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gov. mark sanford of south carolina has found that part of the appalachian trail which passes through recoleta. i’m visualizing eva peron in boots and flannel. sanford’s misadventure is all over everywhere, but joe garofoli has some tasty tidbits in today’s column in the san francisco chronicle. click
or anywhere in the quote below to be taken to the full article.
  • sanford, who wears his christian faith on his sleeve, hasn't been shy about pounding fellow politicians for their off-the-field affairs. or, in the case of bill clinton, for his in-the-oval office affairs.
  • here's mark in 1998 on bill clinton's cheating: "i think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign). i come from the business side. if you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he'd be gone."
  • here's mark in 1998 on ex-gop rep. bill livingston, who revealed that he strayed from his marriage: "the bottom line, though, is he still lied. he lied under a different oath, and that is the oath to his wife. so it's got to be taken very, very seriously.
  • and mark has fought to have the ten commandments publicly displayed. quick refresher: commandment no. 7: you shall not commit adultery.
  • as garofoli notes, gov. sanford’s wife, jenny, did not show up for the expected spousal walk of shame (and, thus, there will be no you tube video of jenny and mark, with back-up of tammy wynette warbling stand by your man. good for jenny. at least she can manage to not lie to the people of the palmetto state.
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    my expanded response to a post in livejournal:
    "never again" after the holocaust was a call for action in the face of future storms of intolerance and genocide. there was no prevention of—or even meaningful reaction to—cambodia, bosnia, rwanda, timor-leste until too late. that leaves me none too sanguine for important, timely reaction to future atrocities-in-the-making.

    yesterday's terrorist act was a supremacist's wet dream: the killing of an african-american man during an assault on what was perceived to be a jewish target. we treat hate-speech and hate-action and hate-advocacy by white americans differently: white americans funded terror in ireland and britain with impunity, incitement is preached over the airwaves by white demagogues with nary a reaction (or, worse—and encouragingly—flaccid hand-wringing), perpetrators of terrorist action in the united states are given free-reign, unless, of course, their skin color, ethnicity or religion place them outside the so-called mainstream. you can be an aged white man with murder on your mind and a shotgun in your hands and walk through the capital city of this nation and no one will touch you; i regularly see three and four police cars pulled up at a traffic stop for a non-white driver.

    the american love affair with individuality—and national disinterest in community and collective vision and action—and our phallic fetishization of firearms make yesterday's crime, as well as wichita and columbine, inevitable.
    i continue to think of atwood's the handmaid's tale as prophecy; will we ever turn it into imaginative fiction?

    i'm easy

    Jun. 5th, 2009 10:00 am
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    it's not my way to love you just when no one’s looking,
    it's not my way to take your hand if i'm not sure,
    it's not my way to let you see what's going on inside of me,
    when it's a love you
    won't be needing you're not free.

    please stop pulling at my sleeve if you're just playing,
    if you won't take the things
    you make me wanna give,
    i never cared too much for games, and this one’s driving me insane,
    you're not half as free to wonder as you claim.
    but i’m easy, yeah i’m easy, give the word i’ll play your game,
    as though that’s how it ought to be, because i’m easy.

    don't lead me on if there's nowhere for you to take me,
    if loving you would have to be a sometime thing,
    i can't put bars on my inside, my love is something i can't hide,
    it still hurts when i recall the times i tried.
    but i'm easy, yeah i'm easy, take my hand and pull me down,
    i won't put up any fight because i'm easy.

    don't do me favors, let me watch you from the distance,
    ‘cause when you're near i find it hard to keep my head,
    when your eyes throw light at mine, it's enough to change my mind,
    make me leave my cautious words and ways behind.
    that’s why i’m easy, yeah i’m easy, say you want me i’ll come running,
    without taking time to think, because i'm easy.

    ©keith carradine
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    new hampshire covernor john lynch (a democrat) forced the state legislature to modify language in a bill allowing same-sex marriage in the granite state. the new language specifically states that churches and religious groups do not have to officiate at a same-sex wedding (one wonders if they must so do for heteronormative ones); it also says these entities don't have to "provide services, facilities or goods of any kind to participants" (again, one wonders now if there is currently an imperative to so do). one could argue that this legislation suggests that if i—a nominal episcopalian—so wished, i could go into a catholic church, a mosque or a synagogue and force myself upon that house of worship; they would have to perform the ceremony of my choosing and provide access to facilities. of course that's not true; the governor is simply indulging in his—and the neanderthal religious establishment's—homophobia and heterohysteria. what a tool.
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    mark morford on the sea-change in opinion on same-sex marriage, and why the court decision in california is but a "merely annoying and karmically fleeting" (click on text for the full article):
    it's an undeniable shame indeed that this powerful, iconic, world-altering state couldn't get its damnable act together on the last civil right. but, you know, oh well. can't be the vanguard for 'em all. iowa and massachusetts, et al, please show us how it's done. and by the way, thank you.
    as usual, he's right on the money.
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    so i ran away from home. i needed to. really.

