Thursday, May 31, 2007
Or another incompetent nincompoop. Generally speaking, that seems to be whom we mostly elect to public office in this country. Incompetent nincompoops with the occasional breath of fresh air thrown in for good measure. But they're rarities.
I suppose it's a good sign that Fred Thompson is throwing his hat into the Republican ring. The Republican Party seems to have a real taste for actors as candidates (Reagan, Schwarzenegger, George Murphy). They always seem to strike gold with their actors, while simultaneously managing to blast the rest of Hollywood as a bunch of Commie activists.
The Republicans are real good at that sort of thing. Blasting Clinton for adultery... while committing adultery (but it's DIFFERENT, you see...)
I'm not saying there isn't plenty of hypocracy to go around, I'm just saying that the Republicans seem to have managed to turn it into an art form.
Anway, there are "signs" everywhere that things are about to change... big time. Dubya has committed two major faux pas in the last few days with "the base." First, he backed Immigration Reform, which really raises the hackles of the base. Secondly, he asked Congress to DOUBLE funding for AIDS... after he leaves office, of course.
He's clearly hedging his post-Presidency bets, hoping to put one last coat of lipstick on the PIG of his Presidency. Apparently, our shitheaded President has started to think about his legacy.
Or else he's gotten another "vision" from his Higher Power... and it scared him.
Now, speaking of signs from Higher Powers, I think mine might be sending me some signals. I have diligently shopped for real estate for the last few weeks. As you may recall I fell in love with the first place I looked at, the one with the fabulous paint job.
See my blog from earlier this month: "Cheap Tarts" for a picture of the living room.
Well, guess what. It turned up again yesterday, on the internet, at $5,000 LESS than the asking price from two weeks ago. It's now less than $200k (well, it's $199k). I sent an e-mail to my real estate agent asking her if she could find out what time they closed the pool at night, since my major concern was the noise level outside the bedroom window late at night. She called me an hour ago. They close the pool at 7:30 p.m. every night.
I could live with that.
Love the paint job, love the balcony, love the space, love the pool, love the price.
Do you believe in signs?
I DO! (But, being a typical Doubting Thomas... I'll sleep on it.)
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tell me the truth, now. Does this blog make me look fat???
Anyway, I think I'll try this "flush right" format, with bigger, blockier letters for awhile and see how I like it.
News of the Day:
Lindsay Lohan got drunk again. Like that's news to anyone who reads any of the Hollywood Gossip websites (see: below). The kid's a major drunk/druggie and everyone in Tinsel Town knows it.
Let's hope her hangers on, er, posse (the bloodsucking leeches who make a living off of her talents and fame) are wise enough to know that their meal-ticket is in real jeopardy and pack her off to a "real" rehab instead of one of those phony, revolving-door, Hollyweird types of places where they give you time off for good behavior and let you out, with a "sober companion" for wild night's on the town.
Actually, if I were a bloodsucking hanger-on for someone like LiLo, or any of another dozen stars and starlets with serious substance abuse problems, I'd probably be very wary about having my client totally recover. If they did, they might actually "see" how they're being used and manipulated by others who do not necessarily have their best interests at heart.
On the home front, I'm still condo shopping although Memorial Day weekend doesn't have much to offer on that front. Most people were away for the weekend. That included me. I spent Saturday and part of Sunday in NYC with my college roommate, having some quality time together. It was nice. Nicer still since he lives in what used to be known as Hell's Kitchen and which these days is called "Hellsea" ("Hell's Chelsea"). It being Fleet Week, the neighborhood was crawling with sailors and marines, i.e. lots of eye candy for all the inhabitants of the gayborhood.
But I got home Sunday night to find... nothing on.
Fortunately, for me, someone at work had lent me the complete collections of Season 1 and Season 2 of "Lost." I had originally started watching Lost when it premiered 3 years ago, but somewhere along the way I got... well, Lost. And let's face it, it's the kind of show (like "24") that you REALLY need to keep up with. But then I caught the season finale to this past season and was blown away by all the revelations, so I decided to give it another go. I put out an APB at work and the guy who manages the mailroom came through for me.
So on Sunday night (and Monday night) I watched the first five episodes of the 1st season. It's so much easier (and more fun) to watch it without commercials and station breaks. Each episode is over in 46 minutes (less when you skim through the bullshit shots in the jungle). I should be able to finish both seasons in the next two weeks.
It's that time of the year when I have to trudge off to see multitudes of doctors. Next week I have my first run-in, er, appointment with my new endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) and then, over the next month, I see my opthamologist, cardiologist and internist (annual physical).
Naturally, I'll report on everything (my A1C has been faboo for the last year, let's hope it stays that way!)
And that's what's doing on the Least Coast.
Have a great evening everyone!
Monday, May 28, 2007
I know that there are times when I seem like a knee-jerk anti-war leftwing queer. And, for the most part, I am. But I also know the necessity of fighting the good fight when necessary. And I'm the first to say that we should, immediately, reinstate National Service for all able-bodied youths for a year or two.
But no less a personage than General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1939 to 1945 and architect of the postwar Marshall Plan, had personal serious doubts about the American public's willingness to support WWII, if it were to continue on into 1946. That was why he was such a forceful proponent of the use of the atomic bomb against Japan. He did not believe that a democracy would support all out war for longer than 4 years. Neither, frankly, do I.
When I'm being rational (arguably, rarely) I know that public mood is a fickle mistress and probably a piss-poor way to try to plan long-term public policy. The day after September 11, 2001, most of us would've (probably) happily handed a blank check to any warmonger who promised us retribution on a grand scale.
Unfortunately for us, and our armed forces, that warmonger turned out to be George W. Bush, probably the most incompetent, pig-headed, fool we could've found for the job, even if we'd deliberately set out to find one.
Six years later, and still no sign of Osama bin Laden (remember him?), but we have managed to thoroughly trash Iraq and, worse, probably the entire balance of power in the Middle East... and NOT to our advantage, either.
I suspect that there might be a few men and women in our national cemetaries who, if asked today, if Viet Nam or Iraq had been worth dying for, would have serious doubts that their lives had been sacrificed "for a worthy cause."
Nevertheless, today is not about calling into question the value of their missions but, rather, the mere fact that they were willing to perform them simply because they had been asked. That speaks volumes about their valour and patriotism.
