. In the past I've written the most when upset. I become loquacious when offended or emotional. I rant. I rave. I emote. All of that is fine, and often interesting to read, I'd just like to find my creative spark when I'm mentally in a calm, centered place.

I was quiet this weekend in Vermont. I often "lose my words" when there. More correctly, I lose my urge to speak: that little push that forces the words from my stream of consciousness out my mouth. It's a pleasant sort of effect. I spend more time examining the stream and choosing carefully what I want to express, so that my words of substance tend to be a little closer to the poetry I'd always like them to be.

This weekend, some of the quietness was simple fatigue. I am seriously allergic to Spring and the things that trees do during the season. I had to take so much medication to control my allergic reaction that I ended up rather lethargic, and while I could force myself to garden in order to keep my body moving and engaged, it was difficult to do the same with my mind. I spent too much time zoning out, instead of carefully reflecting.

I have a feeling I missed some of the lower volume, lower frequency rumblings of this weekend's song. I hope those harmonies will appear again when I'm better able to listen and join in.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

IV

She watched the stars
Through boughs burdened
Low by glistening leaves
Ready to let go

Crystal dagger icicle
heartbeat drops fall on snow
splashing razor thin lines
In circles

Slick sheets
Require baby steps
Elusive searching
For solid ground

Gusts kick up
Change and debris
Skidding across worlds
To young abodes

Friday, January 16, 2009

Strangers in a strange land.

We come from Planet Purple

Where everything is purple

And people are all the same

All the boys are named Paul

All the girls are named Pauline

And everything is purple


One day Lady Elaine Fairchilde

Of the Neighborhood of Make Believe

Found the Planet Purple

And traveled back to Earth

With our friend the Purple Panda

To learn more about your planet


On Earth the Purple Panda learned

That people can be different

And there are many colors

Like blue, green, orange, and pink!

Purple Panda traveled home

And told the Purple People what he learned


We were tired of all being purple and same

So we decided to be different

Now some boys are girlie

And some girls are boy-ish

And Purple People aren’t all purple

And we all have different names


This is your invitation

To join the Purple People

Who struggle to be different

While loving each other the same



Christian H.


Inspired by

If We Were All The Same

Fred Rogers, 1988








Photo credit for the last two pics: Chris Scanlon

Monday, January 12, 2009

III

She watched the stars
Through boughs burdened
Low by glistening leaves
Ready to let go

Crystal dagger icicle
heartbeat drops fall on snow
splashing razor thin lines
In circles

Slick sheets
Require baby steps
Elusive searching
For solid ground

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Justin Bond: Rites

Howdy, y'all!

2009 is off to a really good start. The universe has been kind to me lately. I'm knocking on every kind of wood.

I'll have a post up soon looking back at 2008, but in the meanwhile, I figure the best gratitude I can show for my happiness is to share it with my friends and throw a party!

Pre-Party for Justin Bond: Rites
January 25, 2009
7:00pm
Christian's Crib
Cocktails, beer, and seasonal nosh.

Justin's show starts at 10:00pm at the Zipper Factory theater, which is on my block. Buy tickets for $20 through his site (link above).

Email me for address and directions, if needed. (riotpuprex at gmail dot com)

Please RSVP directly or through Facebook so I can make my plans.

I'm thinking of some fun Justin-themed party games for before and during the show.

I'll be dressing up in something sparkly/insane and I hope you'll feel inspired to pull a say-something outfit out of your closet. I know they're in there. Don't make me invade your wardrobes.

Happy 200FINE!!!