December 25, 2008


Farewell Eartha Kitt


The astonishingly lovely and multi-talented Eartha Kitt, possessor of multiple Grammy awards and Tony nominations, passed away Christmas day. Eartha, who made mulatto delicious decades before Haille Berry, also possessed the coolest female name ever and unmistakable diction. Although it's a mere blip on her resume, she is most famous to me in her role (and rolling purr) as Catwoman on the Batman TV series of the 1960s. Before that she is probably most widely known for her 1954 recording of "Santa Baby," making for an interesting coincidence regarding the day of her death.

Eartha always claimed a personal reserve and even shyness, but her entertainment persona was pure seduction, and she played diva to the hilt. Comedy writer Bruce Vilanch recalled a 1971 interview he had with her, whereby she claimed she suffered unemployment due to her off-topic slamming of the Vietnam War at a Lady Bird Johnson beautification luncheon (she was headlining at a Chicago nightclub at the time). "She'd already been a legend for twenty years, and legends have very vague calendars," said Vilanch. "I had a great time interviewing Eartha, who spent a lot of time telling me how she had created Eartha and was now spending the seventh day resting."

Rrrowwrrr, baby.

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He sees you when you're sleeping

Happy Christmas, Blogovia ! !

With love from the O' Tims

For you, Big Guy
(I figure with a full tummy you can handle driving on one beer,eh?)

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December 23, 2008


I'm Coming Out

I've been called out, and now my closet door can no longer remain shut. I'm here to announce to the world that as a happily married heterosexual, I'm gay.

As a heterosexual I do not fully relate to being gay, but as long as the theocracy mongers of America continue their assault on the lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness of the gay community then I will continue to be gay.

I guess I'm lucky in that this is a decision that I can make of my own free will, and when/if ever my country comes to a peaceable understanding of the equal rights and protection of ALL its citizens, then I can decide once again to not be gay. So I stand with those who are so unfortunate as to have no choice in being held in contempt by an uncaring and ignorant multitude of stone-throwing sinners.

There are so many points that made my decision to come out rather simple. Many revolve around the recent boil of debate over California's Prop 8 and its surface attempt to define marriage and, just a scratch below the surface, define it by a narrow, traditional religious worldview. When people talk about the sanctity of marriage in one breath, and tradition in another, they forget what those traditions actually are, for marriage hardly has a pure and glorious history. It's rarely been about love, and even more rarely has it been about choice. For millennia and still today women have married the men they were told to marry and spent their lives being miserable. The men got married to women for a variety of convenient and expedient reasons, then promptly went out and got a cartload of mistresses to fool around with.

As for religion, the Christian church explicitly avoided anything to do with marriage until the Council of Trent in the 16th century, and there the primary interest was for the Roman Catholic church to introduce barriers to reformation. Let's not forget all the family squabbles that were settled by marrying the children of the warring sides together, or the marriage of close cousins to keep royal bloodlines "pure" (and ugly and inbred). And what of the still-current tradition of marrying barely pubescent girls to much older men for the purpose of pumping out "legitimate" babies? If one girl died in childbirth, you just haul another one to the alter and start the bed springs bouncing again.

The way I see it, since there is no state religion, then as far as the state (which issues licenses and regulates the social benefits and responsibilities of married couples) is concerned, marriage is a legal contract and not a religious one. It is a contract that smooths out all sorts of estate and power of attorney issues as well as some legal aspects concerning minors. It's a pretty decent deal for all involved (unless someone tries to dissolve the contract, in which case it's usually just a pretty decent deal for the lawyers). Still, so long as the state intertwines marriage with inheritance, child custody, durable powers of attorney, etc., then the government should have no say in which adults do, and which do not, get to be in a binding contractual arrangement simply based on whether or not the people have matching sex organs.

I often wonder why gay marriage is such a hot button issue, but then I also wonder why people try to impose their will on complete strangers. If a church doesn't want to bless/recognize gay marriage then that's their prerogative, but I can see no logical argument for why it would support denying two loving partners to enter into this form of legal contract. I do understand that the most zealous anti-gay practitioners want to live under a theocracy. They want their religious law to be everyone's law, and they want to be free to use their bigotry to oppress others without comment or complaint. And so I stand.

What is the impetus for this all? I admit that my mind has wavered over the importance of the decision by President-elect Obama to invite Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren to deliver an invocation at his inaugural on January 20. My liberal sensibilities were typically incensed by the thought of having such a high-profile individual that represents the worst of the two-faced evangelical establishment. Someone referred to Warren as "Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt," which, from what I know of the man's homophobic bashing and foamy hatred of all things not Jesusified, I count as an accurate characterization. But being new to this gay thing I considered that maybe we queer folks were making too much of this, that Obama is merely "reaching across the aisle" (to employ one of the top 10 cliches of 2008) to help heal the scars our nation has endured from the right-wing authoritarian religionists these past eight years. Bullshit, I've decided. This is political fence-sitting at best and at worst paranoid pandering.

BTW, this was initiated by stalwart ex-pat (and bloggy shit/conscience-stirrer) Ser Kelso de Panama, who has dubbed it the HETEROSEXUAL ANTI-WARREN SELF-OUTING PROJECT. One point of conviction for me was this very well-put notion of his: "Ultimately, a kind of cowardly president is a good non-leader for a cowardly nation whose soon-to-be-governing party has not had an idea or principle yet that they've been willing to put the smallest effort into defending when challenged by the Republicans or the MSM."