And it is that valour and patriotism that we remember today, and their's are the souls whom we should remember in our prayers tonight.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
All of our woes, foreign and domestic, can be traced back to one thing and one thing only.
It is the fault of a foreign policy that, for centuries, has emphasized American hegemony overseas. A policy that said that WE ARE ENTITLED to export whatever we define as democracy, at the point of a gun if necessary. A foreign policy that has drained the national treasury time and again to pay for our interventionist excursions, often to the point of starving the poorest of our poor and throwing away their children in the process.
A foreign policy that has enabled us to install and prop up dictators from Central and South America to the Caribbean and the Middle East.
WE owned the Shah of Iran. He was "our boy." WE owned (and we can't run away from this one) Francisco Franco in fascist Spain. WE owned the overthrow of the King of Greece and the installation of a military junta there and President Allende of Chile, (we were very big on supporting military juntas and tossing out Presidents we don't like... we did it in VietNam, too).
The fact is that we rarely, if ever, supported "real" democracy in countries that we "liberated."
What we really supported were people who would look out for OUR strategic interests in THEIR countries.
The Soviet Union may have been OUR evil empire but rest assured, we were theirs.
So when you see some neocon congressman crying his eyes out on tv, he isn't crying because American kids are dying. He's crying because we're not shoving it up the asses of the rest of the world with as much vigor as he'd like us to have.
That's what he's really crying about. His pet theories are being shot to hell, along with a lot of totally innocent Americans and Iraqis.
WE created this fucking mess. Generations of policy wonks in Washington and in so-called think tanks all around the US have, on our behalf and with our permission, cooked all this shit up.
And it is time for all of us who care about these things to pick up the phones or log into our e-mail systems, and to let our elected reps in DC know that this situation is no longer tolerable.
I don't know about you, but I'm becoming extremely libertarian in my views. The "job" of the government in Washington is to:
DEFEND THE FUCKING BORDERS
DELIVER THE FUCKING MAIL
and with all that leftover money that we no longer waste on foreign wars and propping up dictators and destabilizing others, we should:
Offer Universal Healthcare
Hand out Free Education (and not just colleges, trade schools too for those so inclined)
And Elizabitch Hasselhoff, or whatever the hell her name is, can suck me off, and so can the House Minority leader, Bill Kristol, Doug Feith, AG Gonzalez, Dick Cheney (and that self-loathing dyke daughter of his), Rummy, the entire Bush Family and every employee of Halliburton above the rank of peon.
May they ALL rot in hell for what they've done. Or thought about doing.
Have a lovely weekend, everyone. I'm off to the wilds of NYC to spend some quality time with another recovering drunk. Hopefully I'll be able to log in tomorrow!
Friday, May 25, 2007
Minority Leader Boehner Boo-Hoos the Killing of More American Kids (but approves it anyway)
And let us also remember just who it is that is currently ordering them into “harm’s way”, "The Commander Guy" aka "ShitForBrains."
And then let us all resolve to do something about it. Okay?
Meanwhile, have a look at how supportive Mitt Romney is of all his gay friends:
After all, God doesn't take any of this seriously at all.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
That's Mark Wahlberg over there in his tighty-whities. At a Celtics basketball game. Let's face it, the man likes to be near nude.
Now, where was I? Oh, right, Fire Island, Friday night, sometime in the past.
If it's the 70's, you're going to be hearing a lot of disco divas belting out from stereos all up and down the boardwalks. If it's the 80's, it's going to be the Pet Shop Boys or Erasure ("Chains of Love") or some Hi-NRG stuff from the UK.
You won't miss the tea dance. The dock will be jammed. After dinner, and several hours spent primping in the mirror, you'll head off to the Monster for an evening of dancing and cruising.
Much later, much much later, if you still haven't hooked up, you'll wander into the "no-man's land" between the Pines and the Grove, to a secluded spot, just off the boardwalk, called the "Meat Rack", where the orgy runs until dawn.
In the morning, but not too early, you'll drag yourself down to the beach to bag some beams (and cruise, for that is the true purpose of Fire Island... to see and to be seen). Lather, rinse, repeat.
Come Sunday afternoon (or, if you're really rich or own your own antique shop, sometime on Monday) you'll head back to the dock, board the ferry and reverse the trip you made on Friday.
Like most, you'll be back in two weeks (if you have a half share), or if you're upscale, next week (a full share) and if you're really loaded, you'll just drop by the office/shop and come back to your private summer home tomorrow.
There's a certain "Ground Hog Day" obsessive/compulsiveness to the whole thing. The "next guy" will be "THE guy." The next drink, the next drug (luudes, Special K, X), the next disco hit, the next... something.
It has a way of becoming an entire lifetime spent in pursuit of something, anything, to fill up a void that can never seem to get filled. There's an element of self-destruction combined with a lack of self-esteem to the whole thing. Why else would we spend so much time and money to make ourselves look fabulous with gyms, diets, clothing, skin products, hairstyling, dentistry and cosmetic surgery and then do everything we can, in as short a span of time as possible, to totally destroy ourselves with too much booze, too many drugs and too much sex?
Some people poured so much poison into themselves that they eventually died from it. Booze, drugs and infected semen.
I lost a lot of friends that way. Too many goddamned friends. And then I drank more to forget how they killed themselves with booze.
Somewhere along the way the party ended. But an awful lot of people either forgot to come home or else just died in wilderness.
I could've been one of those. I should be dead now. If life were fair, I would be. And sometimes, when I let myself, I start playing God and wondering why my friends died, and not me.
So whenever I see somebody in a muscle tee and a pair of nuthuggers these days, I no longer get consumed with lust.
I get consumed by survivor's guilt, instead.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Ah, summer. I have no idea who the model is, I lifted this shot off some commercial site that sells muscle t's. It's fairly obvious who the target audience is.
And speaking of Muscle T's and Nuthuggers, my friend, whom we'll call "Beautiful Bill" because (a) I know him from a 12-Step group and I have to preserve his anonymity and (b) he is beautiful, has invited me to come spend a weekend this summer in his house on Fire Island. Bill is a big pooh-bah with a big designer label and, prior to getting sober and dumping his boyfriend of 13 years, would spend summers out in the Hamptons with a bunch of people nobody can stand, including each other.
