October 31, 2010

What Gay Men Wear on Halloween....

As part of Bloggerstock, I have guest posted an intelligent erudite perceptive profound post --- uh, okay, it is none of those, but it is fun --- at Being Tazim, a creative artsy blog by my new friend Tazim in Vancouver.

Check out my musings about what gay men wear on Halloween --- and yes it involved Madonna and men in uniform --- at

A Ghost Story: Halloween Guest Post...

Before I begin, I want to give some background on what Bloggerstock is and why I've hijacked Brahm's blog. I found out about Bloggerstock through 20sb.net (a great place for a beginning blogger, btw). Basically it's blog-swapping but on a big scale. It introduces you to tons of great blogs out there, some of which you would miss in the vastness of the net. If you want some exposure as well as some new things for your feed, check it out!

So this month we're supposed to write a ghost story (fiction or non) in honor of Halloween. I have to say that I came a bit short on this one. I waiting until the last minute because I wasn't exactly sure what to write.

Which is a bit sad, because I'm a writer.

Oh, and did I mention that paranormal/horror is one of my favorite genres?

So, with a bit of performance anxiety, here's my ghost story:

Do you remember yourself in middle school? Yeah, the dorky (or insert your particular descriptor here) one that sat in the corner and didn't say much, except to your circle of friends that was just as dorky as you? That was me, too.

We're all looking for something to set us apart at that age. Well, I had a pretty good thing that set me apart. I had a ghost. It was a friendly ghost, most of the time.

It would move things, make noises, you know, all the typical ghost things to kill the time. But sometimes it could be mean, too.

I'd wake up and my in-wall heating unit would be turned on, something flammable always near-by. It would tug at my friends coats and scarves, sometimes hard enough to make them gag. I would come home from school to find all the drawers in my dresser opened, my socks and underwear strewn across the room.

The breaking point came when I woke up to the smell of smoke one morning. A pile of socks had been made in front of the wall heater, and they were slowly turning black, melting and slowly burning.

I decided it was time to end it, since the ghost was trying to end me.

So while my parents were out of the house one day, I invited my friend over and we had a seance. We didn't really know what we were doing, because we were smack dab in the middle of the Bible belt, so Ouija boards were on short supply. So we lit a few candles, grabbed some paper and a marker.

We both put our hands on the marker, and started trying to "clear our minds" so the spirit could write out it's message to us. We weren't sure exactly what it meant to clear our minds, so I found myself just focusing on the flame of a candle in front of us. I slowly started to realize that the flickering was keeping time with the beat of my heart. It dawned on me that I could audibly hear the sound of my heart beating. The sound grew louder and louder in my ears.

I felt the muscles in my hand twitch. My friend looked up at me with scared eyes and dropped her hand away. Mine kept twitching, and I could feel the marker start to move in my hand.

"What do you want? What will make you go away?" I asked in a hushed voice.

My hand started moving back and forth with rapid movements. The marker making scratchy noises against the paper. After a few moments my hand stopped. Carefully I moved my hand away and we read what the spirit wanted.

"Pants for god's sake! It's cold here! Why do you think I kept turning the heater on!"

(insert drum rimshot here)

If you're tired of my lame jokes, check out what StarGazer has as her spooky story on my blog Cerebral Lunchbox. (And if you want to read a serious version of a ghost story from me, which I promise is much better, check out my Taking Liberty serial story).

October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween...!

“Halloween is fast approaching:
The day when parents encourage little boys to dress like little girls
and little girls to dress like whores.”
-- Sue Sylvester, Glee

October 28, 2010

Will Gold's Gym get my gay dollar?

Yesterday was my day off, and it was a cold winter day so I took it easy. I napped with the dogs, did laundry, watched multiple episodes of The Golden Girls, bopped around the Internet for a couple of hours, read my book, went for a run with my iPod blasting, watched Jane Fonda on Oprah, scooped poop in the backyard, made dinner, and napped with the dogs a bit more.

As I have been busy and distracted the past several months, I have not been running or working out as much as I should. And as winter approaches, there will be less running and more gym (uh, I hope).

My current/previous gym was close to work and home. As we are moving into our new house soon, they do have a location vaguely in the area, but there is another gym much closer. Easily walkable. And there is a problem... this new gym is a Gold's Gym franchise. Which would not have been a problem until I read about this online:

Gay groups have publicized a petition demanding answers from Gold's Gym about the $2 million donated by its owner -- Robert Rowling -- to American Crossroads, Salon.com reports. American Crossroads, founded by Karl Rove, is spending millions to elect GOP candidates who are anti-gay, like Roy Blunt, who wants to rewrite the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage.
Rowling, says the facts have been distorted, in an interview with Fox News. "Gold's Gym is apolitical. We welcome all members without regard to race, gender, or sexual orientation. We always have, and we always will." He says his $2 million donation was due solely to fiscal policy. "I've never heard one discussion of a social issue. This is all about fiscal sanity." Rowling says American Crossroads "supports conservative candidates, and even though those candidates may disagree with them on social issues, the resounding issue is fiscal responsibility."

