Goodbye City Life!

So, my fabulous, creative, beautiful French friend Marianne lives in this place. She sold her beautiful Paris Pad and moved here in the country to make art projects and live the beautiful, relaxed country life. It is in the beautiful (i'll stop with that word now) south of France, in the midi-Pyrenees, and the river has almost come to the door recently she reports. I had read about the horrible weather there recently, and a school that collapsed in Barcelona during the storm.

But anyhow, doesn't this place look inviting?? She says the work to make it livable is overwhelming, and that when it rains little pots must be placed everywhere. Boy of low culture that i am, I was wont to make Green Acres analogies, but, alors, I refrained.


The Price and Promise of Citizenship

Here i am, coddling my "hobby" again. I'm all verklimpt. Tallk amongst yaselves!
My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.


It's Not About the Power

It's about getting something done. Take the Oath of Office.

Have i mentioned lately how much I love Arianna Huffington? Gee i wish i were going to be at her bash at the Newseum at midnight.

For John Michael

I'm ready for Pats and Eddie to give me some dancing lessons in their basement:

Recently, in Montreal, Steven and I checked out a few screamingly loud gay bars dans le Village, but neither of us ever danced. In one place we felt too old (L'Aigle Noir), in another we were decidedly too young (the Stud), in still another (Gotha Lounge) we were just right, but spend all our time chatting... i'm reminding myself of the advice i just gave to john michael. It always works for me to pretend i'm someone else, like say, Edina Monsoon, channel that person, and then move as they would move (because the person I am just never dances anymore!). JM's got friends giving him dancing lessons in his basement! Doesn't that sound like fun?


Bella and Tarra

Look who CHRIS over at Cute with Chris has on his masthead! The following video is something he posted the other day, and I had to show it to you guys.


No Pants 2K9

Oh WOW, my my my THIS is fabulous.


It's the Geriatrics Rockettes!!

Who is she? Who was she? Who does she hope to be?

Shout Hallelujah, Cmon Get Happy

?Advocating Director?

you are a director

As a DIRECTOR, you combine an unusual openness and passion for beauty and style with confidence and a down-to-earth sensibility that allow you to realize your vision.

You are practical and pay attention to the details that others tend to miss.

By focusing on what is real and concrete, you achieve more than those who always have their heads in the clouds.

When it comes to what really matters in your life, you are confident in your ability to succeed.

Having beautiful things in your life gives you pleasure and satisfaction - you have a keen eye for style.

Even when problems present themselves, deep down you know you will overcome these challenges.

When routines get too familiar, you become bored and start looking for ways to spice things up.

You are open to new types of experiences – you are not afraid to take a risk on something new.

You have a highly developed sense of taste – you know what looks good on you, in your home, and in the world at large.

You tend to do things on the spur of the moment, not sticking to a set schedule.

You do your own thing when it comes to clothing, guided more by practical concerns than by other people's notions of style.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

If you want to be different:

Occasionally let yourself dream a little more, even if it doesn't seem practical or efficient.

how you relate to others
you are advocating

Being social, empathic, and understanding makes you ADVOCATING.

Some people find being around others exhausting—but not you! You are energized by spending time with friends, and you are good at meeting new people.

One of the reasons you enjoy conversation as much as you do is that you often learn about yourself while talking things out with a friend; you realize things about your own beliefs while discussing them with others.

You have insight into what others are thinking and feeling. This ability allows you to be happy for others, and to commiserate when something has gone wrong for them.

You are highly compassionate, and being conscious of how things affect those close to you leaves you cautious about trusting others too hastily.

Despite these reservations, you are open-minded when it comes to your worldview; you don't look to impose your ways on others.

Your sensitivity towards others' plights contributes to an understanding—both intellectual and emotional—of many different perspectives.

As someone who understands the complexities of the world around you, you are reluctant to pass judgments.

If you want to be different:

While it's important to think about others, don't forget to take some time for yourself, and occassionally to put yourself first.

Take some time to spend with a few close friends; although it's difficult to find people to trust, it's worth the effort.

When you have great ideas, it can be hard to relinquish control, but it can also feel good to take the pressure off and enjoy someone else leading the way.

Don't Let the Shoe hit you in the Head

as you walk out the door. THIS is why i love Arianna Huffington. She does not mince words when it comes to the Boy in the Bubble.

BTW, Arianna, we'd be BFF if i could see that one revised to, say, the Criminal in the Cocoon? How does that grab u? Or, how about the Lunatic on the Ledge? Freak on the Faith? Dick with the Delusions?

It's Bloody Hell Being a Goddamned Domestic Goddess!

