Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Another hottie Boone brother. This time, it's Aaron Boone, 3rd Base for the New York Yankees. Click here to see a pic of just how hot he is....

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Weight: 197 lbs.

Wow! I've managed to stay below 200 lbs., even without the benefit of going to the gym! Changing your diet really does work, folks!! However, I will be glad to go back once this infection has cleared. Strange to say it, but I miss working out, all the activity, the cute guys.... But seriously, I was just starting to get into a groove with my arms looking better and my waist wasting away. I want to get back into that routine so I don't balloon again.

All things lacey and frilly

Sean's aunt surprised us with two tickets to see Steve Martin's new play The Underpants at the Geffen Playhouse yesterday. Unfortunately, she's back in Iowa tending to a sick relative and was unable to use the tickets. Instead of letting them go to waste, she offered them to us. (Thank you, D.!!)

The Underpants is an adaptation of Carl Sternheim's German expressionist play from the 1910's. It tells the story of what happens to Louise and Theo Maske after a startling event: while on tiptoe to see the King during a parade in his honor, Louise's underpants fall down. Naturally, this creates quite a commotion in the Maske household, especially as Theo works for the government and they are trying to rent one of their rooms to earn enough money to have a child. Two potential renters appear -- Versati, an Italian poet, and Cohen, a sickly barber -- both intrigued by the beautfiul lady whose fallen drawers ignited strong passions inside them. It may seem like a simple sexual farce on the outside, but the inner workings of the play question a woman's place in marriage (is she just another servant to be ordered around by her husband?) as well as where sex and intimacy fit into a relationship. Also, it reminds us of the feelings toward the Jews at that time. Cohen even goes so far to hide his ethnicity when asked his name: "Cohen...with a 'K."

Martin's adaptation left the characters in 1910 Germany, but updated some of the dialogue and some of the wit to make it more palatable to a modern audience. He definitley succeeded as the entire audience was continually in stitches. Filled with sight gags and verbal trickery (such as a reference to both the original play and to Louise's "wardrobe malfunction"), and flavored with sexual innuendo, even the elderly ladies sitting next to me were having a ball. All the actors performed wonderfully: Dan Castellaneta (voice of Homer Simpson) as Theo Maske; Meredith Patterson as his wife Louise; Amy Aquino as the nosy upstairs neighbor Gertrude; Anthony Crivello as Versati; Patrick Kerr as Cohen; Jack Betts as Klinglehoff; and Steve Vinovich as A Late Arrival. As a team, they meshed so incredibly well together that the dialogue and choreography flowed naturally, as if the parts were written with them in mind. John Rando's direction is flawless. (He won a Tony Award for his direction of Urinetown.) Fantastic costumes, lighting and sets, too.

I don't think that I've enjoyed a play this much in a long time. I seriously want to see it again!!!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Ads by Google
Just for everyone's information: the ads by Google are in no way endorsed by me. Especially the one that reads "Homosexuality Help." It's a site for those who no longer want to be gay, like Exodus only without the funding. As if homosexuality were a choice.

I can just imagine the TV commercial....

...a dimly lit stage. Camera focuses in on a man, wearing a black turtleneck so only his head is visible. His candle is lit. "Hello," he lisps. "My name is Bruce, and I'm a recovering homosexual." He lights the candle of the bull-dyke next to him. "Hi," she says. "My name is Rhonda, and I'm a recovering homosexual." She in turn tries to light the candle of the handsome man next to her, who is trying to peer around her to get a look at Bruce's ass. Hot wax drips onto his hand. "OUCH!" He sticks his burnt finger in his mouth and mumbles, "My name is Monty, and I'm in recovery -- I mean, a recovering homo....damned candle." The candle-lighting continues as a musak version of "I'm Coming Out" plays in the background...

How sad is that? It goes against the whole reason of my blog. I'm here, and I'm queer so keep that damned candle away from me!!!
What luck! Someone cancelled his/her appoint with my doctor so I was able to get in at 10:45 this morning. I still have the sinus infection, with clear lungs (no rales, crackles or wheezing). He's concerned that the first course of antibiotics didn't kill the entire infection so he prescribed a stronger one called Avelox (moxifloxacin). Keep your fingers crossed that this will kill the infection.
My cold-sinus-infection-bronchitis has not cleared up. In fact, I had such a bad coughing fit on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, that I didn't even manage to get any sleep until 4 AM on Thursday. Needless to say that I called in sick.

