Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I took a mental health day yesterday in order to look after my physical health.

I had my annual physical, preceeded by my semi-annual clambake with my cardiologist.

That's me over there, 4th from the left, just behind the cardiologist.

Only kidding.

The net-net of all that was a) it's time to schedule a cardio-stress-test, which will be the 1st one since my quad-bypass 3 years ago and b) my internist decided to up one med (allopurinol for my gout) and drop another one (lyrica for my neuropathy).

All in all it was a good day.

The best part was going to see "The Simpsons Movie" in the afternoon. I'd tried to go on Sunday but because the weather was so rotten everybody in Mercer County had the same idea so that when I got to the lobby I looked at the lines and blurted out "THIS IS SO NOT WORTH IT!" to which some woman replied, "WHAT'S NOT WORTH IT?" not realizing that I was merely making a rhetorical statement.

The movie was pretty good but I have to agree with most of the critics who said it was, basically, just a long version of the show. But it was definitely worth it to hear Marge scream out, "Will somebody just throw the goddamned bomb?"

Sometimes laughter is the best medicine.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


If you're old like me you remember a movie called "Xanadu" which killed off Olivia Newton-John's career and probably helped cause Gene Kelly's death.

Somebody got the bright idea that it would make a swell Broadway musical and, when I saw the ad for it in the papers a couple of months back... so did I. I copped some tickets in April and dragged my college roommates, and their assorted boyfriends, to see it yesterday afternoon.


The show has a great pedigree. Music by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) with new material by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar thrown in to flesh it out and, more importantly, a book by everyone's current favorite gay playwright (excuse me Tony Kushner, Christopher Durang and Harvey Fierstein), Douglas Carter Beane who wrote the devastatingly funny show-biz Roman a Clef, "The Little Dog Laughed" which was produced on Broadway last year.

The plot is too silly for words. An "artist" (a circa 1980, Venice Beach Bimboy) named Sonny wants to open up an "arts palace/roller disco" in Santa Monica in an old theater which was built at the beginning of WWII and never opened, owned by a money-grubbing old real estate mogul who once aspired to play the clarinet.

One of the Seven Muses, Clio, decides to inspire Sonny and drags her 6 other sisters (2 of whom are played by men) into the plot.

She takes human form and spends the remaining 90 minutes of the intermissionless show inspiring Sonny to follow his dream, reminding the cranky old real estate tycoon that he ONCE had a dream (which he abandoned for profits... thus losing Clio who had been HIS girlfriend in a previous incarnation), falling in love with Sonny and he with her, actually drawing something thus violating every rule in the Demigod's Handbook and pissing off her father, Zeus, in the process.

It all builds to a big climax and extremely toe-tapping/sing-along finale of the Big Song itself... "XANADU." Highly satisfactory!

Oh, yeah, and she becomes human, loses her powers and immortality, and she and Sonny live happily ever after.

Yeah, right. Look, it's a MUSICAL. Okay?

The show has found it's audience, ladies of a certain age and bazillions of queers. The matinee we attended was a sell-out. The humor is hip, contemporary (for a dated show) and brings back lots of memories of a time and place (the early 80's) when everyone wore big hair and leg warmers.

I loved it.

Go see it!

Friday, July 27, 2007

TGI Friggs Day

Friday was named after some Germanic goddess of beauty ("Frigg" or "Friya"). Personally, I prefer the Russian or Portuguese way of referring to it (the "fifth day" in Russian, "sixth" in Portuguese. Apparently that depends on when (and if) you observe the Sabbath.

What's special about this Friday is:

a) there were no traffic catastrophes on the NJTurnpike on the inbound commute this morning (however, the day is young).

b) The Simpons Movie opened at midnight last night.

I won't be able to see it until Sunday (Sontag), though. Tomorrow I'm dragging my sorry ass out of bed to travel into Manhattan (which I'm really getting tired of doing) to see...

"Xanadu" the musical.

Based on one of the worst movies I ever saw, one which nearly ruined (well, it probably DID ruin) Olivia Newton-John's career when it bombed at the B.O. back in 1981. It also had the distinction of being Gene Kelly's last film.