Now that he's single again, and sober enough to face it, he decided to head back to every gay man's east coast Mecca, Fire Island (either the Pines for the upscale crowd or Cherry Grove for the trashier queens and/or lesbian contingent).
In all my years in New York I only ever made it to FI once, exactly 20 years ago this summer. My then boyfriend dragged me out there one Saturday and I decided it was such an ordeal to get there that only wild horses could drag me back. Now that I'm sober, of course, I realize that the real ordeal was being with him all day and that that may have somewhat colored the entire experience for me.
A weekend on FI all starts with a Friday train trip from Penn Station. Call in sick and be there at 7:00 a.m. After several hours of train travel and/or heavy-duty cruising, hundreds of raving queens make a mad dash for the 10 taxis that await them in the sleepy bayside town of East Sasquatch. The taxis drive you, oh, 40 or 50 feet, overcharge you, and dump you at the fairy landing, er, ferry landing. I should add that, due to the fact that a can of tuna will set you back a hundred bucks on FI (everything comes from the mainland via boat, at a premium), everyone arrives for the weekend bringing TONS of food that they've prepared at home. Consequently, the 100's of queens jostling for places in lines are loaded down with billions of pounds of tuna casseroles and potato chips, which is served for breakfast, lunch AND dinner all weekend long.
Once aboard the ferry (really more like a WWII D-Day landing craft than an actual "boat") you chug along through the bay out to the island where, upon landing, you cast about for a child's little red wagon to deposit all your crap into. This is the major mode of transport on the island. There are 4' wide boardwalks about a foot off the sand (less chance of seriously damaging yourself when you fall off in a drunken stupor that way) that connect all the houses, bars and restaurants on the island. And if you're schlepping (translation: "toting or lugging along behind") baggage and/or food, you really need the wagon.
Finally arriving at your weekend abode at the crack of 4:00 p.m., you're ready to unpack all your crap and head on out for an evening of FUN, FUN and more drunken FUN. Or for a really long nap. I'd opt for the nap. Until Saturday morning.
(to be continued)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
It’s always fun to watch. DeMille’s direction was utterly glacial, which is part of the fun.
At one point, though, he lovingly photographed and showed the “Big Parade” that circled the 3-rings of the show. Halfway through the parade the Ringmaster solemnly intoned, “And for all you boys and girls out there, our special guest star today is HOPALONG CASSIDY.”
And all of a sudden I felt older than dirt.
Hoppy was one of my childhood heroes, along with Roy and Dale, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, The Cisco Kid and Poncho and… “out of the night… when the full moon is bright… comes a horseman known as ZORRO…”
My childhood was lengthier than most, and extended long enough into the 60’s to capture such catch-phrases as “HOKEY-SMOKE, BULLWINKLE” and “HEY, ROCK. WATCH ME PULL A RABBIT OUT OF MY HAT! (again?)” Rocky & Bullwinkle actually had two shows, "Rocky & His Friends" followed by "The Bullwinkle Show"). They were sublime. The humor worked at the level of a 12 year-old and at the level of a college sophomore who'd smoked one blunt too many. Eventually they were succeeded in my sophomoric mind by The Firesign Theater and by the Granddaddies of Whacky Humor, Monty Python's Flying Circus. But to this day Rocky & Bullwinkle still slyly informs the inner workings of such shows as "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy", with tons of double-entendres and really rotten puns peppering the subtly sophisticated dialogue of these shows.
All of the first-runs of these shows had stopped by 1965. Even the re-runs had run out of steam by the mid-70’s.
It’s pointless to try to be relevant with youngsters (less than 40) by peppering my conversations with mentions and/or catch-phrases from the shows of these icons of my youth. My youth has long since flown the coop.
I am older than dirt. Certainly much older than I ever intended to get. I remember thinking, when I was 17, that 30 would be a very good age to die at. I sort of planned on it. And now here I am, staring down the barrel of 60, wondering how in God’s name I ever managed to get this old.
I have only one complaint about sobriety.
It’s made an old man out of me.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Yesterday must've been "Open House Day" in central New Jersey. It seemed like everyone is selling their place and moving somewhere else.
I spent the afternoon cruising around, looking for something interesting and found this place.
In keeping with my newfound interest in architectural quirkiness, I fell in love with the massive skylights in the living room of the place. The balcony overlooks the woods behind the building (a real plus!). The fireplace works but I'd like to convert it to gas. The dining area (where the photographer is standing) is slightly raised, which I liked.
The kitchen is more than sufficient for me. (Gas range, an absolute necessity), the master bedroom is quite large with a huge walk-in closet (another plus). The guest room is large enough to house both a home office and a guest bed.
But let me tell you what I really fell in love with. This place (and I don't have a picture of it) has a UTILITY ROOM the size of a New York City apartment. It not only contains the washer and dryer (full sized), but it also contains a house-sized hot water heater AND the gas powered heating/airconditioning unit. On top of that, there's enough shelf space in there to park the collected works of everybody!
The owner is making a fresh start elsewhere. She confided to me that she's moving to Sarasota, no later than the end of the summer. She's only interested in taking the clothes on her back and would be willing to throw in much of the furniture, in addition to already leaving all of the appliances (nice ones, I might add).
Okay, I'm starting to see how this real estate shit works. It's like falling in love, or hiring a hustler. It doesn't look like much at first. Then you start wondering how it would look naked. Then you start fantasizing how it would look "all dressed up" the way YOU'D like it to be, rather than the way it is.
Oooo, baby. Who's your daddy?
(Yeah, I know. Sign the papers and I'll be the mortgage company's bitch for the next 30 years).
Crap. Now I'm starting to wonder how this place would look in the paint job I saw in the first place I look, two weeks ago.
Is heartache just around the corner?
Friday, May 18, 2007
With all of this weeks' exciting events (dead preachers, abruptly unemployed neo-cons) I figured we could all use a bit of joyous noise (unto the Lord) to shake off our "blahs." [Clip from YouTube. "Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"].
That is unless you're my friend, Bev, who is up to her eyeballs in puppies and plumbers this week (see it HERE) and has no time to shake anything except to shake puppy poopy off of herself while the plumbers dig more of it out of the garden.
There's another cause for celebration today. It's official. I've gotten a fax to prove it. Some big bank has foolishly agreed to loan me an obscene amount of money in order to buy an overpriced piece of real estate in central New Jersey. And on my salary, no less.
