Friday, September 29, 2006

What time is it?


Time to have Jeffrey C. and Olivia over for dinner. Panchesco and Ken came as well.

Dinner salad.

I made lasagna, garlic and bruchetta bread, salad, and an (awful) yellow cake with apricot flavored frosting (note to self, I hate frosting with powdered sugar!).

Richard, Jeffrey C., Ken, and Olivia.

After dinner a craft activity is a must. We made plastic bead mosaics (it is better than crack!).

Bus tickets.

Panchesco's plastic bead mosaic was a repro bus ticket, very clever.

Nice time, except for the nasty cake, and the animals had a good time too. I had three glasses of wine and I guess I'm going to bed early tonight.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Living in Tucson, I sometimes feel like I'm a backwoods kinda gay guy. There are about 700,000 people living here. The gay community is large and fairly diverse, but the overall number of young people is small. A lot of the younger people move away to bigger cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego after they graduate from school. In turn, a lot of guys in their 30s through 50s, including many couples, are moving here because it is a relatively inexpensive place to live- housing is still quite affordable, especially if you have sold a high-priced house on the east or west coasts.

Tucson is slower-paced than other communities. In our gay community, there is less emphasis on body building- I don't feel really self conscious because I am not all rippling with steroid-enhanced muscles. I don't think a lot of the guys here use fancy drugs, at least that is my perception. Beer is the drug of choice. There is no gay uniform here either. In other places it seems like the guys all look alike. In Phoenix a few years back it was tight shirts, designer jeans, and clunky boots. In Tucson I can show up at one of the bars in a t-shirt and flip-flops and no one gives me attitude. I am also amazed when I smell cologne on someone.

So Tucson should be paradise, shouldn't it? At least if you value being yourself and being relatively close to nature (I hear the coyotes howling often at night when I'm in bed). But of course the downside of living here is if you are single, it is really difficult to find someone.

So how is life in your community?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Patrick, Brady, and I worked on masks for the All Souls Procession, which is taking place on November 5 this year. Brian is coming down from Phoenix again.

Mask making.

The Procession keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. They have craft workshops and you know me, I'm all about crafts.

Pluto, Patrick, and Brady.

Patrick is making a Pluto mask- appropriate because certain asshole astronomists (ASS-TRO-Physicists!) killed off Pluto this year as a planet.

Homo erectus mask.

I'm making an ancestral hominid mask.

It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours. I'm glad to escape some things going on in my head for a while.

Monday, September 25, 2006

My great-great-great grandfather, Robert Pierce, was born in South Lopham, Norfolk, England in 1824. He came with his parents and brothers and sisters to New York in 1829, sailing on a ship for 10 weeks. The family moved on to Jefferson County, New York, and eventually on to Lima County, Wisconsin. Robert and his wife, daughters,and son ended up near Traverse City, Michigan.

Robert Pierce.

Robert served in the Civil War as a volunteer soldier. Later he claimed a pension, stating that he suffered from piles (hemorrhoids) that were caused by the chronic diarrhea he developed as a soldier. He worked as a farmer and in the winter he worked in the lumber woods. One time a tree rolled over him, crushing his leg.

Robert died in 1904. I've been to his grave and wondered what he looked like. A few years ago I went to the tiny local historical society for Fife Lake, the community where he lived, and they had a family photo album that contained two of his pictures and the pictures of two of his other daughters. That was an exciting day.

In other news, life sucks.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

So have you seen this Daily Show clip with Paul Cameron? Cameron is well known in anti-gay circles and is frequently called upon to spew his opinions on the topic. My friend Jim has investigated his publications and finds them to be filled with inaccuracies.

The Daily Show, better than network news.

I'd never seen Paul Cameron speak before and, ohmifrickenlord, the guy is a total fagosexual. He's nellier than Nellie Olsen (who rocks, by the way). His mincing, prissy ways makes Paul Lynde look super butch.