However, according to everyone, it has become the hottest gay ticket on B'way this season, and many of my gay friends are PEA-GREEN with Envy!

Then, tomorrow night, I'm in Philly to attend a fundraiser for the upcoming Philadelphia Roundup in October.

Actually the event in Philly promises to be even gayer than the audience for Xanadu. It's a drag show entitled "Caftanistan". Since I'll be at the Roundup I thought it might be nice to attend one of the fundraisers for it.

So, tomorrow morning I drag myself out of bed, do my chores, take a train to Manhattan, see "Xanadu" (fortunately it's short - 90 minutes), catch a train BACK to Princeton, do some more chores then drive to Philly in time to catch the show at the Shakespeare Festival.

So maybe I'll see "The Simpsons Movie" on Sunday.

Or maybe I'll just spend the entire day in bed.... finishing the Harry Potter novel.

I am seriously behind in my entertainment.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pissing Off the Commuter Gods!

The commuter Gods are obviously pissed off that I took two weeks vacation. Since I've returned there have been numerous delays of every sort just about every day this week.

Last night my bus broke down on the Turnpike and it was over an hour before a replacement came out to rescue us. I got home at 8:30. Just in time for bed. At least there were only 45 of us who were thoroughly inconvenienced.

Unlike yesterday morning and this morning.

Yesterday there was an "incident" involving a burned-out (well, it was burned out by the time we got there) old wreck in the southbound lanes which everyone in the northbound lanes had to slow down and look at, thus adding 20 minutes to the commute. 20 minutes times 75,000 people equals 1,500,000 minutes, or 25,000 people-hours in lost productivity.

This morning was even worse. I knew it was going to be bad when the bubble-headed bleach-blonde traffic report lady on WCBS-TV (in "HD!") at 5:00 a.m. blathered on about "a bad accident in the southbound lanes near Exit 14, so you might want to take Routes 1 and 9 around the airport (Newark/Liberty) instead."

She wasn't lying. It was bad. There was an overturned and gutted tractor-trailer, a demolished divider between the bus and auto lanes AND the burned out wreck of an expensive looking sports car. Apparently there was death, and possibly several, involved. There were multiple state police cruisers all over the southbound side.

Again, it was important for everyone in the northbound lanes to slow down and gawk. Another 25,000 person-hours down the crapper. Probably more because the southbound traffic, mostly tractor trailers, were backup up northbound on the western spur all the way to the George Washington Bridge. It was going to be a very bad day for an awful lot of people.

I have written e-mails to the Turnpike Authority after previous incidents like this, suggesting strongly that they install "anti-rubbernecking" barriers the full length of the Turnpike but apparently the State Police don't like the idea because it would hinder the ability of patrol troopers to monitor conditions both northbound AND southbound while driving along in the opposite lanes.

But it seems to me that there comes a time, and that time has long since past, when the needs of tens of thousands of commuters outstrip the needs of the police to "check out" what's going on in the other lanes.

Maybe it's just time to hire more troopers and to buy them more cruisers.

I'm sure it'd be a helluva lot cheaper than the 10's of millions of dollars which go up in smoke from the exhaust pipes of thousands of vehicles stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike every year; burning up oil which the youth of America is currently, and pointlessly, dying trying to protect.

I wish the New Jersey Turnpike Authority would tell me again why it's so goddamned important for the State Police to be able to look over the barriers, "just in case"?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Last February, at a huge get together of mostly family and many friends in honor of my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary, my sister inadvertently blurted out (via a Karaoke system) how proud she was of me, her brother, "the recovering alcoholic."

It's moments like that that make life worth living and sisters worth killing. But I forgave her. After all, heheheheheh, she was drunk at the time.

She's beaten herself up merciless since then over that little gaffe.

The subject came up again last week, when I was spending part of the week with my sister down at the Delaware shore. I am not anonymous about being a recovering alcoholic. I am, though, anonymous about my associations and associates. And that's for a very good reason.

Let's take, for example, someone like Lindsay Lohan. Clearly this young woman needs help, as evidenced by yet another arrest for drunk driving the other night. And she needs something a little more "hard-core" in the way of recovery than the "feel-good, easier, softer" way that they obviously taught her at Promises in Malibooboo.

