Sunday, May 31, 2009

Paris (Part 1)

Note to self. Saving $300 on a plane ticket to fly a connecting flight to Paris on US Airways does not equal a direct flight on United where I get Economy Plus seats. Yes I get points for the US Airway flight, but I’ll never get the leg room, or the chance for a semi-decent night sleep on the flight, if I fly US Airways. I’m not a snob, I’m just saying.

Having said that, despite the dash through the airport in Philly (which I don’t remember being so big), I had a decent flight to Paris. The Nyquil helped. When I awoke, something was wrong. It was sunny. I was on the right plane, and we were descending into Charles de Gaulle, but it was sunny. In Paris. So odd.

Got my luggage and my BNL was there to pick me up. And again with the sun. I actually needed sun glasses. Usually when I come to France. It’s cold. And raining. All the time. We fought our way through the traffic into the 16th where I crashed for a quick disco nap and then I got up and after a quick baguette sandwich, I started on my trek through Paris. The goal? Keep moving. Stay in the sunlight. Try to force myself to adjust the new time zone as soon as possible. So my first stop is always Trocadero, overlooking the Eiffel Tower, it’s like my first “Bonjour” to Paris. I made my way down to the Seine and then walked along the water till I got to the Grand Palais where I cut across to the Champs Elysees. Up the Champs to the Arc and then along the Foch back to my sisters place. I did step into Zara's to do a little bit of window shopiing. Mind you, everything is insanely expensive, but still. Now here's the thing. French men are twigs. I think they like their cigarettes so much that they want to look like one. And I am not a stick. At all. But I see a shirt I like and I thought I would try it on. You know what words I hate? "Slim Fit." You know what's really disgusting? "Super Slim Fit." That's right, when slim fit isn't tiny enough for you, now there's "super slim fit." I tried on the shirt and it was not pretty. Really bad sausage casing. Okay, I get it. I can't shop in these stores. But I feel sorry for the odd french guy who doesn't have a 28in waist. Where does he shop? The other fashion comment I'll make is that it's hot and sunny outside and people are in long sleeves, sweaters, and jackets. How can you possibly not be just sweating to death. Oh, and only the French would have "summer scarves"? Seriously, WTF? Anyways, my trek like a 4 plus hours long and it was great. But it was sunny, and hot, have I mentioned that? So I was just ugly sweaty by the time I got back. The kiddos were back from school then so I got to spend some quality time with them.

Note to self: Need to practice my Wii skills.

Since the kiddos we out of school (for Ascension?) we had to have a mission for Thursday. When they aren’t in school, you really need to make an effort to get them out of the flat and away from the Mac, Wii, and TV. So that’s what we did. We headed out to Auvers. Auvers is where Vincent Van Gogh lived right before he died. So we all piled into the minivan and made our way out of the city on another GLORIOUS sunny day in France. It was about an hour or so out of town, give or take some mis-direction by bitchy Betty (the GPS wench). Auvers is cute. A very small, quaint little French village. After parking the car, we made our way o the châteaux which had been converted into a museum about Paris around the time of the impressionists. It was oddly fascinating. While I had been expecting to see rooms filled with period pieces, instead we learned of the building of modern Paris. How the trains opened up the French countryside and how that impacted the impressionists. It was very interesting. And I do love the audio guides. After the audio tour, we walked around the gardens where some people were setting up for some performance art thing. One woman has these huge white cloth wings that she was waving back and forth. In the middle of the garden, two women were wrapping themselves up in a huge piece of purple cloth. After the tour of the chateaux we had crepes at a little creperia in the middle of town. I’m good with sweet crepes, but I’m still getting used to the savory crepes. After lunch, we headed up to the cemetery where Vincent and his brother Theo are buried. Kind of cool and it was a good outing and we had spectacular weather. We managed to make our way back into Paris without incident and had a nice quiet dinner at home. The BNL makes a mean Kir Royal. Love them.