Cameron is obsessed with man-on-man butt sex. Obsessed. Now, I'm pretty sure that my straight male friends don't spend much time thinking about homo anal "hog sex." But then I think they are probably spending their time thinking about how they can convince their girlfriends and wives to do anal. I could call them up and poll them on their views on homo butt sex, but that would be all scientific and in these Return of the Alchemists times, no one really gives a fuck about science, just like no one gives a fuck about polls anyways, right?

So Paul Cameron is a big ole closeted pansy, in my opinion. I have a Master's degree so my opinion must mean something. What is it with creepy, pansysexuals like Cameron and Karl Rove. They just look and act like freaks. Couldn't they just get on ManHunt and find some fellow closeted conservative to have "Intermission" with?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I introduced Brady to Venture Brothers on Adult Swim last night. Earlier I had made Forrest chocolate chip cookies, he's feeling a little homesick for North Carolina. Before that I went to the grocery store- where has Byron been, he's never there anymore. And so on.

Nothing particularly exciting, lots of little things. Some things I wish were different, others I wouldn't change. Today is the first day of fall- guess I should cut my hair, maybe trim my unruly beard. It feels more like summer though, albeit a little cooler and less humid. The upcoming weekend is all about yardwork, maybe fixing up my potted plants- a trip to the nursery. I wish I didn't feel so unsettled though. Must be the change in season.

Post haircut.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Somehow, despite eating portions of four cakes last week and getting very, very intoxicated on Saturday night, I managed to lose weight.

I noticed that this morning while putting on monkey clothes (slacks, a jacket, and tie) for a proposal interview up in Phoenix. This makes twice this year I've had to dress up for work. Mostly I wear shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops or sandals. Archaeologists are very, very casual.

In other news, all three of my cats have been having colds. This is the first time they have been sick in over five years (the last time they went to the vet was on September 11, 2001, a rather memorable day). Joey reminded me of this when she sneezed all over me this morning. I wipe their little noses and pop pills into their mouths and none of them ever say thank you.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The birthday that won't end.

On Friday, Adam and Andy came over for pizza, salad, and plastic bead mosaics. They brought me a tasty chocolate cherry cake.

Adam and Andy.

On Saturday, Patrick, Brady, Forrest, Paul, and Tina arrived with cake. We made plastic bead mosaics while waiting for the bowling alley leagues to go away.

Rat cake!

I loved my cake, decorated with voracious rats. Paul was particularly good at making plastic bead mosaics. I think he has a fine future in that fine art.

Paul and Forrest.

The best thing about bowling alleys is getting to put on the beautiful shoes.

Shoes! Ohmigod, shoes.

Brady and Homer.

I discovered I bowled better after a few beers. But Tina totally whipped our behinds.

Tina strikes a pose.

My, what big balls you have Patrick!


Alright, so I'm never drinking again. I woke up with the worst hangover. Headache, body aches, and nausea. When will I stop feeling dizzy? I had a lovely time, though. I was supposed to go to Phoenix to play pool volleyball, but I had to call Roger and explain how bad I was feeling. It's 9 PM and I'm finally feeling better. Never again!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tomorrow version 43 begins.

I picked out a toy house trailer from Ace Hardware when I was 5. I took cupcakes to school on my 6th birthday, each with a little plastic animal on top. I wish I had the llama. I remember thinking that 13 was old. The chocolate cake I had when I was 17 made me throw up. My college roommate surprised me on my 21st birthday. I did acid on my 27th birthday. I flew to Greece the day after my 33rd birthday. My 39th birthday was spent sobbing uncontrollably. The last three birthdays have been chronicled on here. I'll post pictures of the get together with my buddies Patrick, Brady, and Forrest.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Time for a new passport photo.




Wednesday, September 13, 2006

While catching up on blogs, I saw that Dop has been researching his family and found some new ancestors. I know how exciting it is to make a new discovery, I've been studying my own family since 1977, since I was a teenager.