Whatever could they be thinking?
Nine years ago, when my life seemed all over but the actual dying, I never dreamed in a million years that this could happen to me. My self-esteem was exactly that shot.
Who knows? Maybe the dead preacher put in a good word for me with God. Hey! Stranger things have happened (I got sober. How friggin' weird is that?)
Now I can go shopping for real estate this weekend in peace (this is how we do things in NJ. You get the loan, THEN go looking for the place.)
Actually, as I've long noted here, I have been looking at places, but now, with this Imprimatur from a major bank, I feel... well... entitled to play with the big kids in terms of making demands on real estate agents to start adhering to my lists of wants and don't-wants in housing.
I want a top-floor apartment (nobody above me). I want a gas-fueled fireplace and I want a utility room big enough to hold a washer and dryer. I want two bedrooms and two baths and I want a balcony. I DON'T want cathedral ceilings but would like skylights in the bathrooms, provided they're guaranteed not to leak for 10 years. I want a kitchen big enough to swing a skillet in. I'd like to have all stainless-steel appliances (is it too much to expect Sub-Zero and KitchenAid ?)
I want to be close to the community pool (and there must be a community pool) but not NEXT to the community pool (too much noise on hot summer nights when I'm trying to sleep).
HOA (Homeowners Association) fees should not exceed $200 a month and should include garbage and snow removal, groundskeeping, external building maintenance and water, regardless of use.
The complex should be wired for BOTH Comcast high-speed cable AND Verizon FIOS fiber optic network, thus ensuring a constant choice between them.
I'm not asking for much. Just for everything I want.
And if I find all that in one place,
I'll really feel like dancin'.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
But it would be foolish of me to think that I'm the ONLY person on earth who has acted out of fear for most of his (or her) life.
I read a little bit of Jerry Falwell's bio and realized that he was probably motivated by a lot of fear. He grew up with a lot of alcoholic chaos around him. I'll bet he was desperately seeking a way to impose "order" on the chaos of life by subscribing to the strict beliefs of a born-again, Southern Baptist. There's comfort to be found in self-imposed strict limits... especially when you've lived fearfully in a veritable jungle as a child.
Fred Phelps probably acts out of a lot of fear, too. Probably fear of those dreadful thoughts that never seem to leave his head of the unspeakable, horrible, fascinating, hot, things that men can do to each other left to their own devices. I mean, it must drive him absolutely crazy with fear, as he spends hour after hour, day after day, thinking about things like that.
I used to act out of fear by mostly just getting drunk.
Then, of course, there's the politics of fear. Fear has always been a popular political tool. And not just by the Republicans, either. Democrats, too, have resorted to fear to stir up their base.
The right targets small-town American fears. Fear of big cities. Fear of outsiders. Fear of people of different colors and cultures. Fear of having one's sons and daughters "corrupted" by "evil influences" (abortion, homosexuality, you name it). Fear of "different." Fear of liberalism.
The left targets big-city fears. Fear of small-towns. Fear of shrinking protections. Fear of being left behind. Fear of conformity and lack of intellectual freedom. Fear of being straitjacketed to death by Christian Fundamentalism. Fear of "sameness." Fear of conservatism.
And when they tire of politically beating the crap out of each other, there's always the Middle East (pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian... or vice-versa... and at the end of the day, who cares? Cousins always fight). Or the porous southern border. Or the "war on drugs" (What war? We lost.) Or... something.
There's always something worth fearing. And you can count on our political parties to try to make some electable hay out of it.
Fear. The Great Salesman.
Anyway, all my unfounded fears took me to the depths of drunkeness and to death's door. Fear delivered Rev. Falwell to ultra-orthodox, inflexible, judgmentalism.
Fear does funny things to people. But mostly it just hurts them.
I don't live in fear so much anymore. It turns out that by choosing to live in love instead, fear sort of disappears.
I'm sorry that Reverend Falwell never chose to live in love. At least not publicly.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Don't you just love the TeleTubbies? I do. They're so sweet. They send important messages to our toddlers and preschoolers. Messages of love and cooperation and friendship.
Not to mention the message that Gay is Good and you really ought to try it sometime!
Well, at least that's what some people think.
I overheard some people talking this morning about the fires in the pine barrens in south Jersey, which sounded important.
They also mentioned the death of some televangelist, which isn't important. At least not to me.
I should be charitable and add that I then prayed, sincerely, that said televangelist would be delivered into exactly the sort of Heaven he always dreamed about and that he will get to spend eternity in the company of people exactly the way HE likes 'em. White. Male. Conservative. Heterosexist. And exactly just like himself.
And I meant it. Eternity. Forever and ever. Without hope of change.
Dave Barry, the columnist, once wrote that he was pretty certain that when God chose to speak to him that it "wouldn't be through some guy in a cheap suit with a bad haircut on cable tv at 6 o'clock on a Sunday morning." I'd add to that that God doesn't need cash, or tithing or anything else of a material nature, including buildings, limos or airplanes.
Men (or mostly men) need tithing, cash and buildings and so on. They need cars and big-assed universities and all kinds of things "for the greater glory of God" not to mention the greater glory of themselves. For no matter how much they gussy up their so-called good intentions, the fact of the matter is, God does not need a place to live. Not an Ark. Not a Temple. Not a Church. Not a Cathedral. Not a Basilica. "God" doesn't need anything from US. And it is insane vanity to think that we have anything at all to offer God, except our obedience and gratitude and love. All the rest is gold-plated, 100%, bullshit.
The United States of America has a long-standing tradition of producing snake oil salesmen, charlatans, humbugs and Elmer Gantry's who come along in a nearly endless procession and brandish new and innovative ways to bullshit us into believing their "pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by" brand of Salvation, for just one thin dime, a measly one-tenth of a dollar, yessir Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up and SEE what God has in store for YOU! Say Hallelujah!!!
And many of us do it. Not for the love of God. But because of some craving bordering on a character defect deep inside of us to belong to something. To anything. Not trusting at all in our own inate bond with the Almighty. Thinking that we "need" some middleman with the Creator in order to guarantee that we'll be forgiven for all the shit we've done and that we'll pass through the Pearly Gates unscathed and unscarred.
Was the decedent one of those sorts of men? I don't know. It's not for me to judge.
