May 2005


Two new pics of Bruce, taken about 5 minutes ago.  Recently I
cleared out some space on the shelf of my computer desk, and tonight
Bruce discovered he fit quite nicely there:
[[image:brucedesk00.jpg::center:0]]

[[image:brucedesk01.jpg::center:0]]

I think he’s trying to tell me it’s time to go to sleep.  Because it is. (more…)

So, on Monday I was out running errands, including a stop at
Eckerds.  As I get out of my Jeep I hear a woman in the parking
lot say, “Are you okay?”  There’s also some frantic honking. 
Being it’s 2pm on a Monday, the place is not exactly jumping, and for a
moment the fear that my muffler just exploded or something fills me
with dread.  But, I turn around and find that the querant in this
circumstance is talking to a lady in a white Taurus, parked behind me,
and she’s got good reason for concern.  The lady in the Taurus has
jumped the curb, tried to drive down a short embankment and cross the
sidewalk, and failed:
[[image:car01.jpg::center:0]]

I can’t hear what the woman in the Taurus says in reply, but the lady
addressing her says, after a few moments, Girl, if you do that you’re
gonna mess up your car
.  Too true, as the lady in the
Taurus apparently thinks she can just drag her car the rest of the way
over the curb.  Not a wise decision, and fortunately she’s kept
from doing so.

The weirdest things happen when I go out and run errands. (more…)

Engadget has a picture
they say they got from someone who attended one of the Xbox 360
Revealed events in LA this weekend.  Ah, discreet camera phones,
is there nothing you won’t bring us in our hour of curiosity? 

Speaking of, tonight I have pics to post from my camera phone that will
display a case of particularly unfortunate driving in Durham. 
There’s nothing like walking into an Eckerds and saying to the cashier,
“Not that there’s anything you can do about it, but someone just tried
to jump the curb in the parking lot, drive down the embankment, cross
the sidewalk and enter the street, and now they’re stuck with the
back-end of their car sticking up in the air.” (more…)

Given East Waynesville Baptist Church’s sudden PR faux pas
(that’s Freedom for fuck up), I
figured maybe a zippy new church sign might be the way to go.   You know, something to brighten up the place:

[[image:churchsign00.jpg:Also, no Democrats.  Seriously.:center:0]]

[[image:churchsign02.jpg:Tax-exempt status RULES!:center:0]]

[[image:churchsign03.jpg:We vote on the Julian calendar, right?:center:0]] (more…)

How much crap like this can happen in the world before something changes?

Here’s my immediate reaction:  doesn’t he realize the election is over?

Here’s my next-most-immediate reaction:  guess he’s tired of that tax-exempt status, eh?

DailyKos has all kinds of information
on how to contact various authorities such as the IRS over just such a
point.  I plan to call them to lodge a complaint, myself, but
being from near there all I can really think is, Um, who is surprised this happened in Waynesville?  It’s hard for me to remember not everyone has cousins in Waynesville, though.

Ultimately, it’s hard for me to get it up to care – not because I don’t
care but because it’s so humiliating to my native region of the
state.  It’s like seeing a cousin show up on CNN with MULTIPLE
HOMICIDES emblazoned under them on the title bar.  I just want to
cover my face and hold up a little sign that reads Not My Deal
and wait for it to go away.  I mean, jeez, how many times can this
kind of thing happen before everyone just assumes we’re all completely
batshit insane if we’re from there?  How many times can someone do
something like that before everyone around them starts to hope they just shut up, starts to think that maybe they are crazy, starts to avoid them in the grocery store? 

It’s also hard to properly emphasize – neither over- nor underplaying
it – that extremist churches split up all the time over stupid little
shit.  The church my parents go to is hardly extremist (they’re
both Democrats, and they both gladly voted for Kerry, and they both
hate Bush) but just before I was born there was a huge schism within
their congregation over, I shit you not, where to put the American flag in the sanctuary.  The question revolved around whether to have it up front, next to the altar, suggesting that (a) religion and politics were inseparable, (b) faith and patriotism were inseparable and/or (c)
that the secular state and religious sanctum shared equal importance in
worshippers’ lives.  The side that advocated keeping it at the
back of the sanctuary won out, and from what I later came to understand
– all through eavesdropped snippets, mind you, since down here we only
talk about bad things when we can pretend no one is listening – that
was the side that said neither a, b nor c should be considered church doctrine – but without ever agreeing on what church doctrine should
be.  There were people on both ends of the left-right spectrum on
that side, people who couldn’t have had a civil discussion of politics
tied to a chair and loaded on hits of X, who teamed up together
because, all issues aside, that simple matter of interior
design – a geographical question of less than 100 feet – was enough
opportunity for blood to push their otherwise disparate packs
together.  In little churches like this, or in any community where
there are an abundance of things so minor they’re worth killing for,
it’s far easier to fight over what people should not do than try to establish and agree upon what they should.