The given names of my father's great-great-great-grandparents, who were born in the United States in the 1790s through 1820s were:

Ensor and Elizabeth
Daniel and Esther
Andrew and Susannah
Sheldon and Margaret
Alden and Lucretia
Benjamin and Sarah Alvira
Joel and Hannah
Zedekiah and Isabelle
James and Mary
John Jeffrey and Rebecca
John and Mary
John and Sarah

Just looking at the names, you can see a couple of trends. People were just beginning to move away from Biblical names (such as Joel, Hannah, James, Mary) to ones inspired by the romantic novels of that period (Alvira, Lucretia). Prior to the 1790s very few people had two given names, but afterwards more and more people were given two by their "modern" parents. A few males were given family surnames as their given names (Ensor, Jeffrey, Alden, Sheldon).

Alden and Lucretia's family, 1850, Trumbull County, Ohio.

I'm still making new finds, especially because a lot of records are now becoming available online. Every time you solve one mystery, another one appears. I guess that is why I like doing genealogy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Somehow I have managed to get on the American Family Association's email list. This bunch of moronic far right freaks (I swear, I am fair and unbiased) sent me the following email this morning about the CBS 9/11 documentary:

Dear Homer,

This past Sunday evening (Sept. 10), some CBS network broadcast stations aired the "9/11" documentary. During the course of the program, CBS affiliates chose to broadcast multiple obscenities over the public airwaves at a time they knew children would be watching.

CBS had been warned about allowing the "f" and "s" words on the air. The network could have easily muted the obscenities. But they chose not to. The network stations purposely chose to violate Federal and FCC law by airing the program.

The documentary was filmed by a pair of French brothers following a group of firefighters on that horrible day, just happening to catch the first plane impact. The firefighters and the film makers ended up inside the lobby of the north tower. As debris and bodies slammed into the ground outside and panicked workers ran by trying to get away, the firemen said things like, "Holy shit!" and "Fuck!"

These guys are heroes. I'm not one to really believe in heroes. But those men were heroic that day. They saved people, they did impossible things. 343 firemen died.

The American Family Association wants to fine CBS affiliates because some stations decided to show what those heroes did that awful day. Some of them swore. Can you believe that, that those firefighters facing the most unbelievable event, did not carefully watch every word that came out of their mouths? Many of the men shown heading upstairs were crushed within the next hour. I wonder what Donald Wildmon, fucking shitty cretin, was doing that day?

The American Family Association. Is it any wonder that the last name of their group starts with Ass? I sent them an email, "TAKE ME OFF YOUR FUCKING LIST YOU LOUSY FUCKS!" I forgot to use the "s" word, but I think if someone bothers to read it they will get the idea.

Monday, September 11, 2006

After the hike we tried to hitchhike a ride back to the car, but no one would pick us up.

Watch out for the bear!

The trail we had taken wound along the north side of the Catalinas- at one point we were probably at about 8,000 ft and could see a long distance toward the San Pedro River. Lots of beautiful wildflowers blooming and many small trees sprouting to replace those burned in the 2002 fires.

Homer and Forrest.

I thought the walking along the road would be shorter than going back along the trail. I was wrong, very, very wrong. Forrest was a good sport.

A rock alongside the road.

At one point we scrambled down a steep slope in an effort to cut a half mile off. I am part goat, I discovered.


As the sun went down Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" kept circulating through my head. Will I find you creeping down my backstairs?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

So I'm in a bad mood. Like, ohmigod, what's up with that. Something weighing on my mind- lots of why nots and what ifs.

More importantly, what can I do to make myself feel better.

Bake a fucking yellow cake with goddam dark chocolate butter-fucking-cream frosting.

So that's what I did tonight. I had to slice the top of each layer to make them flatter and I've been eating that scraps with frosting on them and drinking some milk. It is really tasty.

Unfortunately, it hasn't made me feel the least bit better.

Fucking cake.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Unlike yesterday, I did not step in cat diarrhea when I got up. Luckily for me, Puff is feeling much, much better.

My company is doing a major dig north of Tucson and today was the staff tour. I called up Chris and Forrest and invited them to come along with me.

Chris and Forrest.

