Friday, September 26, 2008

warm summer day

John shot himself in the heart on a warm summer day. The lawns were freshly mowed and vivid green. The rose garden outside his window was in full bloom, a bouquet of yellow blossoms. The sun beat down against his leaded glass beveled window, but was blocked by his dark velvet drapes.

I know precisely what took place, but I have no idea what happened. We were all aware of his deteriorating mental state- his increased anxiety and his troubled sleep, so one could easily assume an impulsive move, but evidence has shown that not to be the case. Every door was carefully locked. His jewelry had been removed and stored away. And most compelling, a note was found after the event that had been written several days previously.

Now a bit of background. He had undergone invasive heart surgery the previous summer. The doctor pronounced the surgery a success, but the patient didn't fully recover. From that event, he became paranoid about his health. That late fall, he was hospitalized for observation. He stopped drinking and improved greatly, but then slipped back into his old ways. His psychiatrist, unaware of his alcohol consumption, tried to help and prescribed an anti-psychotic drug, Zyprexa. This drug is not intended to be mixed with alcohol, and several suicides have been linked to the combination. So the drug's culpability cannot be dismissed, especially considering the off brand bottle of found vodka next to his bed. This is why I say I know exactly what took place, but I have no idea what happened. And sadly, I never will.

I lied for over a year. I felt I had to, for John, for his partner Ken, for his friends, for myself, for the myth of all of us. I was at the house the following day, with the challenging task of making calls from his personal telephone ledger. Many people, upon hearing the news, asked if it was his heart. I said yes, and stopped at that. I thought I was protecting him, but I was lying.

In the end, he was in control of the facts and I was not. John shot himself in the heart on a warm summer day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

head of skate

Okay, its been over a week since any Sarah bashing, so I guess it's time from some more.

Matt Damon suggested her candidcacy was akin to one of those terrible Disney comedies, the fun folks at College Humor decided to take him up on the idea.

Have a look:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

long distance dedication

For someone very special and his friends commemorating an important milestone, a fresh take by Jason Mraz on one of my all time favorites.

May the richness of love and the intricate texture of memory keep you warm today and always.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

out of the blue

That handsome fella over at Bluealto has taggged me with a meme, 25 Things Every Gentlemen should know. It's actually kind of a fun pop quiz, and eliminates the need for actual writing today. So here it is. Might even give you some actual insight if you care to delve that far. Affirmative answers are in bold. Here we go:

Change a flat tire. Dad was a car collector and I spent many a summer vacaction on a week long Classic Car Caravan. As a result, there is very little I haven't done with cars, including extinguising a burning 1938 Buick on the side of I-94 in downtown Milwaukee, and repairing an overheating 1929 Cadillac with a vegetable brush and duct tape. Third-generation gearhead.

Carve a turkey. Dad's job and I haven't usurped it.

Tie a bow tie. Yes.

Have a tailor who knows your measurements. Yes, but he doesn't speak a word of english. It's LA, after all

Open a bottle of champagne. Yes, with barely a whisper.

Change the car oil. See #1.

Can recommend a good barber. Definately. In the past I have introduced boyfriends to my own barber, all but one of them still go to him.

Tie a bowline, clove hitch, and a square knot. Bowline, yes.

Chop wood. Summer vacations in Northern Michigan.

Shoot a rifle. No. Pistol range yes, rifle no.

Make a dry Martini. Hand crushed ice, metallic shaker, vermouth from an atomizer, and devastatingly chilled. Two olives.

Keep a checkbook balanced. e-banking. What's a checkbook?

BBQ. Raised in the suburbs, Grilled hog parts are my birthright.

Lay a fire. Michigan winters.

Change a fuse. See #1.

Polish shoes. Yes, but dont do it often enough

Read and understand stock quotes. BA in Business, minor in economics. So how did I end up here?

Keep score at a baseball game. Kept statistics for a gay softball team circa 1989. I only did it for the locker room access.

Jump start a car. In my sleep if needed. Even 6 volt to 12.

Know how to throw a punch. Havent needed to thus far.

Own a tux. Two. My favroite is blue sharkskin from 1958. Purchased new by my father. Possibly my favorite garment ever.

Know how to judge a new wine. Not as I should.

Do your own taxes at least once in your life. Dad is a CPA. I was doing taxes for Subchapter S corporations in college. But my own I do not.

Know how to play poker. Canasta yes. Poker, no.

Carry a handkerchief. In which pocket?

Monday, September 22, 2008

sticks and stones

Michael's father beat him as a child, for the most mild of provocation, or perhaps for none at all. The cheerful, smiling redheaded Irish lad with the bright blue eyes and the gentle soul recalls violence when he tries to remember his childhood. Other memories are relegated to the back seat. As a pre-teenager, he would spend weekends with his grandparents under the guise of helping them with chores as an attempt to minimize the danger. Finally, after several years, Michael grew taller than his Dad. The physical abuse stopped but the relationship was never more than tepid.

