Thursday, August 02, 2012
Can't make this stuff up folks--this is politics in 2012!!
"Former state Senate Democratic Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is considering running for mayor as a Republican in a move that could shake up the 2013 mayoral contest." Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/gop_eye
1) I was going to rant against Republican and/or Conservative bloggers who are a breed of their own but they don't know how to read just to copy and paste the party line and/or lie so on to other things . (Though I still might say something further down the list!)
2) Don't remember where I read this but it is smart: "To the optimist and to the pessimist--this is from the realist--while you were arguing whether the glass was half full or half empty, I drank it."
3) Former Senate leader Fist and 2 other Republicans said, "Stop wasting time and money and get with the Health Care program"--smart men.
4) I really enjoy watching "The Newsroom" and "Political Animals".
5) Chick-A-Fil spokesperson Donald Perry died last Friday. Karma? Payback? Coincidence? Mother always said, "If you can't say something nice about someone don't say anything" so I won't.
6) Get rid of negative people in your life and you will have a better life--they feed off you so ignore them.
7) When you get a compliment just say "Thank you"--don't add a 'but'.
8) Blogs are a funny thing--on 2 sites I get some responses, on 2 others I get more and on 3-4 I get a minimum of 10-12 comments. Unfortunately on 1 site the people are rude and crude, name callers, some not liking anyone who isn't like them with a majority of them being two faced.
9) A couple of people asked, regarding my "7 Decades" series--from 1972-1979 I paid 35-37% in taxes and still had everything I wanted and needed.
10) I wonder why people blog if they are going to disable all comments unless they are so alone they have no one to talk to and get things off their chest?
11) I fell for it--there is a blogger called myolympicjourney who caught me in her web--I thought she was really writing a journal regarding her first experience of participating in the Olympics when all the time she was a student doing a writing experience--I usually read a blogger's profile and first blog but I didn't in this case--that's okay as others fell into the trap also which makes me feel better! LOL
12) What makes Blu-Ray so much better than a regular DVD?
13) I never understood, still don't, about the 'friends' topic--I have over 250 'friends' on one of my blogging sites and I don't know most of them nor have I ever heard from them after they requested to be my friend and I said yes. And if people are going to do 'friends only' posts why not just e-mail them?
14) Strange--all we hear is about the 1% and higher taxes--meanwhile AT&T has raised their residential rates and cut back their lifeline by $4 and no one, including AARP or other organizations, have complained that poor people are paying an extra $6 a month.
15) Did the Right really think the British did the Health Care segment in the Olympics opening night ceremonies purposely against them and not because they are very proud of their system and part of their history?
16) We lost some great entertainers recently like Tony Martin, Gore Vidal 86 Sherman Hemsley 74 and Chad Everett 74 with the latter 2 younger than me but Tony made it to 98.
17) Though most TV commercials are as annoying as hell there are a few I enjoy each time I see them like Shaq in the Buick ad where he points his finger at the camera at the end and gives that 'cute kid' smile. Then there is John Cleese in the DirectTv commercial and I crack up each time I see the 'wooing my daughter' Toyota and one in the Subaru where the father and daughter chase the rainbow. And I won't get into the Ford ads with the hunk! LOL
18) Oh heck, I've been good up to this point so (if the shoe fits wear it) why are most Republican/Conservative bloggers homophobic but will die saying they aren't while posting anti-gay blogs? And why don't they ever answer a direct question with a direct answer? Why are they so quick to call people names and get uptight if you call them a name? And because Romney said something stupid in Britain why did Republicans have to write such horrible posts about Britain and the English knowing many bloggers are British?
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Okay, let's get it out of the closet and talk about gay sex in Memphis. I left New York City after years of all the sex I could want and now that I was going to Memphis I felt as if I was going into a monastery (to paraphrase Streisand in "Funny Girl" "Would a monastery take a Jewish boy?"). Not only was Memphis the buckle of the bible belt this was also 1969 and Gay Rights haven't even been spoken in the south let alone start there. I did have a copy of a gay travel guide which mentioned a bar plus a couple of outdoor cruising spots and just before I left New York a gay magazine had a story about the mid-south and places to go. In other words I arrived in Memphis, not heading to the monastery, but to the Peabody hotel, Overton Park, Goldsmith's, X rated video stores , motels off the Interstate, rest areas among other places not to mentionmyown'open house' Saturdays. I did find out that "Behind Closed Doors" was certainly true and though I met a few married gay men in New York I was amazed at how many men, who identified as gay, were married and had children and didn't have a problem with living in the closet.