But I do know this. His personal beliefs cost a lot of people a lot of personal grief. He may even be responsible for the deaths of many people. A lot of people think so. I don't know for sure.
But God does.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
1. a fear of losing something I already have
2. a fear of not getting something I want.
These two fears have corollaries in the two things an alcoholic like me really hates:
1. I really hate the way things are.
2. I really hate change.
Yes, I know that sounds insane. Now you have an inkling of how my alcoholic mind works and you also have an inkling of the kinds of things you're likely to hear at a 12-Step meeting. You see, I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Actually, if you DO think this way then perhaps you need to give some serious thought to putting down the bottle (cocaine, food, sex, credit cards, deck of cards) for a second and trotting yourself off to a meeting somewhere. Look in the phone book. All the 12-Step groups are in there. Just call up and ask 'em for the next meeting. They'll be happy to help you. And trust me, you do need help.
Anyway, I bring this up because shopping for real estate and, more importantly, having to ask people and institutions to lend me vast sums of money brings up a lot of fear for me. I fear rejection. I fear being mocked. I fear not being able to fulfill my obligation. I fear not doing the whole thing perfectly (asking all the right questions, getting all the right answers). I fear doing it successfully. I fear doing it poorly. I fear being happy. I fear being miserable. I fear feeling entitled to having the great big fat happy life that God probably wants me to have. I fear actually having the great big fat happy life that God does intend for me to have.
I'm always content with less, to say to myself "Who are you to want more? What makes you think you're entitled to that?" I settle for what I get. I don't reach for the brass ring because I might fall off the horse and embarrass myself or get hurt. If I don't try then I can't fail. It's a perfect solution to life's little problems. Avoid them. Avoid life. Hide out. Hole up. Isolate. Above all, appear independent and stolid at all times. Don't ever be needy. Be critical of those who are.
This is face of full-blown alcoholism as it works it's way into the litter-box that poses as my brain (and which requires frequent emptying).
Left to my own devices, and without the aid of a 12-Step program and a support group and a sponsor, this is how my mind would automatically operate. I know what my defaults are now because I've actually DONE the 12-Steps (well, mostly) of my program. I've examined my life, inside and out, and come to realize just how beady my sick little mind can be at times.
More importantly, I've learned what I have to do to "short-circuit" this kind of thinking.
All I have to do is simply walk through the fear. Rather than retreating (default mode) I step forward. And the darkness around me disappears. There is nothing there to fear. People will not mock me. They will not say "no." I can have the big fat happy life that I am entitled to have.
So just for today I'm going to ignore my fear of not getting what I want and I'm going to dispel my hatred of change. And I'm going to reach out for that brass ring as far as I'd like because God, my loving parent, is standing on the other side of that carousel horse with his arms firmly clasped around my waist.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Yesterday was Mother's Day. I called my stepmom last night to wish her a happy Mother's Day. I had to call late in the day because mom and dad had left their winter quarters in Florida on Friday (they drive back and forth twice a year) and you never can tell how long it'll take them to get home.
They're getting frail now. I can hear it in their voices. They do their best to stay with me during the conversation, but every once in awhile I can sort of sense them drifting off.
I'm glad I called.
There was a time when I had two mothers, my birth mother and my stepmother. My birth mom has been dead since 1995. She was 64 when she passed away. She'd been crazy, from Alzheimer's, for years. The symptoms started to appear about the time she turned 50. I had to have her committed to a nursing home, and became her legal guardian, when she was 59, in 1990. I was 41 and it was the year after my heart attack.
I reacted to all that by drinking and smoking more.
My birth mother was 19 when she had me. She divorced my father without telling him that she was pregnant with me... so he couldn't ask for visitation rights. She forbad everyone in the family from allowing me to have contact with my father (and his 2nd family) throughout my childhood. Occasionally one of my stealthy relatives would spirit me off for a quick visit to my "father's family" on Christmas or some other holiday. But it was only ever for a few minutes and then I'd be taken home amidst oaths that I would keep it a secret.
We had lots of secrets in my family when I was a kid. Like my half brother or half sister I didn't know I had until we were planning my birth mom's funeral. It seems mom had another kid after me, out of wedlock, which she gave up for adoption at birth. My aunt blurted that one out while we were planning mom's funeral.
My family also liked to go for the "big dramatic" scenes whenever it would cause the most chaos.
My birth mother was crazy. She was also a drunk. She died not knowing that I was a drunk, too. Part of my "amends" to her was getting sober.
Ironically enough, the stepmom I wasn't allowed to know as a kid became a real mom to me after I became an adult. She never talked down to me. Why would she? We were both adults by the time we got to know each other. We genuinely like each other. We don't have the usual mother/son baggage. It turned out she'd borne a lot of guilt over the years for not having been able to engineer my rescue from my birth mother when I was a kid.
Now she's getting on in years and I know that it's only a matter of time before I lose her, too.
Sure, she's a little batty at times, but who isn't? God knows, I am!
But as Crazy Mothers go, she's the best.
There isn't a day that goes by that I miss my birth mother and there isn't a day that goes by when I don't think how sad I'm going to be when my real mother finally passes on.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
My friend Bev was wondering where she'd sleep when she came to visit. I told her she'd be in the guest room because it has "Verizon FIOS 25mbs ultra-high-speed, wide-bandwidth, internet access." Oh, yeah, and there's a couch for her to sleep on. She hates beds.
So, this is the guest room in the paint-job condo. Notice that the current owners have a couch and TWO (count 'em, TWO) computer workstations.
I joked with Bev years ago that even if we were in the same room we'd have to have two laptops and ethernet connections in order to communicate because we were much better at it in e-mail than we actually were in person.
Not to disappoint anyone, but I've made up my mind not to put a bid on the paint-job condo. That close proximity to the community pool, I decided, was actually a disadvantage in the summer because I've no doubt that there'll be poolside cocktail parties every night until all-hours whereas I'm in bed by 9:30 p.m. on weeknights in order to get up at the crack of dawn for my daily commute to Manhattan. And the master bedroom windows overlook the pool.