The CEO of Target got lots of bad PR recently for big cash donations to anti-gay groups. Is fiscal responsibility the be all and end all? Sure, if the group you are donating to is strictly about money. Not the case here, where Karl Rove, the architect of George W Bush's gay baiting campaigns, is involved. I don't think you can give your money to haters and look the other way. And I sure don't want my money to become his money.

October 27, 2010

Whoopi fights back for gay marriage...

I love Whoopi Goldberg --- talented, smart, outspoken, hardworking, feisty, liberal activist. And she makes The View mostly watchable, except when she goes into wingnut mode and does douchey stuff like defend Mel Gibson.

Now I love her again...

October 26, 2010

Mel Gibson is kryptonite and other things I learned this week...

I learned stuff this week, because apparently life isn't about the Prada, it's all about the learning... yeah, whatever...

1- When the idiot director of The Hangover 2 hired Mel Gibson for a one-day cameo, the crew revolted and the homophobic misogynistic anti-Semitic lunatic was fired and replaced with Liam Neeson. Glad he is gone. Uh, the director thought this was a good idea why? Okay I knew Gibson was a douchebag before now, glad to see Hollyweird is figuring it out and deeming him commercial kryptonite, career kaput.

2- The Sony Walkman is officially dead. Though I haven't owned one for decades, that makes me nostalgic and a bit sad.

3- The Israeli version of Dancing with the Stars will feature a same-sex couple.

4- Glee + Rocky Horror = Anticipated awesomeness.

5- Yesterday, Canada's biggest city Toronto took a step back in time and elected Tea-Party-esque racist homophobe Rob Ford as mayor. Really, people?

6- There are five thousand janitors with PhDs in the USA.

7- My former TV favourite, Brothers and Sisters, had lost its mojo so much that I fell asleep during this week's episode. And we get it at 8 PM, people. I fell asleep during a show at 8 effing PM. How sad is that?

8- New York's Mayor Bloomberg, who fought to overturn term limits in order to get his own third term in office, now supports term limits again.

9- India has a car company called Tata, which builds a Nano car that looks like a Smart Car, which sells for about two thousand dollars US.

10- The Good Wife Julianna Margulies was actually third choice for the role, as the network had apparently offered the role to Helen Hunt and Elisabeth Shue. Both great actresses, am glad they said no --- Ms Margulies is superb in a smart and fascinating role, in a great show.

11- The kid on Three and a Half Men makes 300 grand an episode. THE KID! Oy we all chose the wrong careers...

October 25, 2010

Gotta love Mae West, part three...

Those who are easily shocked ...
should be shocked more often.
- Mae West

October 24, 2010

Blog Awards, The Final Chapter...

Yeppers, another reminder.... polls close in two days for the Canadian Blog Awards!

alfred lives here made it through to round two. This blog is nominated for Best GBLT Blog and Best New Blog. Voting is open now until Oct 26 at noon (eastern time, I guess).

Please click through here and vote for Alfie:

While you are there, vote for Alfie in both categories, and then check out some of the other blogs, there are some really good ones...

October 22, 2010

At 3 AM Time Life doesn’t want my money...

It is 3 AM, I am wide awake in a hotel room on the first night of a business trip --- time zone change, stress, way too much diet coke, new hotel room. Wide awake.

Channel surfing, what do I find? Shopping network jewellery and infomercials: Cindy Crawford skincare line, Marie Osmond for Nutrisystem, Murad skincare, PX90 workout program, “Your Baby Can Read” card system (think deal a meal for literacy), and a program on “how to make a fortune from today’s down real estate market” from some dude I have never heard of.

Then the jewel of the crowd...

Time Life Music Ultimate Rock Ballads. Total awesomeness. 8 cd's of 80s rock. 5 payments of 29.95, order now and skip one payment. Order right now, and get plus bonus 70s cd!

Woo hoo!

Reo Speedwagon, Bonnie Tyler, Pat Benatar, Survivor, Starship, John Waite, The Cars, Night Ranger, Phil Collins, Styx, Journey, Heart, Toto, Quarterflash, Pretenders, Cheap Trick, Cher, and so much more! I luuuuv this stuff.

You sucked me in, you Time Life bastards!

So I go to the website right away, try to order, and... not to Canada? WTF! The damn website wouldn’t allow it, so I called their 1-800 number.

After sitting on hold and being told their call is very important t o me, I reach a real live friendly operator, ask her her about shipping to Canada, she says let's try, so we go through all my info, I turn down the expanded double price 16 set, I turn down the expansion 12 cd set, not a problem, I am all for the upsell people, then after double checking all my info she comes back with the price.