Nigella's Bundt Cake recipe, reinterpreted for baby shower tomorrow. Girlfriend's WORE OUT. Yawn. There'd better not be more than 23 at this clambake tomorrow, or we won't be able to let someone eat cake, Marie. That's counting the exclamation point dear.


Post 501

If any of you want to read a thrillingly depressing view of American History of 2008, please see THE FIFTY MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE OF 2008. It certainly was an eventful year last year, wouldn't you agree? This list is a startling litany, but i find that i agree with much of this rather extreme criticism. Even Barack Obama makes the list, albeit at number 50. This piece is spot on in its criticisms of him.

If for no other reason, go and read this just for the hyperbole. It's incredible.

Prop 8 Updates

ANGRY BLACK BITCH has a GREAT POST up today about how all kinds of people are descending on the California Supreme Court regarding Prop 8. I read something the other day about how more people fled California last year than any other state (leaving the wingnuts behind who voted for prop 8? I thought that the distinction of state-most-fled belonged to Ohio or Michigan... for most of my lifetime anyway). Anyhow, i'm glad we have organized friends left in California--heck the BIRTH of organized friends practically happened in that cradle--and that they are mobilizing and not letting this issue fade into the sunset like George and Laura spiriting off to Preston Hollow (uggggggggh).

A big thanks to all these folks, Buckland, Herrera, Kay, Drew, Brill. You are all friends, indeed.

I just realized this is my five-hundredth post, btw.


Help George Pack

I hope they will have an interactive gallery--no, make that airplane hangar--in the Bush Library for the brazillions of nice interactives like this that culminate HERE.

Vitamin D

We got another light dusting of snow last night. I just stared out the front door at the sunrise for 5 minutes at the sunrise... getting my vitamin D, Steven, like Gavin told us. Gee, my mood feels enhanced already.

In other news, Steven has a gorgeous orchid in bloom right now. We have it in the kitchen enjoying it for a while. I think this one is my favorite, the blooms are so tiny.


First Queer Love on Daytime TV!

What's next? Gay porn on Oprah??

Expo 2010 :: Shanghai, PRC

Wow. I can wait for this. Steven's mom is in Shanghai right now.

Habitat '67

After two comments from new (and very interesting) readers of the previous post.. i wanted to delve further into Habitat '67 over lunch. Did you know Habitat '67 was the first in a big scheme that was to deploy in NUMEROUS OTHER CITIES? Very interesting. Moshe Safdie. Ok. Must. Eat.



Having been to Montreal twice now, we both really appreciate the groovy Frenchiness of this wonderful city. The food is incroyable, there is alot going on, and the people are beautiful and fabulous. Here is a little piece i found on youtube today about Expo '67... seems to be a, ummm, fully rounded--shall we say--commentary. After our first visit to Montreal years ago, we came back and googled Habitat to find that it is very difficult and competitive to live there, and requires a bit of life's ambition to tackle the requirements of being allowed the priveledge of living there. Utopia indeed.

Music Player

It took me WAY too long to figure out how to make the Playlist widget in the lower right sidebar NOT AUTOSTART. I think i have finally--successfully--achieved that. I don't know bout you readers, but i always found it annoyingly too automatic that the music just started when i opened my webpage, especially when i wanted to view one of the zillions of film clips i seem to be posting more and more.

Now, if you want to hear the music, you must scroll down to the Playlist player, and hit the play button. Otherwise, you will have a silent GAITPFM experience till you click on a Brini Maxwell or Keith Olbermann or WPLO a/v clip.

Going to take a nap now!

Atlanta, Atlanta, That's My Hometown!

Click HERE to hear a silly little jingle about my hometown, Atlanta, made by WPLO...in the fifties or early sixties i guess. Still sneezing my brains out here. *sigh*

Mom, what did WPLO stand for? Anything? I mean, i remember WSB was supposed to stand for Welcome, Southern Brother... did WPLO mean anything in that parlance?


Hello People! Let's Go Shopping!

Brini Maxwell's sweet publicist Jennifer sent me an email thanking me for putting up a link to one of Brini's shows! Well, and also to make a plug for BRINI'S PRODUCTS FOR SALE!

Who can't imagine Brini playing Kim Novak? And who can't use some of those darling felt wool coasters? How about a see-thru vinyl apron festooned with an adorable tulip pocket? I already have Brini's sensible, chic, and useful Guide to Gracious Living. And i love Love LOVE the It's For YOU! pillows! Now if i could just find someone to get that rotary phone ringtone on my mobile...