The middle of the site, where the densest archaeological features are, is being preserved. The outlying areas will soon be bulldozed for condos. So far over 200 prehistoric pit structures, where people once lived and worked, have been found. Because there are so many, we can't even dig all of them.

Hohokam pit structure, circa A.D. 1000.

If you are a long-time reader you can skip the next bit, where I explain what a pit structure is. The Hohokam (and other prehistoric Native Americans in the Southwest) dug shallow pits for the foundations of their homes. The shape of the pits changed through time- from round, to subrectangular, to rectangular. A ramped or stepped entrance way usually stuck off one side, with a small, plastered fire hearth just inside the house. A number of postholes once held posts to support the roof and walls. Plaster, made from ground caliche (a limestone hardpan layer that develops in this area) was often smeared onto the floor and walls. The outer walls and roof were made from bundles of grass and reeds, with mud plaster coating the exterior.

Sometimes you find storage pits in the floors where the people stored food or unused tools. Storage houses, with very large pits, were present in pre-Hohokam days. After the development of pottery, these storage houses disappeared.

About 70 percent of Hohokam houses found are burnt, sometimes with the possessions of the people still inside. It is thought that houses were burnt by accident (by grassfires or when hearths sparked and caught interiors on fire) or on purpose, perhaps when someone died.

House with artifacts lying on the floor.

This house had burnt and had a number of pots, including one unbroken scoop, along with many manos (grinding stones) lying on its floor.

It is somewhat depressing knowing that the areas we were walking over will soon be the homes for rich people moving here from other places, most of whom could care less about this region's history. On the other hand, our excavations will have recovered a lot of information and artifacts that will be used to write the history of this prehistoric community.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My birthday is coming up (September 16). I'm thinking about what kind of cake I should make myself. Suggestions?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I made Forrest breakfast. He likes boysenberry jam, but then who doesn't.

Forrest at breakfast.

We went hiking in Saguaro Park West afterward. The desert is so green right now, with flowers blooming in surprising numbers.

Yellow flower.

On the way up the trail we talked and talked, so many things to talk about.

Whispering a secret.

As I was being silly and taking the picture, we were talking about people eating dirt.


Lots of insects including giant grasshoppers, various butterflies, and a moth that looks like a hummingbird.

Tiny blue flowers.

At the top I pointed out where the Twin Peaks had become a single peak after the other one was mined away. I don't know people have to be so destructive to our earth.

Saguaro cactus.

It rained on us on the way back and I was soaked by the time we got to the car. Forrest and I are becoming good friends, I'm glad he's my buddy.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I feel almost human again. After four days of coughing, fever, runny nose, bubonic plague, and leprosy.

Well, maybe no leprosy, but you never know. Thank goodness I'm not a hypochondriac.

Me, feeling better on the back porch this morning.

It is cloudy outside as the fringes of Hurricane John arrive, having headed north from Mexico overnight. Maybe some more rain- I could live with that. Right now it is lovely and cool outside.

No plans yet for the weekend. Forrest and I are supposed to do something on Sunday. Time to call friends who have pools!

Friday, September 01, 2006

I remember the Vietnam War. I'm old enough to remember Walter Cronkite tell us every day how many American soldiers had died and the body count of the enemy. On and on, as a child it never seemed to stop.

My oldest brother turned 18 in 1972 and was eligible for the draft. They used to broadcast the draft lottery live on television and I remember watching, standing behind my mother in her chair, as they drew birthdates out of a wire cage. Luckily for my brother, his birthday (March 13) was one of the latter ones called. So he didn't have to go off to fight in that worthless war.

We were supposed to be the biggest, bestest country in the world. And yet there it was on the tv, people lined up trying to get on helicopters to get out of Vietnam as the North Vietnamese closed in. We lost. No amount of blathering and speech making could alter that fact.

It seems strange now to be going through the same thing, this time in Iraq. No amount of name calling and finger pointing by Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfield will change the fact that they fucked their pet war up and we've lost. I wonder how they sleep at night?

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