Uh, can you repeat that, is that is 27% more than advertised, because coming to Canada? This does not include shipping or customs, you are just jacking the price up? Do you know the dollar is basically at par?

No I don't want to talk to customer service, this is not the advertised price, so I am not going to buy it. It is 3 AM, the diet Coke fueled sleep deprived high has passed, I am now watching the Cindy Crawford infomercial, thank you very much. She looks awesome!

Don't try to screw me, Mr Time Life.

Is the universe is telling me NO DO NOT BUY MORE 80s STUFF?

Nope. I probably have all this stuff on Ultimate 80s, Like O My God Totally 80s, and the Rock Of Ages soundtrack and more... 80s music rocks!

October 20, 2010

Uh... what the hell was I doing in university?

I spent a lot of time in university, both at McGill and Concordia, got degrees from both, made some friends, learned some stuff, met people different than those in the suburb I grew up in, came out of the closet, maybe smoked a little pot, whatever... I sure as hell didn't have the worldview or balls to really try to change the world.

So I was impressed as hell with an email I got this week, from someone I don't know (yet!), and who is a reader of this blog so we know she is a smart one!

Naomi Davis, who is attending NYU, is doing a film as her thesis, called DADT, a narrative of a gay American solider dealing with life during and after the Iraq war.

Learn more through the link below, and if you can toss a couple of dollars her way, please do. I did (it is easy through an Amazon link). We need new young bold voices out there tackling important issues through their art:


Way to go Naomi!

Uh, again, what the hell did I accomplish in university?

October 19, 2010

Blog Awards Round 2.... We're a finalist!

Woo hoo... alfred lives here made it through to round two of the Canadian Blog Awards. This is the finals, the big time!

This blog is nominated for Best GBLT Blog and Best New Blog. Voting is open now until Oct 26 at noon (eastern time, I guess).

While you are there, and after you vote for Alfie in both categories, check out some of the other blogs, there are some really good ones!

Vacation 21: Things I loved, things I learned, and stuff that annoyed the crap out of me...

We just returned from a whirlwind Connecticut/New York/ Boston vacation, visiting family, seeing Broadway shows, encouraging my husband to spend his money. So as I love lists and love opinions (especially mine), here is the vacation summary you are waiting for:

1- Two hours sleep the night before a day of travel, not a good idea.

2- Sleeping with a frequent traveller has its privileges, in this case upgrades to business class there and back. Niiiice.

3- Air Canada is annoying with it's fervent insistence that I turn my Kindle off during take-off and landing, because yes my reading I Know I Am, But What Are You with the wireless off is really gonna bring down the plane. Unlike the 23 people using their blackberries to bid on ebay and view porn.

4-Airplane viewing: the Tom Cruise Cameron Diaz flick Knight and Day is really as bad as everyone says it is.

5- Crossing into the US for the first time on one blue declaration form, as a same-sex married couple, a family, felt very cool and was way smoother than expected.

6- Good vacation reading: Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner (chic lit), really good vacation reading: Star Island by Carl Hiaasen (humour, suspense).

7- Unexpected way to spend four hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Connecticut: three grown men, one broken basketball hoop, a visit to Homo Depot, 375 pounds of sand, an empty bottle of Welch's Grape Juice and a very sharp knife.

8- Kids always cry, as soon as they get hurt. And they can multi-task: cry and look around to ensure are being heard, cry and run.

9- There is a card game called Egyptian Rat Screw.

10- Stephen Harper, take note: my niece's grade one class has a good model for interpersonal and international relations: if you do or say something wrong, you go to the time-out chair and think about what you did for ten minutes, then come back and rejoin the group.

11- When you buy a used cell phone in Denmark, get ready to find lots of texts you don't understand, and a short video of a very pale man in only a lacy thong washing a car. We chose to believe he lost a bet.

12- When you are walking by the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York and hear one upstanding citizen say very loudly to another upstanding citizen, "Honey, I KNOW you iz a dedicated ho!"... accelerate.

13- Apple has trademarked the expression "there's an app for that."

14- The Hersheys store in Times Square is no longer giving out samples as you walk in.

15- The new Pop Tart World off Broadway is giving out samples a plenty, and it is easy to spend $28 there, including your customized Varietizer pack where you choose your six Pop Tart flavours and watch the sky high vending machine assemble your package. I recommend Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and S'mores.

16- There are 13 thousand cabs in New York. And if Cash Cab really exists there, those bastards have actively avoided picking me up.

17- Fab British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith doesn't do sketches, says he can't really draw. He does detailed word descriptions instead.

18- Former Will and Grace star Sean Hayes is amazing live on Broadway in Promises, Promises. As are Kristin Chenowith and Molly Shannon.