Which turns out to have been one of the worst things to do workwise. B. ate some bad sushi the night before and came down with a severe case of food poisoning so he wasn't going to arrive at work until about 10:30 AM. M. placed a service call in to her phone company, and they were supposed to show at her house around 8 AM. My office has only 3 people. When one of us is out sick or is on vacation, it's manageable. One handles the phones; the others handles the orders. But when two of us are out unexpectedly, we're in deep doo-doo. Fortunately, they never called so she came into work around 8:30. Crisis averted!!!!

I'm trying for an appointment late this afternoon to see my doctor. If they can't fit me in, I'll go to the walk-in clinic just down the street. I need to get well!!! I'm supposed to take my folks to Disneyland for their Anniversary next Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Some catchers look their best in uniform. Not to say anything against being out of the uniform, but as they say, clothes do make the man. This is an old pic of catchers Brad Ausmus (now with the Houston Astros) and Bill Haselman (with the Baltimore Orioles) from when they were teammates on the Texas Rangers.

pic from [http://rangers.siegler.net/images/players/billhaselman]

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Back in the '90s, I remember one of the biggest telelvision events in my life was the episode of Ellen in which she "comes out." Imagine the boost in my self-confidence when a big celebrity, in front of millions of people glued to their TVs, confessed over an airport microphone that she is gay. She had the courage to throw open the closet doors and step into the spotlight. My friends and I were overjoyed! We no longer felt alone in this great big world!

My favorite part of the show was that bit at the end, running behind the credits. Laura Dern sat at a table with Melissa Etheridge, who was checking items off a list. She pulled a box from beneath the counter and handed it to Laura. Lo and behold, it contained a toaster! I laughed hysterically over that! Later that week, my friend and I visited some of the clubs in West Hollywood, and we stopped in Don't Panic, a great gay t-shirt and gift shop. Rummaging through the piles of shirts, I found a white one with the simple phrase concerning toasters that you see way up top. I bought the shirt and proudly wore it as a symbol of my own homosexuality.

The best part? I didn't have to explain the message. Walking down the street, people laughed and smiled. A few cute guys even winked at me.

And I wonder, when do I get my toaster???

Monday, March 22, 2004

Yet another catcher, Jason Kendall of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Great smile, nice body, love the facial hair....

pic from [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb]

After reading over my last posting, I don't want to give the impression that I had a completely awful time on Saturday. Before we left Disneyland to windowshop and to watch the movie, we visited the Innoventions building to test drive a Segway. These are some of the coolest new modes of transportation. You stand on the platform while your body weight directs the forward/backward motion. The farther forward you lean, the faster you'll go. What I found interesting is that you literally think forward, and you move that way. Think stop, and you stop. The mind subconsciously tells the body what to do so when you imagine yourself moving forward, your body subtly leans forward, shifting your weight and making the Segway move. (Left and Right are controlled by a simple lever on the left-hand grip.)

I felt as though I were gliding across the floor, albeit a bit herky-jerky with the movements. It does take some getting used to. Sean couldn't get his to run properly because he couldn't find his center of gravity. Part of the operation of the Segway relies on that balance, otherwise the machine would constantly run backwards and forwards, and you could fall and hurt yourself. I felt bad for Sean because he wanted so bad to ride one; it was his idea to head for Innoventions in the first place.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Weight: 198 lbs.

I've managed to maintain my weight, without hitting the gym or my usual weekend treks up and down the beach! I will be happier, though, once this cough disappears and I can finally return to my exercise routine. In the meantime, cutting out the French fries and the soda seems to have paid off. (Can you believe that I haven't drunk a soda in almost three months?!)


Saturday, S. and I wanted to see Jim Carrey's latest film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind so I convinced him to drive to Downtown Disney for the film. Why there? In part, because the theater is very clean. Most theaters in our area offer sticky floors in outdated surroundings (remember the '70s and '80s?). The AMC at Disney is always clean, no trash in the aisles or spilled soda to glue your feet to the floor. I also suggested there because my folks want to go to Disneyland for their Anniversary next month so I wanted to buy tickets in advance. Which I learned can only be done online...when that part of the website is functional. I tried three times to purchase advance tickets and was rejected three times. The tech people told me that they were experiencing some technical difficulties. Which means that I'm SOL and must wait in line for 30 minutes to an hour to buy tickets. ...sigh...