    i went to california (my open-jaw bos-lax/sfo-bos ticket was $216.00 (including tax) on virgin america).
    a sketch of the itinerary follows.

    los angeles (my hosts : john and john)
  • la traviata at l.a. opera. this was the final dress rehearsal of a traditional staging, and my first opera since carmen at city opera in new york several years ago (boston doesn't do opera. for extra fun there was a small earthquake during act 3: welcome back to california!
  • the j. paul getty museum. the jo ann callis and paul outerbridge photo exhibits are amazing, as are the gardens and meier's travertine (though not his aluminum) constructions. there is also a fine little exhibition on the city of algiers at the research institute.
  • the huntington library. a treasure-trove of lovely art and some very nice gardens. i discovered that pinkie is a much more interesting painting in person than in art texts; alas, i still don't like blue boy. the gallery housing them is quite lovely, and i like the display of these two most famous of the huntington's paintings at opposite ends of the room; my favorite image was joshua reynolds' sarah siddons as the tragic muse (no image). the japanese gardens and porch of the huntington house were my two favorite outdoor spaces.

    palm springs (hosts : andy and robby)
  • the palm springs aerial tramway is a pretty over-the-top (literally) way to see it all. the change in altitude is something like 7000 feet. the day we went up it was 105° in palm springs; at the top of mt. san jacinto it was 70°. the cars rotate throughout the journey, which i found comforting; the only difficult moments are passing over the four towers (when the cars disengage from the cable tracks; some swaying is involved...), but this improves once the first one has prepped you for the others.
  • reclining in the sun and doing nothing.

    camarillo (host : steve)
  • we visited the csuci library, where steve heads technical services; the new facility is splendid: light and airy, inviting, and full of technology and materials for the growing university.
  • manuel's cooking. steve's colleague and friend had us over for dinner. yum!

    the central coast (host : nature)
    between camarillo and san francisco, i drove highway one along the pacific. the time alone in the car was calming and allowed me to shed months of accumulated tension and anxiety. i stopped in various places along the way, enjoying open fields, the coast ranges, the pacific, wildflowers and ancient california oaks. two key stops were at hearst castle, where i toured william randolph hearst's incredible mountaintop village of a home, and piedras blancas, where i watched bull elephant seals snooze and play. the juxtaposition of human-made beauty and human-untouched landscape reminded me that both kinds of beauty can be profound and instructive.

    san francisco (host : justin)
  • coit tower is still there, and i had a nice time communing with its solidity; i spent quite a bit of time with the murals.
  • north beach pizza has moved across the street into brighter, more self-conscious digs; the pie is still great.
  • i took a long walk on the headlands at land's end, then wandered over to clement street and green apple books (i heard later that black oak books, my favorite berkeley store had closed, a sad announcement).
  • the new de young museum in golden gate park is a mixed-bag: i liked the gallery space, but found the lobby sterile and unfinished. one problem with the de young is that its collections aren't great, but they are now beautifully housed. the tower has spectacular views of the city. being at the museum meant i could hop over to the n-judah streetcar and pay a visit to my favorite little san francisco neighborhood, cole valley. it is much as it has always been, and that was certainly comforting. i still want to live there.
  • i started the trip with high culture in los angeles, and finished it with culture of a distinctly different nature in san francisco: trannyshack, at the cat club. imagine an evening of drag queens celebrating the music (and wardrobe) of madonna. yes, it was so bad it was good. and totally fabulous.
  • a visit with jim included dinner at zachary's pizza in north berkeley. it was confirmed that their stuffed pizza with spinach and mushrooms is about as close to perfection as it gets.

    so yeah, the trip was very nice, very necessary, very satisfying. i had great conversations and meals, and spent time with some really wonderful people.
  • dreamwidth

    May. 12th, 2009 10:33 am
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    so yeah, i'm over there, too (same name). looks mostly like lj, but pink to lj's blue. find me and friend me or whatever.
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    from my first livejournal entry, and seemingly applicable here, too:
    it's my first time here, so this is gonna be fumbly and somewhat inarticulate. or embarrassing. i'm not certain that the whole exercise isn't a waste of time or ego or money. well, not the last: i'm too cheap to pay for an account.
    i got over the money thing with lj. maybe i will here, too. i guess there has to be critical mass or something, right?

    we'll see.
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    i happened by the harvard bookstore on my way to lunch (more about that some other time), and found a new book by peter cameron, someday this pain will be useful to you. i purchased it, an act of supreme faith since his last two books, andorra and the city of your final destination, were distinctly unsuccessful.