19- Grown-up's should know better. Exhibit A: the oh so classy woman enjoying the free booze in business class, shouting at her companion, aka the also drinking guy sitting right beside her, both wearing headphones: JUST REMEMBER WE BOTH CAN'T BE IMPAIRED GETTING OFF THIS PLANE.

20- Expensive hotels should do better. The Super 8 gives free internet access, yet Boston Westin Copley charges for it? Penny pinchers. Cheapskates. Niiiiice.

21- Special thanks to the friendly Air Canada flight attendant who was warm and chatty and let me play with his iPad. Get your mind out of the gutter, people, it really was his iPad and I soooo want one. Still working on rationalizing that expense....

October 17, 2010

That's So Gay! Vince Vaughan misses the point...

Not a good week for the gays, with Tea Party Lunatic and Republican NY Governor candidate Carl Paladiono embracing Orthodox Jews with homophobic remarks, and President Obama's administration sticking it to the gays again by saying the Department of Justice will appeal a judge's order to stop enforcing Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Plus I came across this nugget of bliss on The Huffington Post, which was first brought to light by my stalker Anderson Cooper. A trailer for the movie The Dilemma features Vaughan saying "Ladies and Gentlemen, electric cars are gay" as an insult to the idea of electric cars.

So is it funny, or outdated and bigoted? Would he substitute a term referring to Moslem's or Jews or Blacks?

Under the media spotlight, the movie studio has cut the line from the trailer.

However Vaughan wants to keep it in the film, saying in a statement:
"Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together. Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. More importantly, where does it stop."

His argument makes sense in theory, so is this a joke about our differences? Nope. I think it's just a cheap line that uses "gay" as a generic insult word, as he would use "lame" or "stupid".

Vaughan is showing himself to be either not so caring or not so bright. Or both. Besides, everyone knows electric cars aren't gay. The Acura ZDX and every type of Volvo are gay...

October 16, 2010

What's your porn name...?

There's lots of ideas/theories/time wasters out there about how to find or create your porn name, your stripper name, and your Greek god name.

In my extensive research for this post (aka late night googling), I discovered there are websites devoted to generating your porn name, pirate name, gangsta name, whatever name you want. They don't tell you how or why, they just spew out a name. According to one of them, my pirate name is Sword Jugglin' Jack. Uh, really?

So back to the important stuff. Porn names. The two most common systems I found, and I use the word "system" very loosely, were:

Porn name = your middle name + the street you grew up on


Porn name = your pet's name + your favourite snack food.

So my porn name is either Daniel Finchley, or Alfred Allsorts.

Ooh, easy choice. I am taking Alfred Allsorts. Waaay dirtier.

What's your porn name?

October 14, 2010

A trip to Canada where everything is big

Woo hoo, it's me! Lady M (aka Anne Dickens), from The Day after Yesterday! I am guest blogging for 'Alfred Lives Here' whilst Brahm is off gallivanting on holiday. So here I am inside his blog, and it's all a bit echoey in these parts with no one here. And in case you were wondering, I can tell you that it is also very organised. Below me (all neatly stacked up) are the posts that Brahm has already published, and above me are all his scheduled posts, ready and waiting to be go like tightly coiled springs. Crikey, I wouldn't like to see the results of his Inkblot Test.

To be honest, I've always been a bit wary of Canadians ever since I first met one whilst partying in London with some friends a few years ago. The music was pumping, the beer was flowing and everyone was in a jolly good mood. Then a group of three tourists made their way to our table; "hey" said one of them in a funny accent, "can we join you?"

"Sure," I said, smiling and motioning towards some empty chairs, "we welcome all types of Johnny Foreigner here you know."

"Thanks," replied the guy, before adding, "you come from London?"

"Yeh," I said, "and, judging from your accent, I take it that you guys are from America?"

The expression dropped like a stone from all three of their faces, and they slowly turned to face me. Although I wasn't entirely sure, I think the music in the bar also stopped, and all the other party-goers paused, regarding me with horror.

"What?!" I asked perplexedly holding my hands up and looking around the bar, "It's not like I accused him of being a member of the Taliban or anything."

"No, you did way worse than that," the guy spewed, "we are Canadians not Americans." I was surprised that he didn't finish up by saying; "you speaking to me, or chewing a brick? Either way you are gonna lose your teeth girl."

Gulp. Reading between the lines, it appeared as though I had unwittingly poked a nerve. You live and learn, and I was just bloody glad that they didn't kill me until I was dead.

Fast forward five years, and I was invited on a snowboarding holiday to Canada. I was hesitant. My encounter with the Canadian in London had scared me ... plus I didn't know how to snowboard ..... but I decided to make like a lion and give it a go anyway.