Can you imagine what it would have been like if, for example, she'd been elected the national Celebrity Spokesperson for Recovery from Drug and Alcohol Addiction by any of the fine 12-Step Programs out there? Said program would've been ridiculed and scorned as a massive failure based SOLELY on the unfortunate circumstances of one individual.

Which is why ALL 12-Step Programs, in their Traditions, hold fast to the rule of Public Anonymity "at the level of Press, Radio and Film" (and tv, although they don't usually mention it). This is as much to protect the progams as it is to protect the people IN the programs.

"Anonymity is the spiritual foundation" of all 12-Step Programs, so the literature says, "ever reminding us to place principles before personalities."

There isn't a friend or relative left in my life who doesn't know I'm a recovering drunk. But I rarely, if ever, mention exactly WHERE I go to get sober.

That's the way it is, and that's the way it should be.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nose to the Grindstone

Does anyone even remember what a "grindstone" is? Or why one would want to put one's nose to it? I doubt it. I think it was used to grind flour and corn and was probably attached to a watermill. But that still leaves the nose part. What gives with that? Did all mill owners have their noses ground off as a matter of course? It sure sounds like it.

Anywho, I'm back at work and fucking off (it's lunchtime).

For the past two weeks my life was idyllic and the weather was perfect. Children laughed and never cried, dogs frolicked and never barked. Food was delicious, naps were lengthy and nary a harsh word escaped anyone's lips.

And then I arrived back at work.

It's amazing how quickly my Irish skin sheds a tan. Usually one or two showers is enough to restore my alabaster skin to the color one finds on the underside of a bottom feeding scumsucker, such as a fluke or a ray. It's also amazing how quickly my serenity and peace of mind can be sucked right out of me by bottom feeding, scumsucking, lawyers.

Let's see, you already know about "Sicko" and Tammy Faye (God rest her soul!). I know I promised to give you all the lascivious details of my adventures in Provincetown and Rehoboth but, to be honest, there's not much to tell. I got cruised by some twink at a tea dance in P'town, and that was it.

I have been letting my hair grow and I've been gassing it back in a modest imitation of Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street." A lot of folks admire it. A lot of folks just stare at it. I don't care, though, because I've reached the age of eccentricity.

I'm a little rusty at this, two weeks of no internet access, no e-mail and no blogging have left my writing skills even worse off than they usually are.

Therefore, in a vain attempt to put closure to this (because I'm being harkened by a lawyer to do something mindless and meaningless), let me just say that it's time for me to get back to work (HEY! Maybe that's what "nose to the grindstone" means!!!)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I saw Michael Moore's movie, "Sicko", today. Yes, there are obviously "staged" segments. But I didn't care. I loved it. And although it's ostensibly "about" the sorry state of medical care in the good old USofA, somewhere in mid-film Moore makes the statement that government has a vested interest in keeping the population "living in fear, debt and hopeless." I've sort of paraphrased that, but it's close enough.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I've never been much of a conspiracy-theory type, adhering to the opinion that our government is so disorganized that it could never get it's act together to actually cook up and keep quiet a vast conspiracy of any sort.

Until I found out about the medical lobby. And who, precisely, is on their payrolls. Did you know that the 2nd biggest senatorial recipient of political donations from the medical profession over the last couple of years was....

Hillary Rodham Clinton?

No shit. Yeah, I was shocked, too. I forget the exact amount, but it was pushing a million. #1 was Rick Santorum, an anti-gay neocon from Pennsylvania who got thrown out of office in the last election.

I was also surprised to learn that the whole idea of HMOs can be laid at the doorstep of Henry Kaiser, of Kaiser-Permanente fame.

Worse, the film plays an audio tape from 1971 of Nixon discussing the whole idea of HMOs with John Ehrlichman, and mentioning Kaiser by name. Nixon really loved the "profit through withholding of service" idea. An idea, of course, which is the basis of our current health care schemes.

We are then given a guided tour through the medical paradises in Canada, the UK, France and, finally, the island paradise of Cuba.