This city slicker quickly learned that 'looking for sex in all the wrong places' is not the same in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi as it is in Manhattan, New York. I had to learn about headlights and meeting truckers on the interstate. There was the secret of taking a ground floor room in the back of the motel so you could sit on the bed in a dark room except for the light of the TV with the curtains open and the door ajar knowing it wouldn't be long before someone would poke their head in the door and ask, "What's happening?" Whether you were at the Ramada Inn in Jonesboro, Arkansas or the Holiday Inn in Jackson, Mississippi or the Reade House in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it was always easy to meet someone at the bar, usually a salesman passing through.
Men would drive down to Oxford, Mississippi, home of Mississippi University, 'Ole Miss', and spend hours at the rest area right outside of town off I-55 or cruise along I-40 between Memphis and Nashville for places to park and have sex. You learned that when you go into a smaller town in Tennessee like Jackson or Covington, head for the city hall and the men's room will give you all the information you need to know about the parks to go to meet other guys. In Chattanooga there were a couple of gay bars and a X rated video place with booths downtown and there was an infamous spot near the base of Lookout Mountain.
Before you righteous people get all up in arms remember a lot of this was due to the fact that people had to be in the closet and had to hide and sneak around or they could lose their jobs, families and friends. Now there is the Internet so many of the places, plus cruising tactics, have completely changed. You can make dates before getting to a city or town, find out where the hot bars are or where to go to hook up.
Along with everything else in Memphis there were my successful Saturday afternoon orgies with the red light lit outside the door! Yeah, yeah, I know but even if it was tacky it let people know that it was party time. I don't know the exact figures but I am willing to bet at least 95% were married men who were 'out on errands'. Men from all strata's of life including dentists, doctors, lawyers, theatre directors, the organist from the biggest church in town, waiters, bar owners, firemen, police officers, sales clerks not to forget some husbands of Weight Watchers members or members themselves. They would sit downstairs talking, having a drink and relaxing or go upstairs to the main bedroom to get into the king size bed.
I could go into a dozen posts about Overton Park but let's just say I had most of my sexual encounters either there or meeting people there. Bernie would raise hell when he knew I had been there in my car with the top down and the MARTIN license plate because every knew that guy from WW owned the white Caddy. The most important part of Overton Park was that I met Chuck and Dr. K there for which there should be shrine on that spot!
I don't know how the cruising scene is in Memphis now but back then there was always a line to the balcony of the lobby of that hotel and there was an X rated Video store across the street. Out in East Memphis Goldsmith's downstairs, near the housewares department, the rest room was notorious. For what it is worth I still have some of the red dishes and the serving bowls and platter that I bought there 40 years ago.
It wasn't long before I got into the groove of things in the mid-south to the point that I didn't miss my old sex life in New York City except for the Everard baths. It would take a complete post to tell you about the ad I took in the Advocate and had over 300 answers with over 100 people coming to visit me over Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day weekends from all over the States and a good time was had by all.
Okay, let's get back to Bernie and WW part of my Memphis decade and how the former came to an end.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
When I first arrived in Memphis I felt like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" only it wasn't Kansas I wasn't in anymore but New York! Yes people talked and walked and did things slower with the attitude, "If it doesn't get done today it will tomorrow", and when I finally adapted that attitude I loved it but getting use to it plus understanding the Southern accent and the sayings took a little while! I must say from day one I found all Southerners to be gracious, opening their homes to these Yankees, cooking us meals and eager to take us around. I found out that many did invite us to their homes and/or joined our WW class to hear "..those funny guys from the North talk." It really didn't take long for my favorite word to become 'Sho-o-o-o-o-t'! I found Southern women to really be 'steel magnolias' and though I thought Southern gentlemen were soft spoken and a bit effeminate and that most were gay the first two traits hid tough guys who didn't take or give any bull.
Here it is 43 years later and I still remember walking into the Giant (that was the name) supermarket on White Station Road for the first time and it lived up to the name. New York had grocery stores like A & P but this was a SUPER market! It was huge and bright with spacious aisles and even had a lever to lift up your wagon so you didn't have to bend over to put things on the cashier's counter. The shelves had so many items I never heard of and the meat section parts of animals that I have never tasted. I fell in love with Memphis that moment, if not before. At the same time I discovered Sessel's (on Union?) who made the best in store carrot cake I ever tasted! I became so Southern I went to my first--and last--football game.
