May 28, 2010
The theme is 1 plus 1 equals 2, and features our smilin' mugs separately on the faces of loonies (the Canadian $1 coin), and then together on a $2 bill (which we don't have anymore, not that this is legal tender anyway...)
It is the work of Brent Ray Fraser, a terrific Vancouver artist who is a friend of Jen's. I already own a piece of his stuff, which is all amazing and innovative and cool and interesting and beautiful.
Super thanks to Jen and Brent!
You can check out Brent's work @ http://www.brentrayfraser.com/.
May 27, 2010
Malawi is dependent on foreign aid from places like the US and the UK. Shouldn't they be doing something here? Are our governments even speaking out against this?
May 25, 2010
During a 90-minute delay on the runway in Denver due to hydraulic problems in our airplane (nothing scary there), I finished the book I was reading, consumed salty peanuts, discovered that hummus should not be served in a squeeze tube, and spent some time cruising the Skymall catalogue, where I discovered important and exciting new things...
1- a seven foot, $2300 inflatable alien costume
2- a swimming kaleidoscopic fish for your pool
4- a variety of really unattractive garden sculptures
5- a twisting scooter called the Whiplash ---- now that sounds safe
7- a voice-activated R2D2
8- a telekenetic obstacle course that uses your brain waves to maneuver a ball
9- an underwater light show and fountain
10- a dog kennel / coffee table combo
12- various iPhone attachments and chargers
14- a life-sized King Tut sarcophagus cabinet with 14 storage shelves
15- club box seats from Fenway Park
17- the Face Trainer surgery-free face lift
18- the Hollywood Cookie Diet...
... and oh so much more! Check out skymall for gizmos gadgets and wacky crap galore. Do people actually buy this stuff?
May 24, 2010
May 22, 2010
Yes, there are homophobes, as close as my own family and and as far as Malawi, who think we are undermining the foundations of civilization. We know they are wrong. We are starting a family. With education and time, and eventually an open heart and open mind, they will come around...
And yes those are our engagement rings above; pretty awesome, huh?
Have a terrific week...
May 16, 2010
When our friends Kathryn and Gwenn decided to throw us a bachelor party, we were happy and flattered and... confused? What does a gay bachelor party look like? Uh, okay, that sounds like a Rock Hudson movie or a cheezy porn flick... THE GAY BACHELOR PARTY.
The only gay bachelor party I have been to, which was tied to the only gay wedding I have been to, involved an underwashed casino and an underfed stripper. And while it was a fun evening, it was not really up our alley.
We aren't big drinkers, not that into strippers etc (been there, done that), and as we are in our early 40s, let's say the bachelor party has been had. After us both being single and out there for so long, the 12-inch extended disco remix of bachelorhood had been lived. Been there, done that.
Then the idea of a bowling party came up -- fun activity, silly rented shoes, all ages friendly, and mountains of deep fried food. We were 17 people, ages 10 to 75, and had a hoot.
And it was educational. So here is what I learned at our (G-rated) bachelor party:
1- Don't focus so much on your attire, as your loving (evil) friends will also plan for what the happy couple wears. I chose Burberry, they chose crazy loud Hawaiian shirts from Value Village.
2- Pizza, pop, deep fried zucchini, onion rings, french fries, and beer will cover all the major food groups.
3- People at bowling alleys have a wacky (ie totally fucked) idea of how much food you will eat. Four gargantuan trays of fried crap and four super large pizzas is not food for 17, it's food for 30. We tried to gain like twenty pounds each and still couldn't eat all that!
4- You can't cheat with automated overhead projected score keeping.
5- Aim low - figure if you are not the absolute worst bowler of all the adults, then you win. Screw that, beat the kid and you still win.
6- Do not think about who has worn those rented shoes before you. Just don't.
7- You want to surprise the two grooms during the evening? Bring out their new pirate outfits -- hat, earring, eye patch -- to add to the loud Hawaiian shirts.
8- The red striped balls are not luckier, despite what the asshole actually knocking pins down says.
9- My future father-in-law was a bowling shark in a previous life. Who knew?
10- Everybody loves prizes, especially for significant accomplishments like best dressed bowler, most stylish bowler, and worst bowler. And when the prizes including future keepsakes and heirlooms like dinosaur noses, soap that turns your hands black, and handcuffs, how could you go wrong?
... Thanks to K and G for a fun fun night!
May 14, 2010
I have however just read Like Me by Chely Wright; it is her brand new, much-hyped autobiography and story of coming out of the closet. With her choreographed media blitz, book release, and album release, I was curious and skeptical about this one as I downloaded it on to my Kindle -- and then devoured the whole damn thing in a day, during a round trip business flight to Winnipeg.
Wright knew she was gay from the time she was a small child, and knew she had to hide it in small town rural America. The book talks about the choices she made, the lies she told, and the secret life she hid. She then consciously chose her career over her life, with tough consequences and heartbreak all over the place.
She has great stories to tell: building her career and winning awards, entertaining the troops overseas, awkward meetings with Dick Cheney and Fox News, and doomed affairs with a married woman and heartthrob Brad Paisley. When confronted about rumours she was caught having sex with a woman on her tour bus, Wright denies them loudly and truthfully -- the only sex on her tour bus was with Paisley, and they weren't caught.
I liked a lot about Like Me -- the book is intimate and smart and honest, touching, sad and sometimes funny and amusing. I also identified with a lot in Like Me - knowing early, feeling set apart, challenging family relationships, and the childhood polarity of trying to figure out who you are while also trying to hide who you are.