We get into his car and, almost immediately, the griping starts. It's either about Hondas, slow drivers, the poor conditions of the streets, etc. etc. I finally told him that I didn't like him harping on Hondas and their drivers, that I was insulted. I asked him to stop doing it, and he said that he would stop the insults when in my presence. I didn't say anything more until we arrived at the park. The rest of the day was filled with more and more complaints. He doesn't like California Adventure because there' nothing to do. Mind you, he won't go on any of the attractions that are there, anyway. So we head for Disneyland which is wall-to-wall people. He starts in on how it's too crowded to do anything in this park. Strollers abound, some of the attractions are closed for rennovations, more insults about the types of people in the park....GOD!!!!! I wanted to throttle him!!!! It's like this every single time!! So often I've just wanted to tell him to shut up, to remind him that the park isn't just for him, to inform him that the reason certain people don't go to the parks with us anymore is because they can't stand his negative attitude toward EVERYTHING, to just walk away from him and find my own way home!! And not even at the parks! I've almost told him two or three times while listnening to his rants en route to South Coast Plaza to pull over and let me walk home.

My Dad wonders why we're still together.


We decided on a later showing of the movie. I called Clark to invite him after he finishes work for the day. We had a few hours to kill so Sean and I wandered through the shops, buying some new soaps at Basin, admiring the villages of Department 56 and perusing the books at Compass. Finally, around 7:15, Clark joined us for a quick bite before the movie. We devoured everything within a few miunutes and rushed to the theater.

The movie itself is not for everyone. You'll either really like it or really hate it. I happen to be one of the former. It's the story of a man who decides to have all the memories of his former relationship erased from his brain. Once the procedure starts, however, he changes his mind, albeit too late. We watch him struggle to save all the memories as parts of them start to disappear around him. A very unique story, with great effects and stylish direction and editing. Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson and Mark Ruffalo were fantastic. Elijah Wood was pretty good but underutilized. I highly recommend the film, but feel that many people won't like it. Anyone who goes based upon the trailers or commercials will be sorely disappointed.

But wouldn't it be interesting if we really could erase bad memories with a simple procedure? Would anyone seriously try it? I mean, I have a few bad memories of which a through cleansing would be most beneficial, but having someone probe around my brain, on a search and destroy mission? What if the wrong memory were erased?

I'd better get a move on. Clark's coming over tonight to watch a DVD, and I need to straighten up a bit.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

My coughing is slowly dying away. Very slowly. It's worse at night, but with a capfull of Robitussin, I sleep through most of the night. My doctor said that I have a sinus infection that has been aggravated by asthma. Or vice-versa. Either way, the prescribed antibiotic is helping, along with the inhaler.

I lunched with my Dad yesterday. Mom was out catching up on her bridge games so he and I met at the local Hoff's Hutt for some chicken torilla soup and good company. He showed me some of their pictures from a recent trip to Arizona and another to Palm Springs. We joked that he's finally convinced Mom to keep the trip lengths down to one week instead of the usual 3-4 weeks. He wants to enjoy his retirement. (lol) Even so, they've seen so much of California and the rest of the U.S. I'm extremely grateful that they forced my brother and me into the camping trips as we were growing up. I've seen Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Washington DC, Chicago; rafted down a quiet river in the Grand Tetons and fought the whitewater of the Shoshone in Wyoming; walked through the crown of the Statue of Liberty; wandered through the stalagmites of the Carlsbad Caverns; toured the battlefield at Gettysburg; and floated down the Mississippi in a riverboat from New Orleans. My brother and I still enjoy travel, each in our own way. He borrows my parents' motorhome and camps in the desert or the mountains, or drives up the coast with just a tent and his girlfriend. I prefer a plane, carrying me to the red beaches of Napili on Maui, to Paul Revere's house in Boston, to my cousin's apartment near the Prado in Madrid, and even to the magnificent Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

There are so many places that I still want to see, like Denali National Park in Alaska, and Stonehenge, and Easter Island. If money were only no object....

Anybody have a spare winning lottery ticket?

