Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Nut in the White House

Would being totally out of touch with reality qualify one as being a NUT?

I would think so........

Monday, January 29, 2007


Did someone say 35 degrees? Did someone forget that this is Florida, land of sunshine? Does anyone remember that the weather last week was 82 degrees?

I am not adequately prepared for this sudden burst of freezing temperatures. I hate the cold; which is why I moved to Florida. The dogs, on the other hand seem to be enjoying this; romping on the grass as I stand there freezing.

It's been a difficult two weeks. As a not-for-profit organization, the corporation I work for is subjected to annual federal audits and last week was the exit. I had worked 13 days with no time off and was both physically and mentally exhausted but the audit was more than successful with a superior rating!

I still haven't recovered completely and will be taking four days off beginning this Thursday. I look forward to sleeping late, eating well, watching movies, reading, working on this blog and of course, loving the PUGS.

Friends are offering to accompany me to the tattoo parlor when and if I decide to get one.

Somehow, I think they would enjoy seeing me in pain.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Friends and I sometimes discuss the things we wish we had done/want to do before it's just too late; although I don't think it's ever too late..... some things are best just left undone.

I want a tattoo.


Actually, I was thinking of maybe a small tattoo on an upper arm. I'm thinking maybe an armband.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Time for a drink, George!

"Do you believe, as commander-in-chief, you have the authority to put the troops in there no matter what the Congress wants to do?" Bush: "In this situation, I do, yeah,"


Exactly two years from today, George Bush will be out of office! It's going to be a very long two years.........

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


If I changed lovers as frequently as I change templates, I'd be living life dangerously indeed.

In the meantime, I can't seem to find a suitable template.

Please bear with me ......

The jester, one of my favorite characters used the guise of a fool because of the freedom it offered. His assumed innocence allowed him to speak his mind. This freedom was often used to criticize the rules of society as well as the ruler himself. Thus, the jester could put a moral or satirical spin on most anything. In assuming the role of the jester, I feel comfortable asking the following question.

Will someone please.....
.......flush the toilet?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Orleans

During the past 20 years, I've visited New Orleans more than 60 times. I can actually fly to New Orleans in less time than it takes me to drive to work each day.

When my friends ask if I would ever consider moving there.

Without thinking, I immediately responded "no, I would not even consider moving there because you see, for the past 20 years, New Orleans has been and remains, my mistress."

A mistress who always welcomes me with open arms, embracing me into a culture of great music, fine food, wonderful men and amazing history; after which she lets me go.... hungry to return again.

New Orleans may be the most written about of all American cities. Yet, very few serious studies have been made that haven't fallen into either the "moonlight and magnolia" romantic view or become stridently critical, perhaps baffled at a place which constantly confounds preconceptions.

Tropical in climate, lush in setting, exotic in architecture, sensual, if not hedonistic, in atmosphere, New Orleans is a worldly, yet bustling seaport whose very name evokes romance and myths.

No wonder, then, that most writers perpetuate old myths, create new ones, or at the least get lost in the intellectual and critical miasma that is as natural to New Orleans as the fogs of the swamps and lakes that surround it.

New Orleans Saints

All season, the Saints have been at the heart of New Orleans' revival from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Now, the franchise best known for four decades of failure is one win away from playing in the Superbowl in February.

There has always been something unique about the Saints and New Orleans.

For the Saints' first 39 years, it was more of a tortured affair. The people of New Orleans adored them, and the Saints found various ways to disappoint.

After Katrina's destruction, it seemed as if the Saints would break New Orleans' heart again. Forced to flee to San Antonio, many feared the team would stay there.

Instead, the Saints came back, and have given everyone here reason to hope.

First it was mostly symbolic, a sign the city could rebuild and resemble its old self. But as the team once mocked as the 'Aints piled up the wins, it became so much more.

"With everything that's gone on here … with how much recovery we still have to go, this is a bright spot," said head coach Sean Payton, who high-fived a line of fans when he arrived at the Superdome.

Look around New Orleans, and there's plenty to depress and divide. Homes that are still abandoned. French Quarter streets that are filling up, but aren't nearly as crazy as they once were. A rash of murders that is as frightening as it stunning.

But instead of coming apart, New Orleans pulled together behind the one thing everyone can believe in.

"This has really been the rebirth of New Orleans."

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws a pass during the fourth quarter of their NFC Divisional NFL playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in New Orleans, January 13, 2007.