Witness the last 30 years of right-wing politics for a taste of this,
people.  Getting churched for being a Democrat is just a
microcosmic instance of the entire right-wing philosophy: to question is to subvert and disagreement is treason
If you make fun of Bush, you must hate America.  If you disagree
with the war, you must hate America.  If you vote for Kerry, you
must hate the church.  If you have gay sex, you must hate
families.  The entire right-wing machine runs on the fuel of
negative philosophy – that is, they do nothing so much as attack that
which they say they are not because it’s sure as shit easier than
trying to produce that which they say they are.  It’s so much
easier and cheaper, every time they get bored, to just find a new
strawman Other and pronounce them entirely unfit for treatment as a
human being, isn’t it?

After all, it would get ugly mighty fast if they tried to talk about what they are.

Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long to happen.  And I’m shocked that anyone – including myself – is ever shocked anymore. (more…)

Man, what a great time it must be for gay Republicans!  It’s
getting easier and easier for them to come out of the closet what with
that spotlight being so crowded, and now we have an addition from all the way over on the “Left Coast” (har har!):

[James E. ] West [conservative Republican mayor of Spokane, WA], who as an elected official has opposed
gay rights, abortion rights and teenage sex, told the newspaper he had
had online relationships in the past year through Gay.com and
considered them private.

“My private life
is my private life and always has been,” he said. Concerning his sexual
orientation, “I wouldn’t characterize me as ‘gay,”’ West said. West was
married for about five years in the 1990s.

OK – so he’s bi, not gay, a hair-splitting
point given his political c.v.  From the far right wing of
American politics, anything less heterosexual than Ahnold is equivalent
to being RuPaul.  There’s this absolute scale of gender identity
that they use to measure others, and it generally runs like this: 
there’s them, and everyone else is absolutely gay.  But what spawned all this discussion of Mr. Mayor’s sexual preference in the first place? 

Two men have accused Mayor James E. West of molesting them when they
were boys and he was a sheriff’s deputy and Boy Scout leader, The
Spokesman-Review reported Thursday.

Whoops!

West, 54, a conservative Republican leader of
the state Senate before he was elected mayor in 2003, denied ever
having had sex with children and vowed Thursday that he would serve out
his four-year term.

He confirmed in an
interview with the newspaper that he offered gifts, favors and a City
Hall internship over the Web site Gay.com to someone he believed was 18
but who was actually a forensic computer expert working for the
newspaper.

Double-whoops!

In a brief news conference
Thursday in which he took no questions, West repeated his denial of the
molestation allegations. He said he “had relations with adult men. I
don’t deny that.”

“I am a law-abiding citizen,” West said.

OK, so sodomy isn’t illegal in Washington State (or anywhere – that was
a great summer for us, wasn’t it?) and he’s not married so it’s not
adultery, and the false identity with whom he maintained a flirtation
was 18, so it wasn’t a kid, either.  Again, he’s being true to the
letter of the law.  Oh, but what of the laws of irony?  He’s
obeying them, too, of course – for decades we’ve all known that the
guys who got their panties^H^H^Hmanly, manly briefs in a wad over us queer folks were huge closet cases.  And, in fact, they are. 

Oh, but dear reader, we have one more stop to make in Salacious Station
before this train of truth reaches the end of the line.  What were
his online handles, one might wonder?  Is there anything as
deliciously squicky as JamesJeff GuckertGannon’s “Bulldog” appelation?

The newspaper hired a former U.S. Customs Service agent who had helped
law enforcement identify pedophiles online. The former agent confirmed
that West was the man behind online identities “Cobra82nd” and
“RightBi-Guy,” the newspaper said.

RightBi-Guy.  He’s a Right bi guy, indeed.

Personally, I hope he didn’t molest a soul.  I hope he’s innocent
because it would be far better for humanity, taken as a whole, that a
couple of guys lie about having been molested than that molestations
happen in the first place, you know?  I have no idea whether the
accusations are true or not, and care only that the truth be found out
in such sordid and tragic personal circumstances, regardless of what it
is.  And, to be honest, I hope he finds someone, anyone, of any
gender, who makes him happy so he can fucking mellow out
But in the meantime, as long as he sits there and makes a career out of
looking down his nose at the queer community and pretending to be
better than us while being one of us I hope he suffers psychological torment (guilt, self-doubt, more guilt) night and fucking day.  And that’s assuming he’s innocent. (more…)

I am, as we speak, encoding an old mix tape (the soundtrack to Mr. Pink Eyes Xenophobia Trinity game) as mp3’s.  This is an activity by which awesomologists could find new standards for awesome, and that’s their specialty. (more…)

So Friday was a day off to do many, many things.  First up,
Bruce’s annual trip to the vet.  One of my favorite things about Carrboro Animal Hospital
is their uncanny knack for handling Bruce when he gets his shots. 
Last year he was completely still and completely silent. 