Although there were no visible scars, damage had clearly been done. As much as I tried, I couldn't love him enough to make him forget the hurt. As tightly as I held him at night, it never fully made the pain go away.

Two years ago, his Dad had a stroke and was placed in long term care. Michael was there every weekend and literally, every spare moment. For over a year. I know in his heart he was looking for his father to have some revelation about how wrongfully he had treated his young son all those years ago, but that was not going to happen. That person was simply long gone, and the feeble soul that had been left in his place would not address or did not recall what had happened.

One day we were talking about it and I asked why he kept going down to see him, knowing that he will never hear the apology he wanted so badly. He told me that he knew those words weren't coming, but that he wanted his Dad to see what a father and son were supposed to be like.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sunday drive: number please

Here is the latest in my Sunday Drive series, although I shot the pictures entirely on foot and it was technically on a Wednesday. But my devoted readers expect a Sunday drive and so I will not disappoint. Just think of it as a VERY short drive.

Things have been going well in the new showroom. I fit in well and have proven to be quite handy to have around. The most unexpected part of all this is the change in my daily commute. A year ago, I was driving forty-four miles per day. After my move in December, I cut that down to three and a half miles. But now, it's a two block walk to the new job. Two blocks. For the first time in my adult life, I walk to work. I walk home for lunch. For after work errands, I walk home and get the car.

Last week, I drove the car a total of twenty-one miles including a trip to West Hollywood for dinner. I think I used it three times. It's getting a layer of dust under the carport, but otherwise seems quite snug and content.

You all know how much I like signage- so for today's walk I'm focusing on the house numbers I stroll by each day, along with a couple of irresistible details. By their font and style you can easily decode the character of my neighborhood- the forties Garden Apartments, the fifties Cinderella Ranch houses, the ultra modern sixties apartments with their balconies, the dark wood trimmed Mork and Mindy buildings of the seventies and the modern condos. You know, the ones that look like a 90's interpretation of a 20's interpretaion of a Spanish Mission. They're all here, and all represented for your enjoyment- the Architectural Sampler Platter in which I live.

Ladies and gentlemen, join me on my morning commute:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

in my solitude

I don't need to glance at the calendar, the crisp coolness of the evening air tells me that autumn has arrived. There won't be much turning of leaves here, and the lawns will stay lush and green throughout the winter, so aside from the temperature, there won't be much obvious demarcation of seasons.

I've been busy since the breakup with the "straight boyfriend". A new job, a move, losing my Mom, switching showrooms, a couple of hundred posts. A lot has happened. That plus the lack of obvious seasonal variation just kind of lets everything run together on a continuous path. Only when I stop and look at my planner do I see that December, 2006 was a long time ago.

In most ways, I have moved on. I don't miss him like I did. I'm at peace being past it all and would not want it back. I don't see him unless he drops in unexpectedly, but with my job change and his, that is thankfully infrequent. I rarely take his calls, and reply to messages left with a text response. My friends say I'm looking great, just over 25 pounds off with more to come. I'll never be a rail again but am told I make a good cub. In many ways, things are much calmer now.

Except that I'm not able to date. Not since then. I spent time with friends, I hang out with my ex, Michael, with whom I still have a bond that has turned into an enduring friendship. But not a date. Not a coffee, not a movie, nothing. It's like that part of me is just missing now. I've pretty much forgotten what it is like to be held at night by anything other than a cat.

And that, children, is a problem. I'm only a thousand and seven (although I easily pass for a thousand and two) and I really don't want to end up this way. I think I have something to offer, but the notion of going to a bar is sheer torture and shall we say my experience on the net has not been compelling.

I've considered moving back to the Midwest because the guys there seem so much more down to earth, but every morning when I step out my door, I am just so amazed by the weather that the prospect of leaving it seems unbearable. Have I chosen weather over partnership?

Knowing what is missing, but no idea how to find it, I'm turning now to a little audio consolation. Here's a 1952 recording of the unforgettable Billie Holiday. It's mostly appropriate, except that I don't want him. But I do want someone. Perhaps someone you know?

Take a listen:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

harold and maude

Unexpected happy news. My beloved Aero Theatre is showing Harold and Maude tonight. Too short notice for anyone to accompany, but I'll be there. And just to remind you all what a cinematic gem it is, take a look at the trailer.

I'll be dreaming of '59 Cadillac coaches tonight.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

the low road

An excellent, excellent commerical in which Obama strikes back- take a look:

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This is too good. Tina Fey is a Goddess.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

crisp clear morning

I was uncharacteristically awake at 5 am. Not one of those moments of awake where I then roll over and fall back asleep, but stone cold awake.

I decided to take a pre-dawn drive to relax myself. It's an hour of day where LA freeways are pretty much wide open. I took the 101 to the 405 to Mulholland, and drove back along the apex of the hills on a twisty two-lane mountain road. The sun gradually rose revealing a crisp, clear morning- cloudless and glorious. To my left was the San Fernando Valley, on my right was Hollywood. It all seemed so very serene.

