Thursday, October 30, 2003

(the first post was originally on the 31st, but was lost and then replaced)

´╗┐So I thought it would be fun to take Puff and Joey in to work. Jesus f'ing Christ. In the car they
screamed. All the way there. That's about 7.5 miles of screeching. And at work they hid and were unhappy. And on the way back home they screamed and meowed. It was a nightmare. There will not be another "Take Your Cat to Work Day" ever.

A couple of images from tonight. Toured the downtown Train Depot, which is being renovated by the City of Tucson. Came home and carved my pumpkin, using a Martha Stewart idea.

Tile, circa 1941.

Pumpkupine, 2003.

God damn politics. So much of what is going on in the United States seems to be borrowed directly from the Cold War era Communists. Double speak, the development of an oligarchy, locking up people without trials, spying on citizens, the demonization of minority groups. It seems that the Republicans have discovered that those hapless commies had a few useful tricks up their sleeves. It makes me very pessimistic about life in this country, especially if Stupidesident Bush wins election "again." I truly don't believe he was really elected to begin within. One wonders what would have happened had Gore won.

Geez, don't get me going as I think about things. The Anti-gay Marriage Amendment. According to Senator John Kyl, this is a state's rights issue. If Massachusetts allows gay marriage, then the other states would be forced to recognize gay marriages as well, as states must abide by other states laws, according to our Constitution. On my recent trip to DC, I asked Dan, an employee of Kyl's office, if banning all gay marriages wasn't actually reducing state's rights, since it would prevent states and other political entities from setting their own rules. He said yes, that was true. And when I pressed him on the issue he admitted that Senator Kyl was doing it mostly because of the votes he would garner from old retired people and religious folks. I told Dan that that was pathetic. And reminded him of finally-dead Senator Strom Thurmond, who was viewed by many (except Senator Lott) as pathetic and wrong for his segregationist views. Thirty years from now I think a lot of people will look at the whole anti-gay thing with amazement. I mean, why waste so much time hating other people. If you don't like homosexuals, you certainly don't have to be one.

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Munchie Melon coloring book, 1968.

This was my favorite coloring book when I was a kid. I don't know why, it is one of those goofy things you remember. The characters included farmer Munchie Melon, postman Cornie, grocery store owner Barnaby Banana, Doctor Pineapple, Fire Chief Sassie Strawberry, dance instructor Dilly Daisie, Rinkie Rose, and Sissie Sunflower.

I was also a big Winnie the Pooh fan, had PeeWee dolls, later graduating to GI Joe. I also liked little plastic animals and dinosaurs. In the days before computer games and cable television, I used a lot of imagination when I was playing. It is safe to say that things haven't changed a lot.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Cats. Not the musical, but my five cats. It has finally started to cool off in Tucson and the cats have decided that it is too cold. So when I sit down they run over to crawl onto my lap and absorb body heat. Even Bear, who is the shyest of the bunch, comes by.

Busy next few days- Open House at the Depot, which is being restored, Rich's pumpkin carving party, Halloween, Day of the Dead. I need to do some yardwork as well- trim trees and work on the potted plants. I'm actually looking forward to that. Not looking forward to doing the swamp coolers. I suspect that will be postponed until next week.

Princess as a kitten, May 2002.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Shane called at about 5:30 and we chatted for a while. "Come on over," he said. I had been washing dishes- anything to escape that chore was a relief. So I drove over and found him potting plants in his backyard. Shane is a landscape architect and his backyard has quite a few interesting things- a fig tree, a pomegranate, some succulents, lemon grass. He was filling big pots up with dirt and planting flowers. I had a beer while we chatted. Brian showed up and we talked about politics for a while. Then migrated indoors while they did their dishes. It was a totally relaxing, uneventful evening. And back home I am feeling content, knowing that I have cool friends to hang with and talk about the mundane things that we experience, puzzle over life, etc. I like good times like these.

Oh, and yesterday I made the greatest caveman outfit. I'll post a picture of it on the weekend.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Out of the closet. I've spent a couple of hours cleaning out the two closets in my study and dining room. Re-arranging boxes, picking out items for the thrift store. Finding a few forgotten things. The boxes inside contain all of the letters and postcards sent to me over the last 20 years- I am always hoping that one of my friends will become famous and I can send a bunch of stuff to the National Enquirer. Some of the things were painful to see- a few leftovers from the ex, a reminder of happier times. Other things brought back better memories- my favorite childhood coloring book, Christmas wrapping paper, my college diploma. And then there is the big box of old bills that I should sort through and shred, but I think that will wait for another day.