Mardi Gras 2007

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Carlo Ponti

MAGENTA, Italy (AP) - Sophia Loren, flanked by her two sons, led mourners Friday at the funeral of her husband, film producer Carlo Ponti, with about 200 residents standing outside the church in silence during the mass.

Ponti, who died Tuesday at age 94, was buried in the family tomb in this small northern town where he was born. Afterward, the cemetery was opened to the public and dozens of people paid their respects.

Loren waved briefly as she left the San Martino church with her two sons, Edouardo and Carlo Jr., on each side.

Ponti died at a hospital in Geneva, where he had been hospitalized about 10 days earlier because of pulmonary complications. Ponti and Loren had been living in Switzerland for years.

He produced more than 100 films, including "Doctor Zhivago," "The Firemen's Ball" and "The Great Day," which were nominated for Oscars

In 1956, "La Strada," which he co-produced, won the Academy Award for best foreign film, as did "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" in 1964.

Carlo Ponti and Sofia Loren arriving for dinner at the White House in 1995.

Friday, January 12, 2007


The difference in our ages is a bit more than a quarter century, which is why shortly before Christmas I decided to end my relationship with Al.

Out of sight, out of mind!

I was quite comfortable, much surprised and greatly relieved that I emerged from this relationship unscathed.

Until yesterday when he called.

Within minutes, I had invited him to a party on the 27th of this month and, to further complicate my life I invited him to accompany me to New Orleans in late April. He is very happy while I on the other hand am a bit disappointed in myself.

What in the world was I thinking?

Last stand in Iraq

Once again President Bush has gone before a war-weary nation to outline a "new way forward" in Iraq and ask for patience. But his way promises only to delay the day of reckoning that is drawing near.

His way will lead to an increase in American casualties and further strain our military.

His way forces U.S. military commanders to carry out a policy that they strongly advised against.

His way ignores overwhelming public and congressional opposition to the war.

His way is an escalation to the fighting that is unlikely to end the sectarian slaughter of innocents, force the Shiite majority to compromise with the Sunni minority, or achieve national reconciliation and political stability.

This administration has a misereable record of failure in Iraq.

There is no reason to believe adding another 21,500 troops to the 132,000 already in Iraq will turn the tide in that shattered country where sectarian hatred and mistrust runs deep.

However Bush's "surge" strategy turns out the President has to know that this is his last stand in Iraq. It it fails, the only option will be to point U.S. troops towards the exit.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The George Bush Legacy

In a NSNBC poll conducted today, the following results indicate that following President Bush's speech to the nation last evening, an overwhelming majority of Americans continue to favor troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Do you agree with President Bush's plan to add 21,500 troops to those now in Iraq?

* 234631 responses

Yes. The United States can still win this thing militarily; a sizable increase in troop strength, and help from the Iraqis, will turn the tide.

No. Define "win." After nearly four years, neither our country nor Iraq is better off. More troops going out means more body bags coming back.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


My best friend Paul met Rick during one of our many excursions to New Orleans, and I disliked him from the moment I first laid eyes on him lying naked in Paul's bed.

Paul and I are excellent travelling companions. We share a room, we go out to dinner together, we tour together but in the evening we separate; which is easy in New Orleans since there are several gay bars within walking distance of each other.

I prefer the gay clubs on Bourbon Street with their loud music and eclectic mix of colorful patrons. Paul, on the other hand frequents the "side street" gay pubs frequented by the "blue jean, plaid shirt" types which is where he met Rick.

The rule is "if we meet someone we would like to get to know better (hmmmm); go to their homes, hotel rooms or get another room. Our room is for the two of us only (no need to worry about stolen money, cameras, clothes, etc). This had always worked well for both of us, until Rick.

Paul is a successful Raku pottery artist and Rick, a starving artist working as a dishwasher in order to survive. It was obvious from looking at the pile of well worn soiled clothing on the floor that Rick was also a slob.

I left the room unshowered, unshaven and angry, not returning for several hours.

I returned to the hotel to find Paul sitting in the courtyard smiling. He quickly apologized for breaking the "house rule", telling me that Rick lives outside of the quarter and too far for them to have gone the previous nite and that he would probably stay at Rick's place that evening. Paul was in lust. This will pass, I thought.......

Paul spent the next two evenings with Rick and after a tearful farewell (Paul, not me) we flew back to Florida where he would spend a few days visiting me and the dogs before going back to his home in upstate New York.

We were not in Florida 24 hours when I answered the door to find Rick standing there. He wanted to spend a bit more time with Paul and had taken an 18 hour bus ride from New Orleans to Florida. I gave Paul a "this man's insane" look and reluctantly welcomed Rick into my home.