    cameron has a quote at the head of the book (two, really, but i'm disregarding ovid for the time being), in which i found resonance.
    when you long with all your heart for someone to love you, a madness grows that shakes all sense from the trees and the water and the earth. and nothing lives for you, except the long deep bitter want. and this is what everyone feels from birth to death.
    —denton welch
    journal, 8 may 1944, 11.15 p.m.
    madness is a very good word for it.
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    so, now that facebook no longer allows a friends-page display of "recent updates," how can one engineer such a thing? using the home tab is useless, because i want updates, not elves, wall-postings and quizzes on what-new-jersey-town-are-you?. any help would be much appreciated.

    facebook really seems to be modeling the very worst in customer service; perhaps they've taken the general motors course in world domination.
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    the heart
    for pen

    in the construction
    of the chest, there is
    a heart.

    a boat
    upon its blood
    floats past

    and round or down
    the stream of life,
    the plummeting veins

    permit its passage
    to admit no gains,
    no looking back.

    one steps aboard,
    one's off.
    the ticket taker

    signs the time allotted.
    seated, amorphous persons
    see no scenery

    but feel
    a chill about their knees
    and hear a fading cry

    as all the many sides of life
    whiz by,
    a blast at best, a loss

    of individual impressions.
    still i sit
    with you inside me too—

    and us
    the couple thus encoupled,
    ride on into the sweetening dark.

    © robert creeley
    from if i were writing this
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    from poet brian teare
    From “[ Adam ]in fragments/with a poem engraved/down the thighs”
    After Archilochos

    His body not pastoral


    Suggests the word

    Slur : curving a phrase

    To completion—yet not

    Knowable whole, as flesh

    Descends[ and here

    The paper burnt ]curl

    Hung in curl, damp[ and here

    The speaker, burnt, whispers

    Anatomy ]please[ and here

    The paper ]plexus[ between

    Fingers ]pubis[ whispers

    Please ]shadow down

    [. . .]

    What damage desires

    Text, suffers surface

    To abrade, puncture,

    lacerate? Here white thighs

    And the poem[ here

    The paper deteriorates ]

    And the body of the poem

    [ The paper gets worse ]

    Having what mouths

    [ Holes ]I cannot forgive

    him the elegy[ but here

    The paper is torn ]mending

    The kiss, sewing cuts inside

    [. . .]

    What damage desires


    To fragment, puncture,

    Lacerate? Here white thighs

    Suggest the word Slur: curving

    A phrase to completion—

    Yet the poem descends to

    [ Here the paper burnt ]curl

    Hung in curl, damp[ And

    Here the paper deteriorates ]

    And the body of the poem

    [ The paper gets worse ]

    Having what mouths

    [ Holes ]cannot forgive

    Him the elegy[ and here

    The paper ]plexus[ between

    Fingers ]pubis[ whispers

    Please ]chiseling the kiss

    Engraving desire with cuts


    © brian teare
    april is poetry month, isn't it?
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    i sometimes forget that w.g.u.™ is, in fact a school and a community. this morning i arrived uncharacteristically early in order to go to an office to pick up new business cards (i choose to take that as a sign i should be hopeful about my continued association with the place), and there were bands of students, many in pajamas, running through the streets. some were chanting, many held signs. i paused, momentarily confused. then i remembered the season.

    today was the day when housing assignments for rising sophomores become known. these students were on their way to gather up freshmen first-years who would be moving into their houses (w.g.u.™ has nine residential houses, each housing a few hundred undergraduates, a band of tutors, and other hangers-on). it is the spring ritual at w.g.u.™.

    for a moment i paused, silently mocking the silliness. then i realized the silliness was a powerful moment for them, a literal as well as figurative community-building moment. and i appreciated it for what it was.

    a passel of shirtless boys in jams ran by, accompanied by young women (wearing matching tee-shirts extolling their house's virtues), and i appreciated it all over again. a colleague from another library stepped up and smiled quizzically. i returned her smile and explained.
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    tell us your most embarrassing celebrity crush. no, really. include a photo if you can find one to link.
    i don't know if there are any embarrassing ones. there's no lingering desire to be mounted by william f. buckley or newt gingrich. ewww; i feel dirty writing that.
    in college, i had a crush on tom selleck, but it wasn't all-consuming; later, there was a photo of gérard depardieu in vanity fair which distracted me for months. i was taken with jeroen krabbé (most recently seen in the reader), after having seen him in de vierde man (the fourth man); i burned with lust for brad pitt in thelma and louise, but not so much since. none of that seems particularly embarrassing, sorry.

    also not embarrassing, but perhaps surprising, is my complete devotion to two lovely ladies: linda fiorentino and catherine deneuve.