Because I am a bit like Mother Theresa (except that I'm not dead), I decided not to bore you with the details of the whole vacation. Instead I am merely going to focus on two things: 1. Canadians are cunning opportunists; and 2. Everything is bigger in Canada than it is in the UK.

1. Canadians are cunning opportunists

We arrived in Canada as a wet-behind-the-ears group, and hired a car so that we could drive to our destination; a chalet in the ski resort of Fernie. Our journey was well under way and things were looking good. The sky was sunny, the scenery was amazing and the long empty roads were flanked with lush green vegetation. Then Fat Bob decided to engage in some scaremongering. He was sitting in the back seat reading Fernie's small print; "It says here that we will need to buy tyre chains if we hire a car to get to the resort," he shouted out. Lanky Jim contemplated the clear sunshiney day, and given that there wasn't so much as a snowflake to be seen, retorted, "bugger off, I noticed that tyre chains cost $20 at the last Service Station we stopped at. I ain't paying that"

As the car climbed the mountains towards our destination, we noticed that the road had started to accumulate a light dusting of snow, which quickly became a blanket of snow as we got higher. And still we continued to ascend until the car was slipping and sliding and bumping into drifts at the side of the road. Visibility was virtually nil as the snowflakes hit the windscreen; it was a bit like the Starship Enterprise going into warp speed.

"We need tyre chains!" screamed Johnny Red the driver as he narrowly avoided yet another collision with a tree. This time everyone nodded in agreement, and Fat Bob shouted, "I told you so." So it was with relief that we saw the green lights of a service station ahead.

We pulled slowly onto the forecourt and ran inside the garage to procure some tyre chains. THANK GOD! They had some tyre chains! We were saved! But they had no price on them. Ommmmm. dodgy.

Fat Bob picked them up and went to the cashier, handing over $20.

The cashier looked Fat Bob up and down, then looked at the cash and grinned ....."Sorry," he said, "but these tyre chains are $130.00."

We had been backed into a very cunning corner. Blimey, we needed those chains and we had been 100% totally gibbed. Opportunism... I love it, but I prefer it when it works the other way round.

Everything is Bigger in Canada

I am not going to lie, because I am sure you will see through this section for what it is: A blatant excuse for me to post some of my holiday snaps of Canada. I may be shallow and transparent, but that doesn't change the fact that everything in Canada is bloody big and amazing.

Pic.No.1. Blimey. The hills in Canada are a lot bigger than the ones in Oxford

Being a novice snowboarder, I would like to have said that the size of the mountains struck a note of caution with me, but alas, they didn't. I mean how hard can snowboarding be? I'd seen it on TV and there didn't seem to be much too it. So on the first morning, I put all my gear on and informed my chums that I was going to tackle the same slopes as them.

Johnny Red eyed me dubiously, "are you sure?" he said, "I didn't think you'd been snowboarding before?"

"I haven't," I replied, "but I have the physique of an athlete, and the grit of ermmm .........unwashed spinach."

Johnny Red eyed my physique even more dubiously, and then reluctantly agreed, pointing towards the chair-lift. We made our ascent and I was pumped and feeling proper gnarly dude, "bring it oooooon!" I shouted to Johnny Red even though he was sitting next to me. We reached the top and both jumped off the chair-lift onto the exit ramp.

My snowboard instantly took off (with only one foot attached to the bindings), and I desperately tried to regain control by speed hopping with my free foot. It didn't work and within seconds I ploughed head-first into a group of German skiers all sporting moustaches and wearing fluorescent all-in-ones.

They looked derisively at me as I attempted to stand up, but failed, falling back into a crumpled heap at their feet.

"Dumbkoft!" one of them shouted, before gliding off.

Not one to be deterred, I got back onto my snowboard and launched myself down the mountain. For about ten feet, everything went swimmingly..... but then I noticed that a tree was rapidly coming closer and that I had no mechanism with which to circumnavigate it; i.e. I didn't know how to steer. I had two options: 1. hit the tree, but that could be painful, and 2. throw myself to the ground, but that could be painful. With split second timing, I chose option 2 because snow is softer than trees.

I crouched down and threw myself backwards into the snow. Everything would have been hunky dory if my snowboard hadn't caught an edge, catapulting me fifteen feet forward and causing me to land heavily on the base of my spine (I think it is called the cocyx. I like that word because it sounds rude but it isn't. Like flange).

For several minutes, I lay on my back, heavily winded.

"Jeez!" shouted Johnny Red, who had watched the whole spectacle, "are you ok?"

"I'm not sure," I said struggling to my feet, "but I want to get down now."

Pic.No.2. It soon became apparent that I was over-stretching myself as a novice

It took me two hours to descend the mountain, and the vast majority of it was spent on my knees. If that wasn't enough, the pain in my lower back was getting more intense as time marched on.