On Mount Moriah Road, or was it Mendenhall Road?, there was a 'hair stylist shop'--in Memphis???--where I had my hair cut every 10 days, since I read in "The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit" that a gentleman has his hair trimmed every 10 days, and gray sprayed in my temples to make me look distinguished and older. I don't have to do that anymore as the temples are naturally gray without spray!
After that, going west, was the Perkin's Pancake House right between the railroad tracks and Goldsmith's department store--funny the things you remember though I had a good reason to remember the latter which I will get into later--while across Poplar was Sears which didn't have any outside windows though Johnny (as I would learn later) was their 'window dresser'!
Memphis is the home of Beale Street and the blues, along with Stax records and the start of rock and roll and, yes, became the home of Elvis. The original Holiday Inn and Fedex started here. In 1969 the airport was renamed the Memphis International airport. While I was there work started on Mud Island which had a walkway showing all of the Mississippi river from where it started to where it ended. They were also building a pyramid along with an amphitheatre where a few years later, when I returned to Memphis on vacation, I saw an outdoor performance of "A Chorus Line".
On October 21, 1969, I got my driving permit and got my driver's license on October 29 and a week later I was driving a white Eldorado Cadillac convertible with a MARTIN license plate. I was moving on up!
In 1972 I was making enough money to not only start a month long vacation but doing it going first class with airplanes, hotels, limousine and personal guides though I much preferred going out on my own. My first vacation was to Dalls, Honolulu, Papeete, Moorea, Bali Hai, Bora Bora, Auckland, Sidney, Cairns, Melbourne, San Francisco and back to Memphis. Sadly I was drinking heavy and missed a few trips such as the Barron Gorge and Falls, Kuranda, Atherton Tablelands, Tinaroo Falls along with other side trips. My excuse? Most were scheduled in the morning and my travel agent knew not to book me any morning trips! I don't have a single picture from that trip but I still have the trip ticket and a couple of sheep scatter rugs that someone I had met in Auckland sent me as a gift.
The following year it was South America starting off with Rio, on to Buenos Aires, Iguassu Falls--where I got lost in the jungle--Sao Paulo, Brazilia, Caracas, Guatemala, Mexico City, Acapulco and then Puerto Vallarta where I got so sick I don't remember cutting the rest of the trip short, getting to Memphis without knowing how I got through customs and ended up in the Baptist hospital. Again no pictures and considering how much I drank on the trip I am surprised any germ lived. The one thing I did was write a lot of letters to Bernie and myself so I have a journal of that vacation as I had asked Bernie to hold all the letters for me and I still have them.
The 1974 vacation would be brought to a halt for another reason.
Monday, July 30, 2012
What is it about me that makes it impossible for me to walk out on a movie that is boring me to tears? Why is it that I am unable to fall asleep in a movie that makes me nod off for a second? And, why oh why, do I get suckered into seeing movies 3 or 4 times a years that has âART MOVIEâ marked all over it that are, usually, very disappointing?
âBeasts of the Southern Wildâ won the top audience award at the Sundance film festival and the best debut award at the Cannes film festival and its young star 8 year old Quvenzhane Wallis has captured the heart of every critic with reviews that havenât been seen for a child star since, letâs say, Drew Barrymore in âE.Tâ.
An independent film directed by Benh Zeitlin and co-written by him and Lucy Alibar shows its threadbare budget but they have opened it up tremendously from the play, originally written by Alibar. There is a lot of sloppy camera work but the area known as The Bathtub south of the New Orleans levees is shown in all the bad and good of nature.
The story, in simple terms, is how a motherless child, Hushpuppy (Wallis) is being taught, with tough love, a lot of love, by her father Wink (Dwight Henry) how to survive in a harsh world, only we see it all from Hushpuppyâs point of view. We also see the animals--wild boars or mythical beasts called aurochs?--she imagines but I didnât care to contemplate what they symbolized and it didnât seem to matter.
Quvenzhane Wallis is everything a child star should be and nothing that most are. She is not precocious or a brat and she has an extremely expressive face. If anyone else had played the role of Hushpuppy Dwight Henry would probably have walked away with the picture. He plays the role of a responsible father who has to prepare his beloved daughter for a hard life even if it means being cruel to her.
I am not sure if the volume of the sound track was too low, or just the way the actors spoke, but I wasnât interested enough to say something to the manager and since no one else did letâs mark it up to having trouble in my right ear.
The problem with âBeasts of the Southern Wildâ is that there are too many buts in the film.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
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