I am encouraging snazzy corresponding blog badges for the project participants, but for now the reward to any willing participants is the satisfaction of knowing that you and your good heart stand on righteous ground. And aside from any schtick this project may be reduced to, I think the call was put forth best by Keith Olbermann just a week after the vote on Prop 8:

You are asked now, by your country and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don’t have to help it, you don’t have to applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know, it is, in fact, the ember of your love for your fellow person. Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too. Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace that love? The world is barren enough.

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December 19, 2008


Teh Gloryus Internets


Extreme procrastinary fun! See if you can beat 13 at


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December 08, 2008


" "

The movie quote meme is making rounds in my bloggerhood, and there has been recent debate about films among hellions and terrans as well. Since the Film Freaks seem to be on semi-permanent vacation, and I have so uninteresting a life (as far as putting it to black and white for all of Blogovia to read), here we go.

It's the usual drill - fifteen movie quotes, commentors get credit on a 1stcome1st basis, NO GOOGLING (and answering, anyway). UPDATE: As most of the remaining list is a bit obscure, you may now search, and if you've seen it you can claim it.

I'm taking a tip from Cheezy and putting the more difficult ones toward the end. Ready?

1. I could be just sitting at home with pee stains on my rug. Fez Monkey

2. I know what I'm gonna do tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year, and the year after that. I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here and go to college and see what they know. Lucy

3.He: I can't dance, I can't dance, I've got two left feet!
She: I thought he was kidding.
He: But I wasn't. I was born with two left feet. Fez Monkey

4. Him 1: This place has become impossible. Nothing to eat, freezing cold and now a madman on the prowl outside with eels.
Him 2: All right, you've made your point. We pack up tomorrow and get out.
Him 1: Where are you going?
Him 2: I'm going for a slash.
Him 1: No you can't, I can't get my boots on when they're hot.
Him 2: That's all right, I'll go alone.
Him 1: No you won't, you're not leaving me in here alone. Those are the kind of windows faces look in at. Joe the Troll

5. Oh, I am afraid our life must seem very dull and quiet compared to yours. We are but eight-score young blonds and brunettes, all between 16 and 19 1/2, cut off in this castle with no one to protect us. Oooh, it is a lonely life: Bathing, dressing, undressing, making exciting underwear... Fez Monkey

6. Well, sir, I ain't a for-real cowboy. But I am one helluva stud. Fez Monkey

7. But the real excitement, of course, is gonna come at the end of the summer, uh, during Sexual Awareness Week. We import 200 hookers from around the world, and each camper, armed with only a thermos of coffee and $2,000 cash, tries to visit as many "countries" as he can and the winner, of course, is named King of Sexual Awareness Week and is allowed to rape and pillage the neighboring towns until camp ends. Joe the Troll

8. Why don't we all go to Gallo Dam for an orgy? I could pick up some Oleo Margarine - roll around in it for a while. Anita

9. Funny business, a woman's career. The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being a woman. Anita

10. I hate to be the kinda nigga that do a nigga a favour and then BAM hit the nigga up for a favour in return, but I gots to be that nigga. Fez Monkey

11. And that was only one of the many occasions on which I met my death, an experience which I don't hesitate to strongly recommend. Holly

12. Him 1: They're armed.
Him 2: What do you mean armed? Armed with what?
Him 1: Err, bad breath, colourful language, feather duster... what do you think they're gonna be armed with? GUNS, you tit! Anita

13. Most of all, I love Manchester. The crumbling warehouses, the railway arches, the cheap abundant drugs. That's what did it in the end. Not the money, not the music, not even the guns. That is my heroic flaw: my excess of civic pride. Cheezy

14. Also, you'll find a pair of safety glasses and some earplugs under your seats. Please feel free to use them. Anita

15. Man, it's the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain't that piece of paper, there's some other choice they're gonna try and make for you... Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N. Cheezy


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December 01, 2008


A Whiter Shade of Pale

Anitaxanaxnow has presented a musical conundrum for which my contribution (I do not say solution) merely adds a 50 percent markup.

The Procol Harum song A Whiter Shade of Pale has been covered by various artists over its 40-year history, with most versions (here it comes) paling in comparison. Against the original Anita pits a live 1981 performance by Joe Cocker, perhaps on the tail end of his prime. It is, like so much that went before in Cocker's career, a sweet and awesome expression of one of rock's greatest songs, but I don't believe it attains the grandeur of the original creation. I've only experienced maybe three or four covers of any song that ever did (how about you?), and one of those is this performance of the song by the great but tragic saxophonist "King" Curtis Ousley from a recording in March 1971 at the Fillmore West in San Francisco.

Featured in
the lineup with King (opening for Aretha Franklin) were singer/keyboardist Billy Preston and the Memphis Horns. Preston's Hammond B3 is the perfect soulful counterpoint to King's alto sax, which reaches a couple of fine crescendos here. I think the S.F. flower children attending this run of three shows out of curiosity or lack of anything better to do may have had pleasantly tingling spines through much of King's performance. As to whether or not this helps solve Anita's hippie conundrum, well...(note: you may, like myself, not know quite what to make of the montage accompanying the audio - it was the only version I could find. Anyone recognize the films?)

The sad footnote to this is that King Curtis was murdered later that year, cutting short a brilliant career. Aretha Franklin sang at his funeral.


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