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Another hottie catcher to add to my list: Mike Piazza of the New York Mets. I guess I'm partial to him because he used to play for the Dodgers, and he's a catcher. Not that the whole pitcher/catcher thing in Gayland means anything to me. I happen to find catchers more attractive. And, yes, I do realize that this is a pic from his days with the Dodgers; he just looks so fine in that uniform....

pic from [http://www.mindspring.com/~vitaminqn/Baseball/]

Monday, March 15, 2004

Not a bad weekend, even if I was (and still am) a bit under the weather. Sean and I dined at Old World German Restaurant Friday night. Neither of us had eaten there in at least 5-6 years, and I can't understand why? The food was excellent! Real German food, prepared in the Bavarian style, I've been told. Sean ordered the Kasseler (sp?) which is a combination of German sausage and a grilled pork chop with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut (not the overly-pickled American version of it, either). I chose the Schnitzel "Weiner Art," which I found out from a co-worker, is schnitzel done in the Viennese style: a breaded pork cutlet, pan-fried and served with German fried potatoes. I could eat that every night!

We took it easy the rest of the weekend. I managed to make more headway with The Gaudy Image by William Talsman, with about 100 pages remaining. We also watched 4 DVDs: The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), L'Auberge Espagnole (2003), and It (1927). Actually, I watched all four; Sean watched two. (A big THANK YOU to my cousin for L'Auberge Espagnole. We both thoroughly enjoyed the film.)

My favorite has to be It, a romantic comedy from the Silent Era starring Clara Bow as a shopgirl who falls in love with her boss. Based on a short story by Elinor Glyn, this film brings to life the "It Factor" -- the amount of sex appeal that a star has on and off the screen. If you've never watched a silent film before, this is a great introduction to the medium. And, such a wonderful way to see how the world was back in the 1910s and 1920s -- the social mores, fashion, art, their views of the future and the past. Thank goodness many of these films are being transeferred to DVD!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Weight: 198 lbs.

I gained a pound during the week. Not too bad since I didn't go to the gym or take my morning walks. My allergies are getting the better of me, especially the annoying cough. It's not a productive one though it sounds as though it were breaking up something. My nose is stuffy, my ears feel clogged, and I have a very mild headache. But no fever. I'm making a doctor appointment tomorrow.


3/15/04: coughing up stuff, a little light-headed, left ear hurts. I have a dr. appointment tomorrow at 2 PM. I hate being sick....

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Another ball player: Luis Gonzalez, Left Field for the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Looks as though I am choosing my own fantasy team.)

pic from [http://www.luisgonzalez.net]

Friday, March 12, 2004

Touching the Void

Back in 1985, two young British climbers traveling through Peru, decided to tackle the west face of Siula Grande, an 21,000-foot, unclimbed peak of the Peruvian Andes. Joe Simpson and Simon Yates make the ascent with relatively little problems. On the fourth day, as they methodically work their way down, Joe stumbles and breaks his leg. Instead of leaving him, Simon works out a way to start lowering his companion slowly and steadily, using a combination of both their ropes. He unknowingly lowers him over a 300-foot crevasse. With no way for Joe to climb up and the snow quickly slipping away from beneath him, Simon makes a decision to cut the rope.

What follows in Touching the Void is the story of both mens' struggles to make it back to their base camp. Simon, assuming that his friend is dead, slowly trudges down the glacier, suffering from terrible guilt over what happened. Joe, not knowing if Simon is still alive, must find a way out of the crevasse, even with the terrible pain coming from his broken leg. This is a remarkable documentary from director Kevin MacDonald, based upon the book by Joe Simpson. Full of dizzying visuals, you really have the sense that you are with both the climbers during their ordeal, not just physically but, thanks to some unique camera work, mentally, as well. What's most astonishing, though, is that this is a true story. You start to forget that for a moment while watching, then Joe or Simon appears on the screen to narrate and to explain their emotions at the time.

I left the movie totally amazed at what those two went through. Just a remarkable film.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I IM'd my cousin earlier this morning to make sure that he and his partner weren't injured in the bombings in Madrid. (Please note that this news article link has at least one very graphic image.) They're both okay but fairly rattled by the events. Doug said that Rafa could see one of the trains from his office.

The Spanish government believes the ETA, or the Basque Separtists, are behind the bombings. Some US news reports state that government officials are casting an eye toward al-Qaeda because of Spain's involvement with the war in Iraq. From what my cousin has told me of the ETA, this doesn't seem like their style. They tend to target politicians, officials, police, etc., not civilians. Also, they usually call in some form of warning beforehand. That didn't happen.