Pic.No. 3. The houses are all bigger than in the UK, and this is our Chalet. It is made out of wood like a dog kennel

It was with relief that Johnny Red finally hauled me into our chalet and dropped me on the sofa, by which time my back had completely seized up. I tried getting up from the couch, but winced and fell back down.

'So, sicknote', I hear you cry, 'did you eventually get back to snowboarding?'

Did I heck! For a full three days I couldn't move without assistance (yeh, I needed help to get to the bathroom - how humiliating), and thereafter I was only able to undertake was a pitiful hobble. My high hopes for snowboarding had been deflated with a squeak.

But coping with life as an invalid has its advantages as the next picture demonstrates.......

Pic.No.4. Keeping a girl amused: ordering a pizza in Canada is a very different affair to ordering in the UK

What with snowboarding off the agenda due to serious injury (nay, near death), the rest of the week was spent doing non-strenuous sight-seeing and taking pictures of all the big things in Canada. Like this.....

Pic.No.5. Even the trains are bigger. But they are painted a dodgy pink colour

But my all time favourite has to be this picture of a truck that I took just outside Fernie (just to clarify, I took the picture, not the truck). I was like... this can't be for real, it is bigger than my bloody house! But it was for real, and I took a picture of it just to prove that it really existed.

Pic.No.6. My 'p'iece d'resistance. The bloke that owns this has obviously got a very small nob (and yes that is two people you can see next to the front tyre)

So the big truck / small nob brings my time at Brahm's blog to a close. I have to say, that I've had a blast..... I don't know if thinking this is wrong, but once you take the reins of someone else's blog you kinda of get a big gung-ho - "yeee haaa! I can write whatever shit I like and it won't affect my blog readership or ratings one bit!"

Ha ha!

Thanks for reading dahlinks ...... love and kisses,

Lady M x (aka Anne Dickens, The Day after Yesterday)

P.S. I know you are missing Brahm and are probably wondering what he is up to, so I thought you might like to see this email I got from him today: "Hey Lady M, have seen two shows so far, Rock of Ages (liked) and Promises, Promises with Sean Hayes (loved). Tonight is the new David Mamet, starring Patrick Stewart and TR Knight - looking forward to that one a lot. That is it for now... off to grab healthy good (I think pretzels).... B"

October 13, 2010

Cher on men....

"Men should be like Kleenex,
soft, strong, and disposable."
- Cher

October 12, 2010

Holy Crap, I missed Coming Out Day...

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day, so to those of you who are out, congratulations, and if any of you aren't, it is a journey well worth taking!

Coming out is scary and wonderful. I started the process in my teens, and it is a rocky one. And a great learning curve. It goes on for life. Some friends and family fall away, others come closer. You come out ahead.

If you haven't read about the "It gets better" movement, click here:

For another view on the state of gay, read my wise and sassy friend Mary's blog post from yesterday:

This week I am on vacation, and jumping in here remotely and not as often, so look for a guest post tomorrow from across the pond, by my brilliant friend Anne. You can visit her blog here:

And most importantly, alfred lives here has been nominated for best new blog and best GLBT blog in the Canadian blog awards. See and vote here:

October 11, 2010

Vote for Alfie!

I have been nominated in the Canadian Blog Awards ---- kind of exciting, huh?

You can see the nominations and VOTE HERE...

I am nominated in for Best BGLT blog and Best New Blog...

Vote for Alfie! Vote for Alfie!

I am... Snoopy?

Yeppers, I did it again. Someone stop me. Late at night, listening to the radio with the Havanese curled up on my lap, I took another damn facebook quiz.

What was it this time? It was Which Peanuts Character Are You. Yep, that's me, solving the problems of the world by taking facebook quizzes.

What was the information I delved deep into my psyche to provide? I like clear and sunny days, I don't like selling lemonade, I like all kinds of books, I like soup.

So based on all that empirical evidence, who am I?

I am Snoopy:
You are quiet and subdued, but these traits are balanced out (perhaps more than you might think) with your adventurous spirit, wisdom, and loyalty. You are a thoughtful person and people don't mind coming to you for some advice every now and then. You are playful and it always seems like you know what people are thinking, which makes you a great friend, and an even greater companion.

What the hell? I am quiet and subdued? Sure, I like the spirit and wisdom stuff, and I have my share of that crap, uh, those values, but quiet and subdued? Hmmm.

Once upon a time, I was an introverted insecure chubby shy kid with a stutter. Now, I have no self-censor chip and stuff just spews out. While there is some of that subdued quiet kid in there, I am pretty loud and booming now. Shouldn't that make me Lucy? Ah screw it, I will take Snoopy. While Charlie Brown got top billing, Snoopy was the star of the show, and if he had negotiated terms better, he sure would have made more money on merchandising.