But this apartment was just the beginning. I've come to hate where I'm living, but I didn't even realize it. I moved in here the month after 9/11 in 2001. It was supposed to be a stop-gap measure and it's served it's purpose. I don't have too much privacy due to the weird layout of the house and my landlady is a busybody who flies out her door to check on everybody I invite over. And lately she's been tacking on hidden "surcharges" to the monthly rent. This past winter she started leaving the heating bill on the steps every month with a note asking if I "could help with this?" The first one was over $500.00. I gave 'em a check for a third of it. I don't mind, but there was no discussion in advance about it. Just a presentation of the bill along with the assumption that I had some sort of obligation to pay some of it, even though we'd never talked about it.
I hate that.
So, given my current rent PLUS the sudden utility surcharges, I realized that the total was coming close to a monthly mortgage payment and I might as well be building up some equity and so it goes.
It's another beautiful day in Paradise (New Jersey). I hope it's a beautiful day wherever you are!
Friday, May 11, 2007
That's the master bedroom of the place with the fabulous paintjob. If I take it, I'll let them keep the dogs.
I finally worked up the nerve to call the mortgage broker I think my RE agent is sleeping with, today.
I was on the phone with him for about 2 minutes, 3 tops. He asked me where I worked, how much I made, my full name and address and my SSN. About 10 seconds later I heard this gasp on the phone.
I feared the worst. "What is it?" I croaked. "Your FICO!" he said. "Bad?" I queried. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" he practically screamed. Without going into too many details lets just say that it's over 800. Apparently it gets that high when a) you pay your bills, b) on time and c) your debts consist of a car payment and a single credit card.
Then I laid the "Vietnam era veteran" and "first-time-homebuyer" bombs on him and that did it. Apparently there are lots of lending institutions who'd be ever so happy to throw tons of cash at me in the hopes of getting most of it back someday. In spades.
He announced that he was going to immediately fax over some sort of letter of recommendation to my RE agent, assuring her that I wasn't a total waste of her time and that, by all means, keep showing me places to live. Oh, and he finished by saying that although I'd only expressed an interest in borrowing about a quarter of a million, he'd have no problem if I wanted to go a little higher than that.
I'm feeling rather blase about the whole thing at this point. Mostly it's because my biggest fear has been faced, that somebody would laugh in my face if I asked to borrow that much money. He didn't laugh. He was nice. It was painless (I'm sure the real pain comes at Closing.)
I feel like I've taken another baby-step towards adulthood.
None too soon!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Here's a picture of the living room.
I fell in love with the paint job.
I looked at another condo in the same development, but it sucked. It has a fireplace, but it also has cathedral ceilings which, as far as I'm concerned, are a total waste of perfectly good heat.
I didn't hide my excitement at this place from my real estate agent. That poor woman has been sending me e-mails of listings three times a week for nearly a year. I'm sure she'd given up hope that I'd ever buy anything.
The place has a huge master bedroom with a walk-in closet about the size of my old apartment on East 78th Street in Manhattan. It's also got a nice guestroom/home office, two complete baths, a decent kitchen and a balcony with an outdoor gas line feed in case I go totally ape-shit suburban and buy a Weber grill this summer.
Oh, and it's the building closest to the community pool (fees included in the monthly HOA fee).
I told Ann (my RE agent) "I'd sleep on it." She didn't let me escape, however, before giving me the name and number of a mortgage broker she might be having an affair with. I promised I'd call him. I just didn't say when.
And speaking of Cheap Tarts, I see that NY Pride didn't get it's wish to get a permit to move this year's festivities from Christopher Street (why in God's name would we want to have it there, where the Stonewall is actually located?) uptown to Chelsea (where all the gay boys currently live so the poor babies wouldn't have to actually MARCH down Fifth Avenue and ruin their pedicures in the process AND more importantly and only incidentally, it's where all the gay businesses are located these days).
Listen. I haven't marched in a so-called NY Pride Parade since 1978 and I'll tell you why. I did march in them in 1972 and 1973, when they were still totally disorganized and vaguely threatening to the peace and tranquility of New York City. We marched wherever the hell we wanted to march and we didn't have marshals or police escorts in order to do it. We just marched. And the cops were too friggin' afraid to do anything about it because, frankly, they'd never seen 200,000 queers in one place before and although they were used to terrorizing a bar full of drag queens, there wasn't a whole lot they could do about an entire avenue full of scruffy looking, leftist-leaning, college students and radical faeries.
It was wonderful to march in those days (72-73).
Then I got busy and didn't march in 74 or 75 and by 76 I was moving to Seattle. When I got back to New York, in '78, the parade had changed. I marched that year, but now there were marshals, telling us where we could, and couldn't march. I felt sold out. I felt co-opted. I felt like the "movement" had been had by the establishment. And when we finally got down Fifth to Christopher that year, I knew I was right. For there, lining both sides of the streets, were booth after booth, of beer by the gallon.
And I thought, "Gee, what we really need now is a big banner hanging over Christopher Street proclaiming:
"PRIDE - BROUGHT TO YOU BY BUD LITE"
And that was the last time I marched in a New York Pride Parade (I did march in the LA parade in 1995, but that's a different story for another time).
If you're feeling "pride" this year, do something radical aside from buying beer or t-shirts.
Elect a politician who'll actually do something for us.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Later I, technically, owned my mom's house, but I had to sell it in order to bankrupt her to pay for the first three years of her nursing home stay while she was slowly dying of alzheimer's.
I did once suggest to my ex, in 1988 or so, that I "buy into" the co-op that he owned, in which we both had lived since 1980, but he said absolutely no to that. (smart man!) He'd bought it for about $45,000 in 1977. It was easily worth two hundred thou in '88, and I'm sure it's worth a million today. Nothing special, either. Just a two bedroom in a landmark building, 24-hour doormen, on-site super. God, I could kill myself.
I recently made up my mind to finally buy a home of my own. Not a house, that would be too much for me to cope with, but a condo or a townhome nearby to where I live now.
It has raised all kinds of fears and hobgoblins for me. What, exactly, is it that I'm afraid of?
1. Permanency. What the heck is that? I've spent my whole life living in a state of perpetual fear (yes, from childhood on), and have always, always, ALWAYS, lived someplace where I was either the star border or merely a tolerated guest (including childhood homes and those 15 years with my ex in HIS apartment... as he was so often fond of pointing out to me).
2. A big-assed loan for a thousand years. You've got to be kidding me, right? I can't "owe" anybody that much money for that long! What if I want to hit the road tomorrow?!