Last night went with Jeffrey S. and Jeffrey T. to a party up in the foothills. Clint has a house crammed full of books and art and a strange assortment of collected items (Victorian glass shoes, hippopotamuses, Rockwood vases). His beau Max has a super soft chinchilla- very, very cute. It was a nice, quiet evening.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I'm a fairly good cook, although I rarely follow recipes. I tend to make things up in my head. On one or two occasions I have utterly failed, inventing some nasty dish. Mostly whatever I cobble together is edible. Last night I made a stew out of onions, red bell peppers, mixed vegetables, sliced potatoes, tomato sauce, and cream cheese. Yum.

Went out briefly to Itty Bitty Titties, as Gavin likes to call IBTs. Saw a few people I knew, had some fun. Today helped out the historical group I am a member of by putting on a little archaeology display. The weather was very nice and we had a small but interested set of people show up.

Back home feeling laaaazzzzyyyy. Joey just came to sit on my lap. She was super naughty this morning, picking on Bear, and I had to yell at her. She has a short memory, though. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be able to forget things so easily.

Flower next to the old Smithsonian Castle, DC, 2003.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Payday. And because I am so good at paying my bills and saving retirement money I am basically broke. So two weeks of eating whatever food happens to be in the pantry. Luckily for the cats there is an entire bag of delicious cat food, which I have promised not to eat, since I would probably have the same reaction that Joey has when she licks milk out of my cereal bowl. Barf.

Thanks to George Bush's astounding economic success, the archaeology business is being to look increasingly bleak. I have about four months worth of work left. Several people I work with have much less. It is beginning to stress me out. Arizona pays very little unemployment compensation, so if I should get laid off my life would rapidly become a horrible nightmare. Bahhh, worrying is genetic in my family. I should focus on happy, rosy things instead of reality!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

The weather is still pretty hot here in Arizona. Right now it is about 70 degrees outside. The trees are blooming in my yard, making me sneezy. I'm ready for it to cool down.

Tonight went over to Mark and Matt's house to watch my weekly hour of television. Matt was off elsewhere. Mark and I had take out Chinese food. Singing in the Rain came on the telly and Mark pulled out his autographed photo of Gene Kelly and Fred Kelly, who once danced together. Now back home and catching up with email and playing with the cats. They are pretty happy to see me. It's nice to be home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I wish. I wish, wish, wish, wish, wishy-wish. A while ago I wrote about having a crush. It is still there, less strong, more realistic. Reality sucks, 'cause it ruins a lot of dreams. Anyway, I have a little dream that relates to my last post. I'm hoping it comes true pretty soon.

Nightmare. I just awoke from a dream in which I was grocery shopping with Him and somehow He disappeared and I had to take the groceries over to His new place, where I met his new Asian girlfriend, who approved of my food selections immensely.

The dream was very intense and upsetting, touching on a lot of little things that still make me sad a year later. The loss of my best friend, loneliness, the niceties of domesticity,feelings of stability. And at 3:36 AM I feel like crying because I wish I had someone to buy groceries for. Isn't that absurd? And of course as I type this little miss Princess barfs on the floor next to me. Sigh. There are some things I could do without.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Quickly. I am rushing about trying to do two things at once. Procrastinating doesn't really pay off. So after a quick meal of veggie corn dogs and tater tots (I know, white trash but oh so yummy), I'm back to the library to finish gathering city directory listings for Menlo Park for the National Register nomination I am working on.

Got some good sociological history books at the University of Arizona library to read. Had to renew my community user fee- $40. Sucks. Members of the UA marching band- the percussion folks- were practicing outside. They were really good. I wonder why "drumming" hasn't become a cool thing for gay guys to do? But perhaps I'm just behind the times and they are already doing it.

Andy, a cute puppy at the University.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Of course Sunday was better. I cleaned house and later Jeff and Todd stopped by. Todd is a very nice guy from Chicago and he admired my artwork. Also very cute. In the afternoon I went out and visited with Gavin.

Gavin's new haircut.

After a while Kevin showed up and we talked and then wandered down to the B Line restaurant, where Gavin was enlisted to help install some lightbulbs due to his height. We collected Curtis and went across the street to IBTs and had a few drinks and chatted people up. Saw Scott B. there- he is also very cute. Then trooped back to Kent's house and spent more time being social. Kent has such a sexy Kentucky accent. Now back at home another work week to muddle through. Hopefully I can be a little more productive than I have lately.