Rick stayed two days before returning to New Orleans and Paul left the following day. He was in love but there was a slight problem Rick was HIV+.


Rick eventually moved to New York with Paul and after a few years, chose to return to New Orleans and eventually entered Lazarus House, an aids Hospice.

Paul emailed to inform me that Rick had transferred to a hospice near his sister in Wisconsin where he died last evening.

Paul reminded me that I had laughed when he cried upon leaving Rick that first weekend in New Orleans. HE wrote that he was crying as he sent the email.

I wrote back:

Tonite, I promise not to laugh as you cry.....

As I reflect on the past and think about Rick, I can't help but smile.

Rick was a free spirit who at times drove you crazy. Rick said and did what he wanted with no thought to the consequences, which in a way I admired.

Do you remember when he showed up somewhat unexpectedly in Clearwater? And of course, the summer in Rochester!

Rick was part of the New Orleans we loved so much.

I still cherish the art work he sent, and of course the beautifully framed photo montage of Daisy....

If you want to talk, need to talk or just feel like laughing/crying/whatever, I'm only a phone call away.

A free spirit held captive by illness secondary to the Aids virus is free at last.

***Thankfully, with Rick being honest about his HIV+ status from the onset of their
relationship, they were able to use percautions necessary to keep Paul free of infection.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Extending grief....

The army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas.

"Army personnel officials are contacting those officers' families for erroneously sending the letters," the army said in a brief news release Friday night.

In the meantime, I wonder if they wished the grieving families a "Happy New Year"?

Friday, January 05, 2007

All that glitters....


Although I love writing, displaying images and animation on a black background, I'm not at all fond of my latest header.

Until I find something suitable, I'm going to experiment with a series of templates I find interesting. Bear with me, please.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Legacy of Shame

Happy New Year, George......

AS Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was buried in his home village yesterday, the US military death toll in the war reached 3000, with another 22,000 wounded.

The mark was reached as President George W. Bush weighs up options for the war, including a short-term increase in the number of US troops in the country to possibly 30,000 to help control the deteriorating military situation. Mr Bush, at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, informed of the death of the 3000th servicemancautioned Americans that no quick end to the war was in sight.

Mr Bush has been under intense pressure to change course in the Iraq conflict amid widespread public and political discontent.

He is expected to unveil his new strategy early this month, but has rejected the idea of a timetable for pulling out the 134,000 US troops now in the country. December has been the deadliest month for US forces in the past two years, with 111 fatalities. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in the war.

United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of more than 1300 groups throughout the US that have joined to protest against the war, said it was planning a march in Washington on January 27.

"We must bear witness to this tragic milestone," the group said on its website.

"And... we must remind others that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, women and men have died in this outrageous war and occupation."

US civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson said yesterday Saddam's execution would not make the US safer and would only increase the violence in Iraq.

"Killing him intensifies the violence and reduces our moral authority in the world," said Mr Jackson, who has travelled to the Middle East on peace missions. "Today we are not more secure. We're less secure. We've missed a moment to appeal to those in Iraq to break the cycle of violence."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Life goes on

The original plan was to go on holiday December 22 thru January 3, 2007 but plans it appears, are subject to change.

Because I work for a not-for-profit organization partially funded thru federal grants, we are subject to annual audits. This year the audit is scheduled on January 22, 23 and 24th; meaning that all vacations have been cancelled until after the audit.

I am not amused.

With my mind primarily focused on our audit, I declined several party invitations and spent Christmas eve quietly at home, with friends stopping by for cocktails on their way to a local club.

The dogs and I awoke Christmas day to rain, which continued most of the day.

New Years Eve plans were to attend a party with friends and fellow workers in St. Petersburg after which I intended to stop by a local gay club to wish friends a Happy New Year. As evening progressed, my motivation to go out quickly deminished and I chose to spend the night with the dogs at home.

New Years day was met with rain again which continued throughout the day. It was a day to remain indoors and reflect.

2006 was a year filled with emotion.

My mother was hospitalized for several months.

Daisy, my pug is approaching 13 years of age and with the onset of arthritis, has slowed down considerably. I am very concerned. Daisy has been a major part of my life since she was 6 weeks old. I cannot imagine life without my puppy.

I severed ties with William, my "friend with benefits" for the past six years and also broke up with "my young man" because with the vast difference in our ages.

My family and friends are concerned that I'm becoming reclusive. I'm not certain how to answer.

I'm tired and need a change of scenery. I need a vacation.

New Orleans is calling!