So I took the quiz a second time, deliberately changing a bunch of my answers just to mess up the response. Like it is scientific anyhow. I was like one of those dumb jocks in high school who takes the multiple choice algebra test and chooses the answer "b" all the way through cuz he thinks it's funny. And yep I thought it was pretty clever. I'm deep that way.

So with all these new answers, which Peanuts character am I? Yep, Snoopy again. The quiet one. Uh-huh...

October 9, 2010

Juliet's secretaries and other things I learned this week...

1- The romantic flick Letters to Juliet is inspired by the real-life Juliet club, a group of women in Verona who respond to letters to romantic heroine Juliet, offering advice and support or just a friendly ear to women who need to talk about love. Think of them as Juliet's elves.

2- Sun Chips have discontinued their compostable and therefore very eco friendly bag. Clients complained it was very loud (trust me, it was), and sales were down 11%. Really, because the bag is loud?

3- In a pinch, pumpkin pie is a perfectly acceptable dinner.

4-I like listening to the same CD over and over and over for days. Currently it is Trisha Yearwood's Inside Out. This annoys the living crap out of some people.

5- Among the bestsellers on Amazon's Kindle list: Guns Will Keep Us Together and Assholes Finish First.

6- The house is creepy quiet when the dogs leave for vacation the day before we do.

7- Rosanne Cash is not only an amazing singer and songwriter, she is simply an amazing writer. Exhibit A is her new autobiography, Composed.

8- People who emphatically insist I'm not homophobic, I'm not homophobic, well, they pretty much are...

October 8, 2010

Why gay marriage is wrong...

A friend sent this to me, so am not sure of who wrote it. You can be sure it wasn’t Mel Gibson or Dr Laura. If it was you, bravo! If not, read on…

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, implants, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, longer life spans, or racial/ethnic equality.

October 6, 2010

Hold tight... it gets better!

In the wake of four recent teen suicides related to bullying and outing, activist columnist Dan Savage has done something great by starting the It Gets Better movement.

Nine out of ten gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school. Nine out of ten. I was teased and taunted, and beat up, as a kid. And much as I love Glee, how they show conflict isn't real, kids --- there wasn't singing or dancing involved. It was lonely and scary. And I got through it to the really good life I have today.

It Gets Better aims to show these teens, many of whom have no gay contacts or role models, that by pushing through the tough years they can come out at the other end happy and healthy and loved and validated, that it gets better.

Gay teens are four times more likely to attempt suicide. While there are more role models now than when I was a kid, there are painfully few, and often these kids are kept away from gay people who could help by their parents and schools. What is wrong with this picture?

Growing up can be scary and lonely. Like many gay kids, and probably many straight kids, I had my challenges when I was a kid: gay, fat, stutter, smart, Jewish do not add up to Mr Popularity. I had a small number of great friends, several of whom I still have contact with (thank you facebook).

Everyone needs hope. It Gets Better is a video movement Savage and his boyfriend started with a video of their own story, of the harassment they enjoyed in school and the full and rewarding lives they live now. There are now well over a hundred videos to show gay teens that people care, and while it features celebs like Anne Hathaway, Jenny McCarthy, Tim Gunn, Kathy Griffin, and more, the idea is for lots of people, tons of people, all of us (uh, I'm camera shy) to upload videos to show a wave of caring and support. For those of us who have come through the tough childhood to look back and tell gay youth what we wish someone had told us, that it gets better.

It also refers people to The Trevor Project, a toll-free 24-hour support line, who you can find @ http://www.thetrevorproject.org/. They do good stuff.

Check out It Gets Better @ www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject, and on facebook of course. Everything is on facebook...

Diana Ross on the gays...

"I don't judge people by their sexual orientation or the color of their skin, so I find it really hard to identify someone by saying that they're a gay person or a black person or a Jewish person."

- Diana Ross (you can call her Miss Ross)

October 5, 2010

The origin of R2D2 and other stuff I learned this week...

'Tis a wise man who always yearns for more knowledge....

1- While mixing the sound for American Graffiti, the sound engineer asked George Lucas for R 2, D 2, meaning Reel 2, Dialogue 2; Lucas liked the sound of the abbreviation and jotted it down in his notebook to be used a few years later in Star Wars.

2- Elvis Costello's real name is Declan McManus.

3- The dating website evow.com won't let you sign up unless you sign that you are over 18 (this is good news).

4- All that speculation about Alanis Morrissette's really pissed-off song You Oughta Know was about Full House star David Coulier was apparently true; the actor acknowledged it in an interview, and said he has since called her and they have made peace. Awww...

5-The name "Canada" is derived from an old Huron word meaning "our village".

6- The newest Saw horror flick is coming out in 3D. Uh, why?

7- A super soap fan has patched together all of Diahann Caroll's Dynasty scenes to create Dominique: The Series on YouTube. It's 28 chapters of about ten minutes each. I have watched the first four. So far.