I take it all with a giant grain of salt. Mr. Moore, after all, is nothing if not a sensationalist (he IS trying to put butts into theater seats, after all), but I'd always rather err on the side of compassion, when push comes to shove.

Which, by the way, is what separates liberals from conservatives. Conservatives would always rather err on the side of profits, a point Moore makes by showing up a couple of Congressional shills who, after they shoved through the recent Medicare Prescription Drug plan (put together by the drug industry, of course) and before the ink was hardly dry on the President's signature, resigned from Congress to take lucrative, 7-figure jobs with the pharmaceutical lobby.

All in all, it was a highly inflammatory, highly educational and highly entertaining 2 hours.

Go see it and then join me on the picket line!

Oh, and if you want some backup on the "facts" in Mr. Moore's movie, visit his website here.

He has thoughtfully provided links to all of his sources. Too bad politicians never do that. But then, they're all pussies and liars.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Good Christian Woman is Dying

I was gonna write some upbeat crapola about the fagulous time I had on Cape Cod and down in Gayhoboth... until I saw a brief snippet of Tammy Faye (Bakker) Mesner from her recent (last night?) appearance on Larry King Live.

She looks like hell. She should. She's been there and back. She's eaten up with cancer and it's literally only a matter of time (and not much of it at that, based on her looks). That picture, by the way, is not a recent one. I think it would be indecent to post a photo of her as she looks now. Tammy's personal defects include, I'm afraid, vanity. And I know she always wants to look her best.

I never thought I'd live to see the day when I'd say something like this, but I think this woman is a sterling example of what it means to actually lead a Good Christian Life. She has nothing but kindness and love and compassion and forgiveness in her soul, despite all the crap that got sent her way via a succession of scheming, conniving, backstabbing men, some of whom she married and some of whom she didn't (oh, Pat Robertson comes to mind, with all of his manipulations to take over the PTL empire when it - and she - fell on hard times).

Tammy Faye accepts - and did even before it was fashionable - LGBT people exactly the way we are AND lets us know that in her humble opinion God loves us just the way we are and there's no need to be fussin' over it.

I think the key to her success was and remains a stubborn insistence on maintaining a childlike innocence in the face of some pretty harsh realities combined with a childlike faith in the loving goodness of a Higher Power whom she chooses to call God.

Ordinarily I have nothing but contempt for and suspicion of televangelists and their ilk. But I will make one exception, for Tammy Faye.

I think I actually love this woman.

I pray that goodness and mercy will follow her all the days of her life.


HOT FLASH! Check out this video by Max Blumenthal over at the Huffington Post blogsite. He nails chickenhawk Republican college dimwits to the barn doors, left and right.

Tomorrow: Fagulous Times

Friday, July 06, 2007

Schools' Out Forever

Alice Cooper hit the nail right on the head.

Tomorrow morning, at 8:30 (ish) a.m., I'll be hitting the road for Cape Cod. I have to stop in EnWhyCee to pick up my college roommate and oldest, OLDEST, dearest friend. Then we get to make the six hour trek out to the easternmost point in Massachusetts for a week of sun and fun!

I'm really looking forward to it.

Our hosts, the Baltimoreans (Baltimorons?) are heading up there today to make sure the house is aired out and that everything is in it's place, prior to the arrival of the Royal Principessas.

Last year we had a blast. The high point was the half day we spent aboard the Portuguese Princess on a whale-watching trip out into the ocean off Provincetown. We could've sworn that the whales had been trained. They came right up to the side of the ship and put on quite a show for us for the better part of an hour. They were magnificent beasts and clearly enjoyed showing off for the mammals on the boat.

I'm not sure we'll be able to top that this year, but we really go more for each other's company than for the "sightseeing", even though we do manage to get some of that done, too.

We're only going for a week this year, which is probably about the right amount of time for a vacation to Cape Cod. Don't get me wrong, I do like the place, but I have other places to visit and people to see this year.

A week from tomorrow I'll return my friend to New York and head on down to Jersey for the night. Next Sunday morning I'll get up and drive another 3 hours SOUTH to the Delaware shore to spend a few days with my sister and her family. They have a beach house in a very nice location, between the resort towns of Dewey Beach and Rehoboth.