Thank you Jennifer, for cheering me up with more Brini cheer. You are gracious indeed.


Hello People!

I've been watching Brini Maxwell for a while on youtube to cheer myself up:

Why oh why did the Style Channel have to cancel Brini?? I think this was the greatest show EVER. Well, since AbFab anyway. Sniff.


Eydie Gorme, 1995 - 2009

Rest in Peace, my sweet little fluffybutt. We are going to miss you terribly.


Who's Going on Saturday?

Find out about Saturday's Rally, in a city somewhere near most of you, HERE. Leave a comment and tell me if and where you are going!

Steven and i are going to Columbus, and then we'll go see MILK afterwards.

Oh No

Thank goodness THIS didn't happen to me or Steven last week. Poor guy. Brrrrrrrrrrrr. And you know what happens to the boys in that kind of cold. Just sayin.


You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough

And Doggone it, People like YOU.

Congratulations Al Franken. I hope you can help change the culture of negativity in Washington. Here are some good ideas for speeches when some of those other Senators, um, yield:

"That's just stinkin' thinkin!"
- Al Franken, Stuart Saves His Family

"Listen to me. I'm should-ing all over myself."
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley), Stuart Saves His Family

"Whining is anger through a small opening."
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley)

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley)

"I'm going to die homeless, penniless, and 30 pounds overweight."
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley)

"It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world."
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley), Stuart Saves His Family

"I would never ordinally say this, but... is there any way you can get to a pound cake?"
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley), Stuart Saves His Family

"I'm a perfectionist and if I start making changes, I'll never stop."
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley), You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You

"My father grew up in the Great Depression - his mother's."
- Al Franken (as Stuart Smalley), Stuart Saves His Family

"an early start on shoveling the cow crap out of the stable"

"Your modern conservative movement: Clueless, humorless, self-absorbed assholes, right to the bitter end."

There is such a flurry of stories out in this here blogosphere about Bush loyalists in flight, assholes being shown the door, sputtering idiots barely making sense (anyone see Pat Buchanan on MSNBC last night??).

THIS piece from the DailyKOS about the ouster of some of the village idiots at the Pentagon is a worthwhile read in this area, if you are interested. I, myself, cannot read enough about the cleaning up and out of Washington.

I hope it will continue, and be more than just some spring cleaning.

Why is Everyone Freaking About Leon Panetta?

As usual, I think DIGBY has hit on the truth. I think Obama is making some really sound choices for our new government, including his choice of Panetta. The CIA needs the kind of cleaning up the French might do when it is time for them to riot in the streets and move on to a Sixth Republic. I don't think Panetta will act that boldly, but hopefully he will make the structural and moral changes the agency needs. He will be a true steward of Obama's vision I think.

And i can't wait for the spineless Democrats like Dianne Fienstein and all the others that have enabled the Bush Administration's trashing of the rule of law to be exposed for the hypocrites that they are.


Notes et des Photos from Recent Travel

We had a great time on our recent ski trip. For the first time, Steven and I took off and spent the christmas holidays by ourselves, and didn't try to get together with family. We went to Burlington, took the ferry cross Lake Champlain, had an awesome day of skiing, but then temps rose and the rain came. At least we got one good day in. Charming as Lake Placid and Saranac Lake were in the winter rain, we donned our passports and took off to Montreal, only 2 hours north, and had a wonderful time there for a couple days. Some of the highlights:

1. our host Joel at La Loggia who delightfully peppered every english sentence liberally with donc.

2. Au Petit Extra dans Le Village. Oh la la. Everything we ate in Montreal was un plaisir gastronomique.

3. Me, walking / tumbling (but not skiing) down some of the Whiteface trails that were ALLEGEDLY blue...some portions were waaay black my ankles tell me. I stuck assiduously to the green, thereafter, donc.

4. Our beloved Marche Atwater. I could live there. The camera was dead so we didn't get any photos.

5. Listening to Steven singsong Bonjour each time we entered a shop.

6. Le Plateau and Rue St. Denis et St. Laurent, and the conspicuous, wonderful absence of corporate America in these thriving merchant areas (one can't say the same thing for indoor Montreal, the giant malls and habitrails that connect much of the city in a winter-what-winter? kind of way all along rue St. Catherine).

7. the deliciously and absurdly named "Cafe Starbucks Coffee" we encountered a couple of times. there are a few, but they haven't taken over Montreal. One more downsizing and they will be gone. Betcha.

There's much more, but i'm too ADHD at the moment. Have a look at some pics... including the Adirondacks in the Adirondacks:

Fight the H8 in Your State