The world is turning into one huge war zone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Okay, I have a thing for catchers in baseball. They're usually the best of the best (to me, anyway) so I'm adding another to my list: Jorge Posada of the New York Yankees. Tall, powerful, handsome. I wonder if I could start a fantasy baseball team with just catchers....

pics from [http://www.angelfire.com/nj4/jorge202]

I'm slowly teaching myself HTML. Not that I want to be an expert, but I would like to be dangerous enough to make this blog look halfway decent. Today's lesson involved re-sizing images, specifically that of Nomar. The original image is huge and takes up the entire screen. (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing....) I can't believe how easy it was to re-size. All I needed to do was to specify the WIDTH and the HEIGHT. Duh!


With the weird weather change we experienced over the weekend, my allergies went haywire. The entire week was cold, then Sunday, a surprise heat wave struck, sending temperatures into the 80s. I now have a full-fledged cold, complete with the nasal congestion and the deep, sexy voice. The gym is out of the question tonight so I'm just going to head home after work and relax. We've got tons of DVDs, and I have a stack of books. And a bottle of orange juice.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Nomar Garciaparra, Shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. He's also posed for a few muscle/fitness magazines. Woof!!

pic from [http://people.bu.edu/vickyc]

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Weight: 197 lbs. Yea!

What a weekend! On Friday, I met my parents for lunch near my work and was finally able to give Mom her birthday present: Norah Jones's CD Feels Like Home. Mom has two large scabs on her forehead and a number of scabs and bruises on her left arm from her fall earlier in the week. She said that she's feeling fine but has a doctor appointment scheduled for when they return from a trip to Palm Springs. Poor Dad. The tooth that broke during the birthday dinner at Water's is going to have a crown put on when they return. Also, my grandmother received a root canal as well as two crowns and numerous fillings within the past two weeks. Apparently, she called my Mom, sttating that her face hurt and that she didn't know what to do. Mom drove her to the doctor, who felt her face, perused the x-rays, and told her that she needed to see a dentist pronto. He prescribed some antibiotics because the infection was pretty fierce, causing all the pain and discomfort. Grandma has one more dental visit, then she should be done for a while. At least until her next cleaning.

Friday night, I returned about 7 PM from the gym. Sean complained that I was getting home too late, even after I had explained to him at the beginning of the year that I was going to workout after work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It's one of my resoultions to lose weight. He KNOWS that. He also knows that I've been going to the gym MWF since we started seeing each other. He had wanted to meet for dinner, but it was too late in the evening. (Now, don't overlook the fact that he didn't bother to call or to send an email to me at work about this. I had no forewarning. If I had known, I would have cancelled the workout, like I did when we went to Dave & Buster's while his grandmothers were here.) We ended up going out for dinner anyway, to the Karl Strauss Brewery. I was good and ordered a grilled turkey burger with melted gorgonzola cheese and cole slaw on the side.

Saturday, we were to meet friends later in the evening for dinner and a play in San Juan Capistrano so we decided to see Hidalgo in that part of the county. The movie started at 12:20 PM so we left early to make sure we arrived on time, driving from Huntington Beach to Mission Viejo which is about a 20-25 mile span. Once in the car, it was a non-stop barrage of how much he hates California (I'm a native Californian), all drivers are complete idiots, especially those that drive Hondas (I drive a Honda), asking if I know how to get where we're going and then not listening to my directions at all, and once we arrived at the theater -- 1 hour before it started (the theater wasn't even open) -- complaining that he didn't want to see the movie there afterall and did I know of another theater in the area. Fortunately, I did as my parents live near there. So we drove another 20 minutes to reach that theater, with him asking every 2-3 minutes if I knew where we were going. We made it with 10 minutes to spare!! Once inside the theater itself, he harped on how small the screen was and that no one wanted to watch a movie on that small of a screen. (It was standard size! With stadium seating! What more do you want?!)

The rest of the day was pretty much the same, him ignoring completely what I told him, not letting me finish a comment, or making me feel like an idiot. I know what some of you -- J. you know who you are -- are going to say, and I've been wondering why we're still together, too, because it's always like this. I'm so completely frustrated and disenchanted with our relationship. (There's much more to it than just the preceding statments....) AAGGHH!!!!