Wright's story is important because visibility matters. It is also important as it shines a light on a closeted industry, and especially interesting as she talks about her struggle to reconcile her sexuality and her faith.
Like Me is written in the here and now, often just as she is coming out. Wright is in progress and introspective. I devoured the book, it's fast and smart and totally involving. And now I am so eager to see what Wright does next...
May 9, 2010
Growing up I never thought I would get married because, y'know, I like boys, so as the world has evolved, and as K and I have built our relationship, it has been a world of discovery. But is that political? Well it is proud and intentional and public, and as the 70s feminist slogan goes, the personal is political.
Our life isn't a strategy and isn't showy or political. It is living our lives proudly and honourably, and yes that will get some attention, and freak out the bigots and Glenn Beck's and closet cases of the world, and so be it. If all politics is local, and all politics is personal, then this is political. And it's a good thing. And sometime not too long from now it won't be newsworthy, it will be just another wedding...
May 8, 2010
I voted yes... I mean hell, I didn't know manliness was gone, but if it is, sure, damn well bring that suckah back!
As of this writing --- and the day isn't over yet --- the "no" votes have 54% of the vote. Whaaat?
So what are our stereotypes here?
If manliness is beer-swilling, truck driving, NRA-loving, gold-chain wearing, sexist homophobic 70s dude, that is not manliness to me, and sure we don't want that crap back.
If manliness is confidence and courteousness and other good stuff -- and hot, don't forget hot -- then where the hell did it go?
According to dictionary.com, manliness involves such qualities as strength, decisiveness, bravery, and determination. So where'd it go? Well not Ottawa or Washington, other than that I see it all over the place...
May 7, 2010
Time magazine has just announced their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and I am not on it AGAIN...
The list includes the deserving and expected, and deserving and unexpected --- Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Bill Clinton, Sandra Bullock, Steve Jobs, James Cameron, Sonia Sotomayor, Neil Patrick Harris, blah, blah, blah.
And Oprah is on there of course, which I assume is just automatic pilot for every power list in the friggin world.
Then there are those people who Time says are also among the most influential on the planet; The Bank of Canada's Mark Carney, Demi's husband Twitter dude Ashton Kutcher, Meet the Parents' Ben Stiller, author Suzanne Collins who I have never heard of, Alaskan quitter Sarah Palin, Twilight vampire Robert Pattinson, multiple politicians I've never heard of, teen singer Taylor Swift, the relevant-in-the-80s artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince, and volatile right-wing lunatic Glenn Beck.
Okay maybe these morons are influential... if so, that is just scary as all get out. I'm scaaaaared...
May 5, 2010
I like the Magic 8-Ball --- that little black liquid-filled fortune telling bowling ball that solves life's existential questions about romance and humanity with answers like "not sure" and "try again" as much as the next guy, but really --- a live-action big-budget movie?
I'm thinking skip this one, and wait for the Ouija board flick, cuz we know it is coming!
May 4, 2010
1- 78% of men currently own a pet... good stuff
According to Men's Health, dogs have been keeping man company for 31,700 years... and yep Alfie is the cutest!
May 2, 2010
According to the internet tonight, that super famous homo is.... drum roll please... Chely Wright!
Okay, not a big big star. It's not like, to choose someone totally randomly, say, Anderson Cooper came flying out the closet.
Unlike most of you, I have heard of Chely Wright. She is an award winning, platinum selling country singer, whose biggest hit was Single White Female about a decade ago. My personal favourite is Jezebel with its black-and-white voodoo-themed video.
The woman has pipes and spunk and style. I have always liked her.
Why is this a big deal? People coming out is a good thing, as I believe many people think they don't like gay people because they don't know gay people so we seem alien to them; a celebrity coming out means their fans and media watchers will "know" someone gay.
And especially in the conservative world of country music, this is terrific news --- Wright is the first major country star to come out.
Look for lots of media on this on Tuesday, when Wright officially comes out in People. And, by sheer coincidence, her new album and her autobiography come out the same day. Yeah, I know, seems like she is trying to sell her wares with coming out, and there may be some truth to that. Still, this is all about the truth, and that is a good thing. I am curious to read the book and hear the album, and to hear what red-state homo-hating right-wing freakazoids say about this one...
May 1, 2010
A coworker and I stayed at an upscale hotel, part of a famous international chain. I have stayed there once before. It wasn't great then, but it was okay, as compared to what it was this time --- bottom-dwelling suckfest lousy, stuff-you-tell-stories-of legendary awful.
Rather than bitch and whine about a lousy stay at a fancy hotel, I have willed myself to be positive and treat this as a valuable life lesson. So here are my learnings:
1- Non-smoking rooms are not guaranteed: Even though 95% of their rooms are non-smoking, you may still get a room that smells like the tin foil inside of a pack of Camels. Be prepared.
2- People in the hotel industry cannot count: What do you mean over-sold? I have a confirmed reservation. Do you not know how many rooms there are in this building? Math counts, people.
3- Not all customer service people like customers: Assuming the front desk people are your front of the line customer service people, shouldn't they be happy and pleasant? My lesson -- appreciate the great ones, they are a rare breed.
4- Monkey see, monkey do: When you ask for the supervisor and she is too busy to come out from the back, or you hand over your business card and ask for the General Manager to call and she is too damn busy to make that call, don't expect good service from the underpaid staff at the front desk. We learn what we see.
5- A bad hotel is good for the environment: No hot water equals teeth chattering cold equals get my freezing white ass out of the shower fast equals less water used equals Al Gore loving save the planet fast shower.
That's it people, I am now a wiser man due to that crappy hotel experience. I humbly thank them...