Pity party. Just back from a night out on the town. Three hours, count 'em, one...two...three hours spent at IBTs and the Venture Inn. Tucson's outstanding gay night clubs. I haven't been to IBTs at night for years. It is a kind of stand and pose bar. There is a dance floor and I ended up with Shane, Joe, and Kyle jiggling around randomly. Dancing is, of course, the goofiest thing in the world. Ran into Jay, who I haven't seen in a month. It is still very hard. I don't think he understands.

At the Venture I chatted with Mark and John P. before running into Lee. We hung out for a while and eventually I wandered back to where Shane, Brian, and Joe had settled. Shane and Brian are such a nice couple of guys, and being around them makes me long for something similar. Someone to be buddies with, to share daily life. I'm tired right now, and maybe a tad buzzed from the couple of beers I had. So maybe that's why I'm feeling a little down, but maybe its because I'd like a little romance. Geez, it's a pity party for sure at Homer's house.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Wasted day. So far this Saturday has been a big pile of nothing. I made the mistake of balancing my checkbook and discovered that I had a lot less money than I thought. So one must behave. And it seems like the things I want to do all cost money. Of course I could go to the library and check out some books (don't sit on the chairs though, the number of homeless men who do make them particularly filthy) or I could go on a walk, or I could have a nap, watch a Buffy rerun, and cruise the internet. Oh, yeah, I did the latter three. But now I feel distinctly uneasy and annoyed. Partly it is because I am building up the nerve to call someone, partly it is because I want to ask someone else out on a date. I can be so filled with insecurities sometimes. I guess that helps make life exciting, since if you were sure of the outcome there would be no wonder, no chance, no unexpected surprises.

Orchids, DC, 2003.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Sam has the coolest friends who send him links to educational websites like this one. Warning, Adult Muppet content!!!

Insomnia. I've woken at 3 AM so often recently that I've developed a routine. Lie in bed for a while, get up, sit at computer, hold various cats on my lap, cruise the internet. Sometimes I wake up after having a particularly vivid dream. This morning the dream was that I was on an airplane that was hijacked. We were flying really low to evade radar and landed in the woods on a dirt road. Surprisingly, members of the army were there to meet us. We knew something evil was up, so I hid my cell phone on my body (guess where). Later I was able to call John G., figuring he was the best person to help out. Of course I awoke before the dream was resolved. It was pretty vivid though, and my heart still pounds a bit faster than normal.

What else? Had stuffed grape leaves for dinner last night. Yummmm. Fixed the guest house swamp cooler. Chatted with Shane and Michele. Watched Survivor (my weekly one hour of television), worked on my book, went to the Historical Society, was feeling unsatisfied at work yesterday. Saw the dancing crossing guard- I'll have to describe him later. Life is normal and mostly satisfying at the moment.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Ali Baba's Cave. Well actually, Ali Baba's restaurant. I took Robert out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. We had yummy food and then went to his place where his Jack Russell terrier tried to lick us. Slurp.

Hmm, as I type this there are gunshots nearby. And again. That has been happening alot in Menlo Park. And yesterday I was at the credit union and the Federal Credit Union next door had just been robbed and there were cops everywhere and a sobbing girl. That made me feel pretty angry. I had a gun pulled on me once by a cop- 13 October 1993. Jesus, that was 10 years ago already. Mistaken for an armed robber- me in my blue oxford, khaki pants, penny loafers- on the day I was going to buy my first car ever. The cop yells- "Put your hands up, spread your legs! Spread them farther!!!" Geez, I thought he would never ask. Anyway, cops don't apologize when they make a mistake. And now I hear the sirens, speaking of cops.

20th century re-visited. The cable company mistakenly disconnected my cable for about 12 hours and I had no internet. It is alarming how out-of-sorts I became for that time period. No New York Times to check on, no weblogs to browse, no nothing. The cable guy who came to repair things was a spitting image of the postman from Cheers, right down to the endless arcane facts.

Last night I hung with Shane and Brian. They are so mellow and funny. We looked at some bizarre and disgusting things on the internet. Their house is enormous, as are their dogs. I'm going to have Shane plan my landscaping for me. They are encouraging me to get back to the gym, and I guess I will have to follow their advice.

Shane and Brian.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Scary Dinner. Last night was Scary Dinner night at Dena's. I brought along a horrific Pet Cemetery Cake complete with pet burials, chocolate tombstones, and insects. Tom fashioned Eyeball deviled eggs, very lovely. Dena's spider rolls and Gretchen's casket finger sandwiches were spooky. And Nick's black drinks looked like something a witch would design. He lifted the recipes from Martha, who I admire for her fine domestic skills. Tom's prawn and paella, which I did not partake due to vegetarianism, was definitely the scariest and Dena's dessert, Spotted Dick, had the most disgusting name.