8- Actress Rosanna Arquette, who we already knew was the object of affection in Toto's 80s hit Rosanna, was apparently also the object of affection for Peter Gabriel's 80s hit In Your Eyes.

9- A giraffe will live on average 20 to 25 years, often more in captivity.

10- On a more serious note, regarding the string of recent gay suicides, the stats say that the average gay or lesbian teen is up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids. Four times. If by some chance you are facing this, or know someone who is, refer them to The Trevor Project. They are an amazing organization. Find them @ www.thetrevorproject.org. It does get better...

October 3, 2010

Elle Magazine prefers skinny white chicks...

Elle Magazine is turning 25, and they are celebrating with a special issue and four collector covers. Happy birthday Elle!

And during this fab-u-lous celebration, Elle is courting some controversy, which I read about at http://uk.eonline.com/ and in some other places.

Elle did four covers, pictured above. Three of are full-figure shots of skinny Hollywood starlets, the fourth is a close up of young actress Gabby Sidibe, who is black and overweight. So they are not showing or celebrating her body, and her skin tone looks very light, like not naturally light.

Sidibe is the Oscar nominated star of Precious. I saw Precious, and she was dark in it, like Whoopi Goldberg black. Okay, okay, I didn't see Precious, but I saw the trailer like 48 times, and have seen the poster at the video store. And she is black.

So did Elle lighten her skin tone and hide her body? Elle's editor in chief vehemently denies the skin lightening thing, of course. And the cropped photo is just an artistic decision. Uh-huh...

October 2, 2010

Cheap laughs... What are you watching tonight?

Friday night, the husband is out of town, I am home with the dogs including Pukey McPukester, I have to wake up early Saturday to go to work, and I'm bored. So I check out the video-on-demand movies, and skipping over Titanic 2 (yes, really) and everything with Ashton Kutcher, I choose Get Him To The Greek.

Who is it about? The "him" is (fake) rock star Aludous Snow. "Imagine an African White Christ from Space" is how Snow describes himself in his (fake) video for the song African Child which is later voted worst song of the decade. The plot, what little there is, has a junior company schlub transporting party boy Snow from London to LA in three days.

Snow, "the most self-destructive man in show business," was last seen in the funny and sweet Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This time, Russell Brand is more crude than funny, and the laughs come from Puff Diddy (Daddy?) who is hysterical and steals the flick as an over-the-top record crude music exec.

While I think Get Him To The Greek wants to be The Hangover, it goes for crude more often than funny, is disjointed and let's face it, you can only have so many 'bangers and mash' and threesome jokes in two hours.

After two flicks, the Snow character has peaked. The upside of this movie: I am now officially looking forward to Brand as the lead character in the Arthur remake, and I did not have to sit though Titanic 2. Yep, Titanic 2. It's a real movie. Who knew?

In a spirit of generosity I give this one a 5. What would you recommend on home video?

October 1, 2010

Hello blankety blank... it's Name Your Car Day!

Big big holiday tomorrow, people -- it's Name Your Car Day!

No, I don't know why, or who the hell started it. I know it's true because I saw it on http://www.holidayinsights.com/, and if it's on the interwebz you know it has to be true!

I have had my current name-deprived car three years, and I love it. A black Acura RDX. And it is almost paid for now, so soon I will love it even more.

Until now I had not realized how deprived the car is because it does not have a name. Boats have names. Fancy houses have names. Even criminals have names. Mel Gibson has a name. So clearly I have been a delinquent car owner. Gotta fix that.

And while my car is name-deprived, the GPS system does have a name. Two summers ago, K and I were driving to Vancouver and during that 13-hour drive you tend to get a tad silly, and we decided as the GPS came on in her loud demanding overly polite voice that she should have a proper name. So we did the research, considered the options, took a straw poll, and went through the process. Nah, we didn't do any of that crap. We were listening to Olivia Newton-John's greatest hits at the time, so we named the GPS Olivia and that has stuck ever since. And yes, Olivia Newton John's Greatest Hits. Don't judge.

As I am a guy, and this is a big black car, I want it to have a guy name.

I have a challenge with names. I stutter, so I want to avoid words and letters I will always trip over. Which is why Alfred works so well for the pooch. So Derrick is out. As is Thomas. And Joseph. And Bruce. Hell, Bruce was out anyway, even I think that one is waaaay too gay.

So what have I thought of? Juan because it's sexy. Stewart for Jon Stewart. Oscar because I like it (and Oscar was second name choice for Alfie). Clinton for Hillary Clinton. Ryan for Ryan Reynolds. Murphy for Murphy Brown (stutter may be an issue there). Elvis. Or Stephen for Stephen King...

Okay, I can't decide. Which of these works? Other ideas...? Name my car, people!