After 3 days of that I'll head BACK to New Jersey for yet another night and then, finally, head out to the very easternmost point of the North Fork of Long Island to spend a few days in the weekend home of friends of mine from New York.

Ergo sum, this my final post for awhile. I may or may not squeeze one in a week from tomorrow or possibly on the following Wednesday, but there are no guarantees.

And feel free to shoot me if I ever complain about being unloved again.

Adios, Amigos & Amigas!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Morning After

Yesterday I posted a picture of myself in bootcamp.

Today I'm posting an "avatar" of myself which I created on the Simpson's Movie website. It's not too bad a representation, actually. I got the silver hair, but I'm missing glasses.

Oh, and I wouldn't be caught dead in a "Duff Beer" t-shirt, either.

The weather was pretty crappy here in the east yesterday, so I didn't partake of any outdoor activities. Mostly I spent the day packing (and re-packing) the Element for our upcoming vacation on Cape Cod.

After dusk, as various east coast cities started ramping up for their 4th of July celebrations I started channel surfing to see which city would win my heart and mind this year. I have to admit I've always been partial to Boston's annual celebration, with the Pops playing on the Esplanade next to the Charles River. I really like it because it traditionally concludes with a rafter-rattling rendition of the "1812 Overture" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, complete with live cannon fire and kick-ass fireworks over the river.

Macy's always puts on a big, expensive show in New York, but the whole thing is too friggin' "stagey" for my taste. The 4th of July should ALWAYS smack of small-town amateurism, and not be as corporately slick as the New York show always is.

Philly gave it a shot, but it went to the opposite extreme and their parade looked like it was thrown together by a bunch of drunken Mummers (are there any other kind?) on Tuesday night.

But the show that really made me want to barf was Washington's. As some other blogger/wag said, ever so much more pithily than I, does anything say "Happy July 4th more than Tony Danza in tap shoes?"

Well, it looked amateurish alright. And he was probably sober. Lord knows he probably needed the work (last time I heard about him he was playing Billy Flynn in Chicago on B'way).

But he was a trouper and didn't seem to be overly embarrassed to be hosting the festivities from the Mall behind the Capitol building.

Then I flipped back to the station carrying the concert from Boston, just in time for the big "Quaker Puffed Wheat" finale.

Ahhhh. This is the way the 4th should be celebrated. In bed with a tub of Ben & Jerry's Chunky-Monkey ice cream while watching a bunch of slightly inebriated Bostonians huzzah our Nation's Birth on tv to the tune of some 19th Century Russkie composer's musical tribute to the monumental failure of Napoleon Bonaparte to capture Moscow.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Star-Spangled Sobriety!

This is a photo of me in boot camp. Those were the days of 3-masted schooners and whaling dinghies and leaving Bedford, Mass on year-long cruises...

Oh, alright, it was 1968 and pre-dentistry. I was 20 and skinny as a rail (well, I was 6'5" and weighed about 175 pounds). I've gained a few pounds and gotten the teeth fixed since then.

Notice the "farmer's tan" on the face. They've removed my spectacl... er, eyeglasses, which had served to shield my eyes from the harsh San Diego sun from July to September through grueling days of hour upon hour of physical drill on the "grinder" at the Recruit Training Center. The rest of my face is burnt to a crisp. I had a matching tan on the backs of my hands. The rest of me looked like the underside of a freshly caught fluke.

I was not a gung-ho American. Had I been I would've been finishing up Army bootcamp and eagerly anticipating being shipped out to 'Nam, where I could've killed gooks and eaten dead, burnt, babies.

When the draft notice arrived in the mail, just after the 1st of the year in 1968, I upheld a fine old family tradition of cowardice and followed in my daddy and granddaddy's footsteps and enlisted in the Navy instead.

Like I said, I was not a "gung-ho" American and, in fact, harbored deep anti-war feelings regarding the fiasco in Viet Nam. In my few, short years in the service I came across many men and women who felt as I did. They loved their country and hated the war. It was there, then, that I realized that:

I could support the troops without supporting the policies of the government or the President.