Scary foods.

Pet Cemetery Cake.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Yuck. So the patchy grass in my yard has gotten really tall because of the three hurricane-induced storms. And this morning I finally drag my weed whacker out to cut it down. And in the back yard I hit a patch of fresh dog poop. And it splatters all over my face and arms. I scream. Drop the weed whacker. Run to the hose. Turn it on full blast. Scrub violently at my face. I did not need this variety of facial. Enough said.

Outoberfest. Because it is so f'in hot in June, Tucson holds it's queer pride event in October. Yesterday was the first time I had been to one in three or four years (last year I was too depressed and previously He hadn't wanted to go, I guess). There were a lot of people I knew there and some rather good singing groups doing knockoffs of gay standards (Madonna, Erasure). Met Panchesco for the first time in person, geez is he ever charming.

Oh and lots of cute redheads. A selection:

Michael and me.

Jeffrey showing us his tattoos.


Saturday, October 11, 2003

Obnoxious politics. I hardly feel sorry for Rush Limbaugh, who has admitted to his addiction to pain killers. He is a hateful charleton, his blathering on the radio is false and untrue. In the past he has said that law breakers should be jailed to the fullest extent possible. Is he willing to be carted off for breaking laws as well?

So often the self proclaimed moral leaders of our nation have fallen. William Bennett, who made a living telling the rest of us that our culture is in decline (whatever that means), was a profligate gambler. Newt Gingrich excoriated Bill Clinton over his affair while cheating on his second wife. Al Franken has pointed out that most of the members of the current Bush administration are liars, while these same people keep repeating the same fictions- hoping that if they say it even it will come true.

Why does this matter? I'm just tired of "leaders" telling us that certain groups or actions are evil (homosexuals, Muslims, Fidel Castro, consensual sex, etc), while engaging in the same actions themselves. It is time for Americans to wake up, grab a handful of books, get on the internet, learn about the whole range of opinion, try to understand both sides and look for the truth. Is that such a hard thing to do?

Friday, October 10, 2003

Post-vacation vacation. Went to work this morning and discovered I needed a vacation from my vacation. So I came home early and went out to the guest house to get it ready for Michele, who will be moving in this weekend. Some paint touch ups, which involved going to Ace Hardware (where they are truly helpful) and getting a quart of cream-colored paint. The swamp cooler wasn't working well, since the pulley had fallen off and the last tenant hadn't bothered (of course) to inform me.

Now I am debating a little nap. Joey seems to think this is a good idea and has sprawled out next to me on my green notebook, her chin resting on top of her paw. Princess has taken to picking on her, and poor Joey is beside herself and meows unhappily. Poor beast.

Stopped at the grocery store to buy ingredients for Sunday's Scary Halloween Dinner. I'm making a caserole and a dessert. Need to find something to "bury" in the latter. Giving a short talk tomorrow before running over to Outoberfest, Tucson's Gay Pride event. Maybe I'll run into somebody there, you never know.

Architectural detail, near the Capitol.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Outside the rain trickles down, the remains of another pair of hurricanes that came up from the Sea of Cortez. I'm back in Tucson, seated at my desk, the cats clambering over me, Puff talking loudly. The fan blades make their familiar clickety-click, the dull whirr of the swamp cooler in the background.

Endless travel- car-subway-train-airplane-mad dash-airplane-car. My ears throb from pressure changes. I find a pile of mail that is rapidly winnowed down to a trio of bills, a certificate saluting me for my "Star of the Day" radio appearance in August, and another letter thanking me for one of my editorials.

Now a return to the usual routine. In some ways my vacation was like work- as I doggedly poked through old files. In other ways it was an exciting journey, seeing Pat, Diane, and John; meeting little Bridget, Kelly, the other John, and Maggie. Ate at a couple of nice restaurants, misbehaved some, and rode the Metro. Oh, and itched a lot. Something in DC made me itchy all over and that practically drove me crazy. I mean, I'm sitting in the National Archives reading about drippy-butted veterans and my ankles and less public places feel like they need a good scratching.

A few pictures:

Amazing passage, Detroit airport.

American's largest erection.

John and Homer, after Italian food.

Next to the Smithsonian castle.