I was smiling and relaxed when I pulled the car back into the garage at just after 6 am. Just what I needed- a glorious morning. Then I came inside and logged onto the computer just in time to read that the first tower had fallen.

To those who were lost, I wish eternal rest and peace.

To the families that are still trying to cope with their loss, I wish love and strength.

To the politicians who have usurped this tragedy and used it to rationalize an aggressive action totally unrelated to this, I wish eternal damnnation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ellen and portia

Words are superflous. Congratulations.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

caribou barbie

From the good natured folks at, finally some Sarah Palin news we can rejoice in. Here's the Caribou Barbie doll, complete with M-16, Lady Yamaha snowmobile, sexy glasses, briefcase containing her one speech (and Karl Rove's brain), and a dead caribou.

Optional play sets are expected to include:

Bridge to Nowhere Play Set- She can take turns being for it and against it. The bridge set comes complete with four hundred million dollars of play money, and two unpopulated pieces of land to link together.

Hockey Arena Play Set- Impress your friends and burden your hometown with at least fifteen million dollars of debt. Kit includes arena, hockey mom parka and lipstick, and undeeded tract of land to build on. Caution: Will cause expensive and protracted lawsuits.

Other fun play sets include the Bookburning Set and the Bill-To-Victim Rape Kit.

Watch out for it soon!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

flaming mom

Because of my extreme youth at the time, I cannot precisely recall the circumstances by which Mother caught herself on fire. But let me illustrate as much of the picture as I can.

It is the late summer of 1970. I recall that her right wrist was in a cast as a result of a bowling league mishap. This in itself wasn't all that significant, she had so many mishaps in the mid sixties that she owned her own crutches, and was given the nickname Miss Hospital by her yours truly. But this never slowed her down. So to slip a Qiana (TM) nylon blouse over her cast and act as if nothing had happened was totally in character.

Dad was out of town, in Atlanta at a CPA convention. He was due home that evening. Mom had decided at that moment to attack a crusted skillet on the stove with some type of chemical cleaner and steel wool. Perhaps the cast (yes, she was using that hand) caused her to bear down with More pressure than usual. All I recall is seeing the pan burst into flames, turning the blue and white floral Qiana (TM) blouse's sleeve into a seventies interpretation of Miss Liberty's torch.

Now this is where it gets a bit blurry. She was right handed, so her most adept hand was not only encased in plaster, it was further complicated by being wrapped in a layer of flaming Qiana (TM). It took her only a few precious moments to shed the rest of the garment, but the burning sleeve was stuck on the cast. With her free hand, she somehow managed to get to the Imperial Dishmaster spray brush and extinguish herself before any serious burns occurred. My adult mind pictures the advertisement, "I dreamt I evaded Self-Immolation in my Maidenform Bra". My eight year old self was simply traumatized.

When Dad arrived home a couple of hours later, the kitchen was a model of sparkling perfection, as was Mother. She had eliminated all signs of disaster, changed clothes, fixed her hair, and tied a dark colored sling over her blackened cast. Dad came through the door and remarked, "I've come from where it's hot". "Oh, so have I" she replied. "So have I".

It wasn't until the next day that he found the charred skillet in the trash.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

red handed

Dear Lying Sacks of Republican Elephant Dung:

Cameras make a permanent record of what you say to them.

Remember that.

sarah and me

Some of my loyal readers have gotten the impression that I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin. Wow, you guys are good.

I want to be clear though about my reasons. I do not oppose her because she's a woman. I look forward to the day a qualified woman runs for president. I was certainly hoping it would be this year. I just don't support this woman.

Even though John Mc Lame obviously believes that any woman will do, I do not. And lovely Sarah, with her lies, flip flops, wrongdoing investigation, and almost unbelievable lack of experience, even to the point of admitting on tape that she doesn't really know what the vice-president does, is not a person that I want to be next in line for the missile codes.

And then there's the right wing thing. This candidate is even to the right of James Dobson. She's an extreme 3-G Republican: Guns, God, and Gynecology. An "Every Sperm is Sacred" model. I don't intend to give her a Supreme Court.

Sarah Barracuda described herself as a pitbull with lipstick, and although I do think some pitbulls have redeeming qualities, on that point she told the truth. Bullying her seventeen year old daughter into a hasty marriage because of an unplanned pregnancy is more than an expose of the failed Republican Abstinence program- its a predictor of how she will bully us all to fit HER values.

thanks but no thanks for this candidate to nowhere

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

death race

Okay, one more

From band of thebes, via Joe.My.God

The Mat-Su Cinema in Wasilla, Alaska:

not flat busted

Lovely Sarah Palin advising the world that "I may be broke but I'm not flat busted"...

Perhaps this explains the lack of vetting?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

just say no

A most eloquent tribute to W's failed policy of abstinence only eductaion:

With apologies to all the untending parents this lunacy has created.

Monday, September 1, 2008

mc lame and mc dame

This about sums it up.....