I saw lifers (career people) happily join me and other 1-termers in anti-war demonstrations in Washington, DC many, many times. I also saw them being torn apart coming to terms with the implications of that sentence I stated above. That it WAS possible to love one's country, to support it's military, and YET have zero respect and support for the civilian government and it's insane policies.

I had no such problem then. I still don't. I never once disobeyed a direct order from a superior officer, nor did I ever shy away from constitutionally protected expression of my beliefs.

Today more than ever it is evident that the current Administration mocks the law, spits on the Constitution and has nothing but contempt for the electorate.

Now is the time for true patriots to speak out loudly and clearly in defiance of the Executive Branch and to do everything we can to light a fire under the Legislative to bring the gang of thugs running the White House to heel and to justice.

Let us not be afraid to yell "TREASON" when we see it.

Happy July 4th, everyone!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

War-Dodging Coward Pardons Whoever the Fuck He Likes!

Tells America to go fuck itself! "I AM the Constitution!"

Presidente Cabezamierda has gone and done it again. This time he has stepped into the judicial process at the point where an old buddy (Scooter, and what the fuck kind of name is that for an adult?) was going to be sent up the river and made sure that that didn't happen; an action just short of saying that Scooter didn't actually do anything wrong, because Drunken Yalie FratBoy is saving that hat trick until his final week in office when he'll pardon everybody he ever knew, including everybody who either works for or runs Halliburton and Kellogg Brown & Root, for everything they ever did.

Including his daddy.

And all because of "a finding." A finding being one of those clever little legal tricks that enables the executive branch to do whatever the fuck it wants in order to screw whomever they don't like. Findings go back a long way, but they really got going during President Reagan's administration (remember "Iran-Contra"? that all started with "a finding.")

Does every administration indulge in cronyism? Of course. Does every administration indulge in politics? They wouldn't be in control if they didn't.

Does every administration allow one of it's members to commit treason and then try to pawn it off on the public as "politics as usual?"

Uh, well, no.

I realize that I now foam at the mouth about the 2nd Bush's 2nd administration, probably in much the same way that they foamed at the mouth over Bill Clinton's 2 terms in office.

However, nobody died when Monica polished Bill's Presidential Knob.

I'm not even sure Shrub HAS a knob.

But he sure does have fucking balls.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Crazy Bitch

Being a member of a 12-Step Program gives me ample opportunity to confront all my serious issues, one of which is my aversion to and fear of crazy bitches.

I was raised by crazy Irish bitches who drank, and fought, a lot.

My earliest memories are not happy ones. They more often than not involve hiding under covers and living in morbid fear of being killed by people who were supposed to love me.

All that fear took a tremendous toll on me and left me untrusting and unloving of people. I struggle daily to overcome my fear of others and of my own feelings.

Every once in awhile, in a 12-Step meeting, I will hear some woman telling the other side of my story, from the drinking woman's point of view. Yesterday was an example.

I will not tell you who or where, but I will tell you what happened. A woman with some "time" in the program (several years), who is divorced with two pre-teen male children who live with her did a five minute rant on her ex-husband and her two sons. And as she was going on (and off) about these men (adult and children) who were making her life MISERABLE, that they mocked her, that they "didn't do things" her way, that THEY (they, they, they) were ruining her life.... all I could think of was my own, late, alcoholic mother, and how from my earliest childhood all she ever did was blame my father, her FIRST ex husband (of several), for all of her woes in life and then would, more or less, tell me how I was only making matters worse by constantly reminding her of him.

As though the mere fact of my existence was some sort of divine punishment on her.

So I grew up not only fearing for my life, but also feeling guilt and remorse for being responsible for all the misery in the lives of the crazy bitches around me.

When that meeting ended yesterday, I fled. My sponsor tried to talk to me, but I didn't want to talk. I couldn't talk to anyone. I felt fear and nausea and full of murderous rage. I jumped into the Element and skidded off into the afternoon sun.

I wanted to kill that woman, whom I scarcely know. I wanted to hide under the covers again. I knew she was doing to her children what my mother had done to me. Venemously poisoning their minds against their father, and taking her vindictivness towards him out on them, for the heinous crime of being his offspring.

And once again, I was five years old and powerless over alcohol. Somebody else's alcohol, but alcohol nevertheless. God I hate this disease.