This year, not so much.

He took his rabies vaccination just fine, but when they popped open the
second syringe for his distemper vaccine he started growling.  The
Boyf calls Bruce’s growl the vaccum cleaner noise and, true enough,
that’s exactly what he sounds like.  The vet tech was sitting
there holding him scruffed with her right hand, her left arm down over
him to help restrain him.  Once the second shot went in, Bruce
stood up, physically pushed the vet tech off of him, got up on his hind legs, put his front legs in the air with claws out and roared at her.  My 14 lb. Bombay physically shoved the vet tech off of himself and tried to fight her.

That’s my boy!

Eventually they got him sorted out, and he took his shots, and then we
went home.  The only way to keep Bruce calm in the car is to play Suzanne Vega (I’m not making that up), so it had been Nine Objects of Desire
the whole way there.  When we got in to go home, track 9 was what
came up – “Lolita,” the chorus of which involves the phrase go on home
over and over.  I was yet again dumbfounded by what The Boyf calls
“station W-fuck-you-up,” those times in life when music is just too
perfect, the sort of thing you’d never believe if you saw it in a movie.

Speaking of movies, that night a bunch of us went out to see Kung-Fu Hustle.  It is fantastic
It is everything you think it might be.  It is clever, it is
pretty, it is smart, it is subversive.  You should totally see
it.  It made me feel happy.  When’s the last time a movie
made you feel happy afterwards?

Saturday was a big ol’ day of geeking and gaming and laundry.  Sunday AM, it was A Morning With The Plant Ladies
KJ’s mom and KJ’s friend Debbie whirled me around the State Farmer’s
Market to look at plants and make recommendations and give
advice.  We’re talking $2 hostas (gorgeous!) and $4 asiatic lilies
just about to bloom and fresh-picked strawberries and all kinds of
things.  The best part of the whole morning, though, was The
Blueberry Man.  KJ and I go to check out some blueberry bushes and
the guy looks at my pentacle and says, “Where’d you get that
necklace?”  So I tell him (Dancing Moon)
and he nods and then drawls further, “That a Star o’ David?”  I
say no, and leave it at that.  “So it’s just a star?”  Yes, I
tell him.  Again, I leave it at that.  I’m not embarrassed by
my religion or I wouldn’t be wearing a pentacle in the first place, but
as I said to KJ at the time, explaining my beliefs feels too much like
evangelism so I just don’t go there.  The guy looks kind of glum
for a second and then – and here I cannot overemphasize his drawl, just
take mine and magnify it about fifty times and kick in every redneck
twang you’ve ever heard in your entire life – he says, “I’s hopin’ you
could tell me where t’find a m’norrah.”

KJ and I both look at him for a moment.  “Uh-huh?”

“See,” he goes on, “I’m a Baptist,” and in this there’s a sort of
silent you know, as though of course he is, what were we even thinking?
were supposed to run across our brains, “But at th’office I got a
Madonna.  Figure I’d get a m’norrah and just set it right next to
‘er.  That oughta shake ’em up a little.”

I loved this guy instantly.  After we told him we had, frankly, no
idea where to buy a menorrah, he told me my pentacle was “a real purty
necklace anyway,” and that was that.

It’s spring.  People were nice all over.

And Monday it was time, finally, to deal with my lawn mower.  It’s
decreasingly capable of cutting as well as it did when it was new, and
being a reel mower, I have no idea how to take care of it.  I
called around to everywhere and anywhere that might be able to sharpen
the blades and ended up calling a place in Chatham Co. where I was
told, “I don’t know if we sharpen ’em, but I’ll tell you this:  if it’s got a blade, we prob’ly sharpen it.” 
I told The Boyf that, right there, should be their motto.  I want
to see that on a business card.  So I went there and, of course,
they don’t sharpen reel mowers.  What the guy did instead was tell
me that in fact my mower is supposed to sharpen itself, and
then show me how to adjust it myself to make sure that happens. 
As soon as I got it home I could tell a difference and now it cuts as
well as it did the day it was new.

Quite a busy weekend, in other words, but a good one. (more…)

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