3. A sense of belonging. But what if (as it surely will) something better comes along next week?? I'll have the biggest case of "buyer's regret" there ever, ever, ever was. Nobody will ever have had a bigger case of buyer's regret than mine! Ever!! So there!!!!
4. I can't afford this!!! What I really mean is, I'll have to give up having a lot of cash on hand and suddenly go from cash rich/equity poor to it's polar opposite. What if I can't, suddenly, decide to fly off to Europe next week??!!! (not that I have ever done that, mind you, but just in case -- I like to keep my options open!)
5. Money pit. Hah! With my luck, the day after I move in, I'll need all new appliances (not that I won't need them anyway in a year or so. After all, I really need a stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Kitchen Aid dishwasher and a Garland range. Doesn't everyone?)
5. Lack of options. It may look like a home to you, but it sure looks like a ball and chain to me!
6. I don't deserve it. Deep down inside, I know I'm not worthy to have a nice place to call my own.
7. Will somebody please tell the demons between my ears to shut up?
As you can clearly see from above, just because the monkey is off my back doesn't necessarily mean that the circus has left town. There's still a 3-ring, all-star show going on in my head at all times.
And I've only just started.
So be forewarned. There's likely to be months of me processing, out-loud, in type, about this, so you might want to start web-site hopping now.
God help me. And you.
Monday, May 07, 2007
There was a wonderful piece over on The Huffington Post last Saturday by Brian Young regarding a 1-on-1 debate that was held in Salt Lake City between their conservative firebrand mayor, Rocky Anderson and Fox news commentator Sean Hannity. Anderson really came off as the winner in that face-off and you can (and should) read it here.
One of the issues that Young mentions in his piece is how the left really needs to stay focused on the issues rather than the discourse, and how it's necessary to keep hauling people up to The Hill in order to ask them questions.
One question I'd like to ask is this:
How come we (the United States of America) consisently tolerate religious bigotry in our public life and the public lives of our client nations at the same time that we piously decry religious bigotry in the public lives of nations we perceive as our enemies or nations that we simply don't like? How do we justify that in our minds? Why do we justify that in our minds? Should we be justifying that in our minds?
Is "our" religious bigotry better than "their" religious bigotry? Is Judeo-Christian fascism somehow "better" than Islamofascism?
These are questions that I would like to put, point-blank, to the Secretary of State.
Out of the Woods Follow-up. Saturday.
I had a great time in the Big Apple on Saturday. Got my hair cut with my old stylist down in GV, saw Alfred Molina in "Howard Katz" (one-word review: "eh."), dropped by Bloomies and cruised through the 1st floor (always pandemonium on a Saturday afternoon) and had dinner with friends in Queens (wonderful time).
I was a total goof-ball on Sunday but I did get out to see the new Spiderman movie, which I loved. Movies have been my escape and salvation since I was knee high to a bottle of Ballentine beer!
The darkness came on me Sunday afternoon and evening ("What does it all mean? I'm not getting any younger. My aches and pains are getting worse. I haven't made nearly enough plans and/or money for my old age! I'll wind up being a poor veg in a wheelchair in a state-run hell hole!! What should I have for dinner?") but God always gives me what I need and this morning, after my 12-Step meeting, someone (unsolicited) came up to me and gushed about how my presence there is meaning enough.
No, I hadn't mentioned to him what had been going on in my mind yesterday and yes, these sorts of "God moments" happen to me more and more, the longer I'm sober.
My big fear du jour is about buying real estate. I'll elaborate on that sometime this week but for the moment let it suffice to say that I get scared poopless at the thought of taking out a quarter of a million dollar loan.
Have a great day!
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Date: Oct 10, 2001 2:11:54 PM
Those buildings over there on the left are the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. The three "glass" plated ones are the anchor tenants there. The one on the left, closest to the camera, is the home of Merrill Lynch. To the right is the Oppenheimer Capital building, and the one behind Merrill Lynch, and slightly taller, is the American Express Building. I worked in that building from 1986 until 1992.
What you don't see is what used to be behind these buildings, across the West Side Highway. I refer of course to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. This picture was taken a month after they were destroyed by terrorists, from the New Jersey side of the Hudson.
I have a lot of memories of that area. Prior to 1986 my old firm (Lehman Brothers and before that, Shearson American Express), had it's block trading department on the 104th floor of the South Tower (the one that was hit 2nd and collapsed first). I worked there from 1983 to 1986, before we moved across the street to the (then) new AMEX building.
I still work in the city but I no longer live there. I left it, just as my friend Bev left San Francisco/Berkeley for Davis, a long time ago. Central New Jersey is my home now, and I love it here.
Occasionally, such as today, I return to the city on a Saturday to get a haircut (like Bev's husband Walt, who still drives 80 miles to see his dentist [see Bev's Blog for today HERE], I still go to NY to get my haircut... and to see my dentist) and to see a show (today it's "Howard Katz" starring Alfred Molina who played Doctor Ock, the villain in the LAST Spiderman movie) and then to kill some time at Bloomingdale's, looking at crap I can't afford to buy in order impress people I don't really like, and then to have dinner with a new friend of mine and his wife, out in the glorious outer boro of Queens. ("outer boro" NYese for "Mars.")
I used to think that I'd miss my old life in New York. The one where I made tons of money, ate in swell restaurants, wore really nice clothes, flew around to wherever I wanted and wreaked whatever havoc I thought I could get away with.
But I don't.
Oh, it had it's moments.
But at the end, they were only bad ones.
And after 9/11, there wasn't anything left there for me. It was like the terrorists had wiped out any last "fond" memories I might have had of the place.
Now, it's just a place. Not glamorous, not exciting, not fabulous. It's just New York.
Friday, May 04, 2007
That's the Reverend Fred Phelps over there on the left. He's the pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church out there in Topeka, Kansas. He's the man behind the "God Hates Fags" campaign. He and his followers (mostly relatives) have been turning up at military funerals over the last few years proclaiming the GOOD NEWS that the soldiers are really dead because America tolerates queers in it's midst. That's why God has seen fit to let them die fighting in Iraq.
He and a handful of his followers also turned up in Laramie, Wyoming for Matthew Sheperd's funeral, bearing banners proclaiming that "God Hates Fags."
He's a sterling example of Christian compassion, forgiveness and charity. He's a pretty sick puppy, in my opinion.