We arrived early for dinner in San Juan so we wandered through the old adobe section near Los Rios St.. Some of the original adobes from the late 1800's still stand, with a few still used as homes for the original family or converted into shops, restuarants or other businesses. Los Rios St. is such an interesting glimpse into early life in California, seeing how people lived, the kind of materials they used for homes. It's such a contrast to the hustle and bustle and new home building that's going on in the county nowadays. Sean snapped a few pics, then we headed for the restaurant: Sarducci's Capistrano Depot. The city converted their original 1894 train depot into a restaurant, seeing as how fewer people are traveling by train these days. Oh, the Amtrak and Metrolink still stop there, but the days of the manned train depot are long gone. Now, it serves so-so food. My grilled citrus pork salad tasted more like a bed of dirty weeds picked from along the railroad tracks. (At least it was free.)

After dinner, we walked to the Camino Real Playhouse just a block away. The play we were to see was an original, musical melodrama called Showdown at Rainbow Ranch. Set in 1898 San Juan Cpaistrano, beatufiul young Rainbow is about ready to make the last payment on her mortgage for the Rainbow Ranch, and then it will be hers, free and clear. But the evil banker Cadwell Cleaver wants the ranch for his own because of the new railroad that is to be going through the town. Not the greatest story ever told, but it's a melodrama! We booed and hissed at the villain (and threw foam stones at him); we sighed for the lovely Rainbow; we cheered for the dashing young hero (who couldn't carry a tune if you put it in a bucket with a handle). We had so much fun that we didn't care how good or bad it was. I had tears from all the laughing! No one from our group could stop talking about the show or how much fun it was once we left the theater. To me, that's a good sign.


Updating my list, as I've recently finished Tonio Kröger by Thomas Mann. Not much has changed, though. I need to finish two of these books since they've been on the list for at least a month!

  • In the Land of White Death by Valerian Albanov (trans. by David Roberts)
  • The Ides of March by Thornton Wilder
  • The Gaudy Image by William Talsman

Friday, March 05, 2004

The Boys of Summer

As pointed out in another blog, it's time once again for my favorite spectators sport: baseball. Chock full of some of the strongest and best-looking male athletes, it's also one of the few sports which holds my interest as a sport. (Okay, I enjoy bowling, too, but baseball is much more fun to watch.) I get into the game whether I'm watching on TV or sitting in the stands. And, when the Angels battled in the World Series, I watched every game.

So, as the weeks progress, I am going to post a pic or two of my favorite players, both because they're great at the game and they're a bunch of hotties. With that said, the first is: Bret Boone, second base for the Seattle Mariners.

pic from [http://www.bretboone.org/Boonie_Gallery]

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Flashback to Saturday's Walk

Morning after a heavy rain. The smog rests too far offshore to see, thanks to the night winds. A few brilliant white clouds hover motionless in the clear blue sky. I squint not just because of the brightness of the sun, but the cool wind swells the tears in my eyes. An inner defense to keep them from drying, I suppose.

15 minutes have passed since I started my walk. The downward grade moves me steadily toward the surfers and campers at Bolsa Chica, but at this single moment, I am alone. The other walkers, joggers and cyclsits are far ahead. To my left, the white sand dunes flow to the ocean. An occasional stranger stands facing the water staring out past the surfers who dot the ocean swells. I savor the muffled pounding of the waves, watching the water change from dark blue to jade green before it scrambles up the beach. A gathering of pelicans floats at a distance from the surfers, every so often one disappearing into the ocean to find breakfast. Still farther, the oil derricks stand out like forgotten tree stumps. And, farther still, just out of reach of the few sailboats, sits the island of Santa Catalina, shrouded in misty white.

To my right, Pacific Coast Highway stretches North and South, free from traffic. I look over the empty lanes, across the wetlands with the aqutic birds and oil wells. Houses and other buildings shrink away as my eyes are drawn farther and farther East, toward the dark brown mountains. The bases lay hidden beneath a bank of low clouds, but the tops rise up, covered with a thick blanket of snow.

I breath in the clean air.
A bell rings.
I quickstep to my right to allow the bicycle to pass.
I decided to update the sidebar, with all the links and blogs. Too messy, it was, and no one likes a messy blog. I also thought about changing what I write on here, especially after seeing dozens of other gay-oriented blogs discussing gay marriage and gay politics. But I realized, that's not me, and it would make this just another blog regurgitating what's already out there. So I have added a link to The Pride Project, which is a blog full of information and essays about all things political in the gay world. I'm too lazy to be an activist....