Kelly and his amazing lamp.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

DC Day. Busy, busy, busy. Finished at the Archives this morning (Elijah had chronic diarrhea and piles, yuck), then to the Library of Congress to look at 20 books, then quick visits to Rep. Grijalva, Sen. Kyl, and Sen. McCain's offices. Chatted with Dan at Kyl's office on the gay marriage issue- he admitted there is no rational reason behind the Republican push for that measure. Then to the Botanical Garden conservatory where I looked at lots of pretty flowers. Now over at Kelly's house where he is suffering from a cold :(

Back to Tucson tomorrow. Lots of pictures to upload.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Wheaton Terrier. Kelly has a lovely Wheaton Terrier named Maggie. She is a very smart dog- Kelly says "Walk?" and she runs to the front door. I like other people's dogs. You get to pet them, play with them, let them lick your face. And someone else gets to clean up their doggy doody.

Dinner with John G. at an expensive Italian place was nice on Saturday night. Splurging once in a while is a good thing, as Martha would say. Afterward we had a nice talk about life. John seems to like DC and I feel somewhat envious because I really like the east coast.

Kelly is so much fun and one of the nicest people in the world. We had a good time hanging out. I especially liked the long nap because my nose is acting up. I have to come back and spend more time with him.

National Archives today- looked at 10 Civil War pension records. I was glad when the last one was finished. I have four more or so tomorrow, along with some War of 1812 records to examine. I could probably spend weeks there. I think I will have to take one day and play tourist- wander around DC and look at some of the stony architecture. The people watching here is first class- so many interesting hairstyles and clothes. I'm having a good time.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I'm over at Kelly's house, hanging out with him and his cute Wheaton terrier, Maggie. He lives in an old brownstone in DC that he just recently bought. We went down to the Mount Vernon parkway and walked around today, lots of hurricane felled trees. Then came back and I had a little nap. Last night I had dinner with John G. at an expensive, cute Italian place. Nice food and we had a really pleasant time talking. Tomorrow it is back to the Archives and hopefully a better time than last Friday.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Washington DC. Arrived here after a 12 hour airport/plane journey. The airport in Detroit has an amazing connecting passage between Terminals A and B- beautiful light show and music. I wanted to just hang out there. Not much SAB (Stupid Airport Behavior) visible. That was a relief.

At Pat's house. Met his very cute daughter Bridget, who is very blond and looks like a female version of Pat. Diane, her sister Marie, and her hunky cousin John were here last night. Marie left this morning. They are all personable people.

National Archives today. Had to deal with some apathetic people and had to make a small scene, which had goods results. Looked at four pensions- found some interesting facts. A bigamous marriage, an imbecile soldier, a damaged testicle.

I love the Metro here. Bong-bong, is the sound the alarm makes. So many people to watch. Tonight on the way back to Pat's house there was a beautiful flirty couple. He obviously liked her a lot, she was enjoying the attention. DC is so lovely in the massiveness of the buildings, the hustle and bustle, the diversity of people. Maybe I should move here.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

I'm leaving on the jet plane, I do know when I'll be back again. Yawn. Too early in the morning and I'm pausing before I do the frantic to note that I'll be gone a whole week to Washington DC. Mama Cat begs me to take her with me, but I don't want her anywhere near nasty ole Republicans, who would chastise her for being a single mother. Joey, on the other hand, with her awful habit of furniture-urination, would fit in really well.

Sunflower, San Rafael.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

A new month. Back in Michigan October was the real beginning of fall. The leaves drift down dreamily in red, orange, and tangy yellow. Some hang onto the trees until they are dull and brown. That certain smell permeates the air- part wet leaves, part burning firewood, part damp earth. As a child October meant Halloween. We were a poor family, my father driving a semi to support his wife and five children. There wasn't much money to spare on luxuries like candy. Halloween meant candy. Lots of it. Mostly gross stuff like candy corn, circus peanuts, and taffy. Occasionally there would be a chocolate bar. Oh, how I loved chocolate (and still do!). One year someone gave each of us the huge size chocolate bar. I remember how happy that made me.

I don't really recall many of the costumes that I wore. My mother made extravagant gypsy girl costumes for me and my brother when I was in second grade. I'll let you decide whether that changed my life in any fundamental way. I was a ghost one year, clad in an old white sheet with holes cut into it. The last Halloween that I went trick-or-treating I was a Revolutionary War soldier. In grad school I made costumes for my boyfriend Paul (Christmas tree) and myself (tossed salad) that were rather clever. That went over better than the next year when I went as Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, with a huge black dildo stuck down my pants.

I haven't dressed up in years- I think the last costume was "White Trash" which was merely a big white trash bag. Everyone thought it was clever. It is amazing what a few drugs will do to you, I guess. Nowadays I like to stay at home and hand out really nice candy. Fairly big chocolate bars, hoping that maybe one of the kids will leave my house with a happy memory.

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