Yesterday the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that would add "sexual orientation" to the definition of "hate crimes" and would toughen local enforcement against such crimes. It didn't pass by a "veto-proof" margin, however. The White House let it be known that the President would veto the bill.
As reported earlier today on Wonkette (paraphrased):
That would be the third Presidential veto by Poopforbrains (sorry, President Poopforbrains). Based on those three vetos, the President obviously believes that:
1. Old people should get Alzheimer's
2. The War should continue as scheduled and
3. Fags should be bashed.That's a legacy.
Do I lump President Poopforbrains in the same category as Fred Phelps? Of course not. Fred actually believes all his bat-shit-crazy rantings.
Poopforbrains only believes what the money behind him tells him to believe. Oh, and whatever he gleans from his fantasy conversations with God.
Hmmmm. Come to think of it, maybe Fred and George DO have a lot in common, after all.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I don't know whom to credit for today's photo, but it sure seems apt given the subject of today's rant!
I refer, of course, to the Chief Magistrate of the United States, and a great little all around drunken Ivy-League Frat Boy, George W. Poopforbrains.
Being in Washington always makes me feel queasy and vaguely nauseous. It's been like that since I started hanging around the place, during my Navy years. I spent some time, in those days, agitating against the war and looking adorable in my Dress Blues.
But something deep down inside told me, even then, "This place is a den of lying horse thieves. Believe nothing they say."
I remember pretty clearly how the Republican party, in 1972, loudly gloated over the fact that the Democratic Party had "sold itself out" to it's Left Wing of Bra-Burning FemiNazis, Homos and Socialists!
Today, of course, the Republican Party of small government and less government intrusion, has happily sold itself out to its Right Wing of Gun-Toting, Bedroom-Snooping, Bible-Thumping, Fag-Bashers.
But I don't see any Democrats on television gloating over that fact.
And back in those days, while I was proudly wearing my naval uniforms, with the chevrons of a Petty Officer Second Class Aviation Electronics Technician proudly sewn (or ironed) to my left sleeve, dancing with multi-ton fighters and bombers around the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in the service of my country, the vast majority of the current crop of Chicken-Hawk War-Mongers were hiding behind their draft deferments, or in their National Guard units or otherwise having daddy, or one of daddy's rich friends, "pull some strings" to keep their sorry, trembling, asses OUT of the active-duty military and out of “harms way.” Like our current El Presidente did.
Remember the Bright Young Republican Things who got elected to Congress in 1994, with their “Contract with America?” One of them came sidling up to me one night in a gay bar in Rehoboth Beach in the summer of ’95, and announced that he had just arrived in DC in the service of one of those self-same Chicken-Hawks and that he, the ass-kissing, closeted toady of one of them had the nerve, the unmitigated gall, the CAJONES to announce to me that he actually BELIEVED in the "Contract with America" and then he stood there smiling at me, as though I would actually be impressed with his self-loathing stupidity and offer to have hot man-sex with him ....
I didn’t know whether to smack him or vomit on him so I just walked away.
Flash forward to yesterday. Our “chief decider” has rechristened himself. As of yesterday, he is now, officially, the “commander guy.”
And I wonder, what pit of hell belches out people like these?
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
That's somebody's mouth over there. I don't know whose it is, it's certainly not mine.
But it's a nice mouth, so I lifted it off of some website to illustrate today's blog (I'm probably going to hell for this -- well, I'm probably going to hell anyway, but that's a whole different subject).
It's all about the new crown I got yesterday. I wrote about the crumbling frontal tooth about a month ago. It's taken three trips to the dentist to get the new crown molded and fitted.
It looks great.
It's gonna cost me Three Thousand Dollars. No, I'm not kidding. And I don't have dental. That's the going rate in New York City for a really fine piece of Chevres porcelin, molded and glazed to perfection and perfectly fitted over a titanium post.
I gotta find me a dentist in New Jersey.
I've been going to Jerry for the better part of three decades now. I feel almost disloyal for even thinking it. But I can't afford him anymore. 3g's for a crown is not outrageous for a Wall Streeter, but it's way out of the ballpark for a legal secretary.
I'll pay it and move on.
Boy, if there are two things an alcoholic hates, its a) Change and b) The Way Things Are.
Fortunately, pain has little memory (if it did, women would never have more than one baby), and probably by this time next year, I'll have forgotten all about the fiscal catastrophe caused by the tooth and I'll trudge back to Dr. Jerry when the NEXT tooth bites the dust.
Because one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again in the hopes of achieving a different result.
And if there's one thing I am...
it's insane (but my teeth look FABULOUS!)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
What says "festive" more clearly than a photograph of the May Day celebrations in Red Square, circa 1947?
Kinda makes you "jonez" for the good old days of the cold war, doesn't it?
And speaking of the cold war, and war in general, is anyone still in doubt that the number one business of America is the business of getting ready for, and/or participating in, war? This has been the number one business of America since 1945. As I've mentioned here before, even so stalwart a soldier (and patriot) as Dwight David Eisenhower warned us, flat out, that this nation was on the verge of fascism (for that's what "military-industrial" really means) in his farewell address to the nation, in 1961.
I mention all this (again, and again and again) for a very good reason. First, it's May Day, which in all the so-called "workers paradises" all over the world is supposed to be a day of celebration of the workers of the world BUT, in fact, is just an excuse to trot out everyone's weapons of mass destruction for a nice, big, scary public display of each nation's ability to bash the living shit out of it's neighbors and, second, it's been four years since George W. Poopforbrains landed on an aircraft carrier and declared that it was "Mission Accomplished."
Only not so much, as it turns out.
There's a little counter at the bottom of my blog that is somebody else's work of art. It's counting down the days until we're finally rid of this administration which, in my quite considerable lifetime, is the WORST I've ever seen (and yes, I'm including the good old Nixon years - Nixon, at least, tried opening a few doors - Dubya would just as soon blow them all to hell and gone).
So, on this May Day 2007 let's all celebrate the fact that it's all unraveling now (and one thing I've learned about administrations is, that by year 6, they all start to "unravel"), and let's hold the opposition parties feet to the fire about what they will, and won't do, should WE see fit to elect them in the next election.
And, finally, let's pray to God that we never again get crazy enough to vote for a bunch of war-mongering sleaze-bags, as we did the last few times.