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Good news for my brother: he went back to work yesterday! Woo hoo! Finally! The whole family is incredibly happy that the stirke is over and that he is going back to 40 hours per week. Only two employees from his store are going back at that amount of hours. His girlfriend is supposed to return part-time, as she is enrolled at CSU Long Beach. Hooray for both of them!!

I learned from my Dad last night that Mom fell in the guest room, hitting her head on the couch and blacking out for a few minutes. Her forehead is cut and bruised as his her right arm. I insisted that Dad take her to a doctor immediately, but he said that she was fine and didn't want to go. "What can you do?" he said. "She's in her 60s, and there's no getting her to do something she doesn't want to." Parents! At least I convinced him to watch her for the next 24 hours and to quickly get her to a doctor if she starts feeling dizzy or nauseous.

Met with Joel and Clark at The Center last night, and we talked about the Oscars, the new lcoation of The Center, relationships (mine in particular), and sci-fi books. (What is mainstream and what is real sci-fi.) Great conversation! I feel so adult now. :->

A Weird Dream

This is the tail end of a dream from last night. The only part of the dream that I remember, actually, because I found it somewhat disturbing.

...My family is sailing up a river on a catamaran/houseboat. My folks are up top with my brother, while I'm hanging on to one of the pontoons with my grandmother as it skims along the dark blue water. She and I are laughing, having a good time, when the boat capsizes. I try to steady the boat so it doesn't hit my grandmother, but manage to find myself underwater. I resurface among my mother, father and brother. The boat is completely gone. I scan the water for my grandmother and spot her up-current of us, bobbing along and smiling. I try to swim the current to reach her, but don't go anywhere. I yell to her to swim into the current so that she can float down to us. She pays no attention, just smiles and bobs along...

I woke myself because I didn't like the feeling that I had, that she was leaving us. My grandmother is in her 80s and has been having some memory and mobility issues. I guess I'm just bothered that something I don't want to think about is coming quickly.

Monday, March 01, 2004

And the winner is...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King walked away with 11 Oscars™ last night, winning each category in which it was nominated. Only three other films swept their categories: Gigi, It Happened One Night, and The Last Emperor. RotK also ties Ben-Hur and Titanic with the most Oscars™. Not a very surprising night as everyone who was expected to win, did. Billy Crystal did a fine job as host, and I laughed hysterically during his opening film montage.

Family Shtuff

The supermarket strike is officially over so G. and his girlfriend will finally be able to get back to work. Yea! He's hated walkling the lines, especially since both walkers and line crossers were starting to get nasty to one another. My Dad feels much better, though he still has a congested cough. That's the worst thing about bronchial pneumonia: the cough lingers for weeks afterward, no matter how much cough syrup and lozenges you use.

The Center Gala

I finished work the table designations on Sunday for the Center's Gala Dinner to be held on March 13th. With the theme of a 1920s Prohibition Speakeasy, the committee decided to embellish the menus at each table, designating one of 63 famous people from the Jazz Age to represent each table: Marlene Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, Darryl F. Zanuck, Adrain, Josephine Baker, et al. My job was to research the people and to create a small, half-page biography for each. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Quite a few of the people had no biographies anywhere online, such as William Haines, an openly gay actor from the 1920s who was the biggest male star of the silent era. Others had pages and pages of information. Just take a look at Josephine Baker's Official Site to give you an idea. (I wanted to include so much of her information. She was an amazing woman, smuggling correspondence in her sheet music for the French Resistance during WWI, fighting racsim and Walter Winchell by adopting 14 children of varying religious and ethnic backgrounds, and proving that a black woman did have a place in the entertainment industry of the '20s.) The White House's site proved invaluable for information regarding past presidents. And, if you ever wanted to know anything about gangsters, mobsters or other famous criminals, check out Court TV's Crime Library. I found so much information from this site alone for Bonnie & Clyde, Al Capone and "Baby Face" Nelson.

The task did seem daunting at first. But I began to enjoy reading all the information, learning about the people behind the famous names. I didn't know about William Haines or that director George Cukor was openly gay. (Clark pointed out one of the gay Hollywood party sequences in God and Monsters takes place at his home.) This has certainly whetted my appetite to learn more about the 1920s.