    imdb pages:
    tom selleck
    gérard depardieu
    jeroen krabbé
    brad pitt
    linda fiorentino
    catherine deneuve

    question 4 in the march question month meme. ask me any question here.
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    what was your favorite memory from 2008?
    this may be an unfair answer, but it goes with my answer to question 2.

    when i have felt the love.

    i've felt it numerous times, and from a number of quarters: a sense of well-being and oneness. oneness with what? i don't exactly know—with myself, with the beloved, with the universe? all of the above. it has happened on the phone, in a car, on a cliff-top, a bookstore, in a room full of people, on the street, and in bed. it has come after intense emotion—both euphoric and shatteringly sad—after intense sex, and after nothing in particular.

    i can pull together these moments from throughout the year, and they're truly what has sustained me in what was a very difficult year.

    question 3 in the march question month meme. ask me any question here.
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    what's the best thing about your life right now?
    wow. this is a difficult question. not because i don't know the answer, but because i do. and because the best thing in my life is, in many ways, the worst.


    it opens me up, makes me brave, creative, colorful, vibrant, alive, brimming with possibility, energized, at peace, full of me.

    it also terrifies me, shuts me down, opens a world of possible hurt, makes me want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers.

    the joy is in many ways magnified—and the angst multiplied exponentially—when the love is complicated, involves multiple parties, and when it finds my issues compounded by those of others.

    question 2 in the march question month meme. ask me any question here.
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    i want to know if everything will be alright. i made a mistake with my best friend ... . i confessed everything, [but] he said he needs some time. ugh.
    it will be alright.
    he says he needs time, and you know him well enough to know if this is true or not. i suspect from your tone that you know he is being truthful.

    give him the time he needs.
    it's very hard to wait once we've made a decision. we wonder why everyone isn't onboard, because we've done the thinking, the feeling, had the internal conversation. well, he needs to do all that. it's hard, though, to wait, once you've done the hard work. you (rightly) want the pain and estrangement to be over for both of you.

    kudos in going to your friend and being truthful. that can be so very difficult and embarrassing. i'm sure your friend knows how truly brave and caring it was for you to admit your mistake and tell him.

    he's very fortunate to have you as a friend.

    question 1 in the march question month meme. ask me any question here.
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    ok, it's march, there's too much snow outside and i am bored, bored, bored.


    ask me a question. ask anything you want to know, anything at all.
    i'll answer.
    the only queries which might be off-limits are those for which my answers might cause pain or embarrassment to someone else.

    replies here are screened, so questioners will remain anonymous.

    ask away!
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    the oscar nominations popped out this morning, and there were some head-scratching surprises (where's clint?) and some delightful surprises (marisa tomei and kate winslet were both appropriately nominated, and for the right roles, and michael shannon's completely deserved nomination (which may, alas, be overlooked in the hagiographic excess attached to heath ledger)). i have indicated the films i have seen in green, and bulleted those nominations which are my favorites.
    best picture
    the curious case of benjamin button
  • milk
    the reader
    slumdog millionaire

    best actor
    richard jenkins, the visitor
    frank langella, frost/nixon
    sean penn, milk
    brad pitt, the curious case of benjamin button
  • mickey rourke, the wrestler

    best actress
    anne hathaway, rachel getting married
    angelina jolie, changeling
    melissa leo, frozen river
    meryl streep, doubt
  • kate winslet, the reader

    best supporting actor
    josh brolin, milk
    robert downey jr., tropic thunder
    philip seymour hoffman, doubt
    heath ledger, the dark knight
  • michael shannon, revolutionary road

    best supporting actress
    amy adams, doubt
    penelope cruz, vicky cristina barcelona
    viola davis, doubt
    taraji p. henson, the curious case of benjamin button
  • marisa tomei, the wrestler

    best director
    david fincher, the curious case of benjamin button
    ron howard, frost/nixon
  • gus van sant, milk
    stephen daldry, the reader
    danny boyle, slumdog millionaire

    best foreign film
    the baader meinhof complex, germany
    the class, france
    departures, japan
    revanche, austria
    waltz with bashir, israel.

    best animated feature film
    kung fu panda
  • fortunately, frost/nixon, bolt, and waltz with bashir are still showing locally.
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    i must confess that i never really thought about queerfolk being reflected on the white house's website. maybe that's a failure of imagination on my part. so i was more than a little delighted to see the material below on my first visit to the obama-era white house website:

    Support for the LGBT Community

    "While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

    -- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

    • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

    • Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

    • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

    • Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

    • Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

    • Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

    • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.
    this gives me cause for hope. it isn't perfect, and clearly the administration needs to wed courage with conviction, but it's a start.
    see it for yourself here.
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