Friday AM we were off to the Grand Palais to see an exhibit by Andy Warhol. The Grand Palais used to be this huge palace that is now one of the main exhibition spaces in Paris. It’s huge. We got the relatively early, but there was already a line. At 1000. Which was kind of shocking since the Parisiens don’t really do early. My nephew has a standing aversion to anything that has the word museum in it, but he was a trooper and made it through the exhibit. So I know a little about Andy Warhol, but it was definitely interesting to learn more. First of all, the Andy Warhol Museum is in Pittsburgh? Most of the pieces were from there, though there were many that were donated from Paris, New York, Cologne, and Tokyo. The exhibit was huge and took you through all of his major phases. It really is interesting and very different. And the Society for Cutting Up Men? SCUM? I knew he had been shot, but not the rest of it. I guess in his heyday, he was charging $25K per portrait. Nice work if you can get it. And he would paint businessmen and royalty to earn a living and then return to New York where he did more of his experimental work. So very interesting. After the exhibit, we headed to the lower part of the 16th questing for a solar car. Long story short, my nephew’s teacher gave him a little solar car for him to put together and it got gone. Lost or stolen we’re not sure. So we hunted for this store that I will say reminds me of the Discovery channel store to look for a replacement. We get there and they don’t have it. And while I love the French, their customer service skills suck. “It’s out.” No, “we’re sorry”. No: “Do you want me to check another store”. Just: It’s out. Thanks. And my sister speaks pretty good French, so this isn’t a language issue. Now my nephew was not happy, so we pestered the sales lady to call another store to see if they had one. They did. So we were off to another part of Paris. We did finally obtain the solar car. Afterwards, we grabbed some baguette sandwiches and picnicked in a nearby park. It was another sunny beautiful day in Paris so we just hung out in the park for a bit. And while it wasn’t crowded at first, it definitely got more crowded as we hung out. I guess when the weather is nice, everyone leaves their small little apartments and just hang out in the parks. So it was a good day.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marriage Equality

So the Prop 8 ruling wasn't that surprising, but it still hurt. 

I guess the only silver lining is that there are still 18 thousand married gay and lesbian couples in California.  Still legally married.  And at some point, people are going to understand that having married gays and lesbians is not going to destroy the families of California, but help strengthen them.  And that marriage is a fundamental civil right t
hat belongs to all people, not just heterosexuals, and not just to the special, and lucky, 18 thousand gay and lesbian couple who managed to make their way over the rainbow during that brief moment in time in California.  

I went down to Dupont Circle last night to support the Day of Decision rally in Washington DC.  It was great to see all of the people who came out, in the rain, to stand for marriage equality.  Young, old, black, white, gay, and straight.  It really was great.

But a rally isn't enough.  We all need to do something.  We all need to join the movement to repeal Proposition 8.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rock the Vote!

I'm off to Paris. 

Don't hate.

But your mission . . . . . . .

should you choose to accept it . . . . . 

is to . . . . . .


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gay Blinders

So one of the fun little interesting things about the whole gay community is that some people, not all, but some people, get issued a set of invisible gay blinders that allows them to see the rest of the world, but not certain people. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen someone I know or have met (either via a date, a hook up, or at a random encounter at a bar) whose eyes just seem to glide right by me without recognizing me. Now I'm not pretending that we're friends. But I think acknowledging the other person's existence with a simple, civil, polite, little head nod, isn't asking too much. It's just a simple acknowledgment of the other person.

Ironically enogh, it now seems I need my own blinders. Someone who I thought was a friend sort of faded away. Not exactly sure why, but it happened. But the problem is that he lives really close to me. So I'm bound to run into him around the ghood. And sure enough I saw him a couple of months ago at Commissary and he wouldn't look me in the eye. My first thought was that he was on a date and didn't want to appear rude. And I didn't want to interrupt, but it's clear now that he's studiously avoiding me and refusing to recognize me. And this was someone who I once thought of as a friend. I've now had two close encounters with this person and since he's acting like I'm not there, now apparently I'm supposed to act like he's not there. It's all very strange. And sad. At one point I thought it would be good to try to re-connect with him, but now I don't think it's a good idea. And he still lives close to me. So I guess I need to keep my invisible gay blinders handy for when I'm walking around the ghood.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek, Morning Walks, and Car Shopping

So SuperLawyer, his BF, Lawyer X, and I went to see Star trek on Saturday night. Loved it! Lawyer X had some problems with the story line since it kind of broke with Star Trek canon. But hey, if you're going to re-boot the franchise, then you need to make room for some new story lines. And creating an alternate world by changing the space time continuum seems like a no-brainer to me. So Kirk was hot, but I have to tell you I think young Spock was kind of hot as well.

Morning walks. So I'm spending a lot of time over at Lawyer X's house since he has Shiva to take care of. And yes even pets have nicknames on this blog. And Shiva is a pretty good one since we also call her the "Princess of Destruction." Anyways, in the AM, sometimes after the gym, but sometimes not, I make the walk back to my place. And I won't call it the "walk of shame" since it's not a hook up. We're dating, well more than dating. And sure sometimes I'm walking down P St in the clothes I wore the previous night and a bad case of bed head, but still. And trust me, I've seen the folks making the walk of shame down P St. So I'll just call my commute from Laywer X's house to my place just a little morning walk. ;-)

So why does buying a car suck so much? I went out to a VW place in Fairfax and the slimey sales guy pulled out the whole bag of tricks, "What would it take to put you in a car today." An act of God. I'm just trying to get information. "What would you say if I would give you 3K for our trade in." I'd say I'd still like to know how much the car I'd like to buy is going to cost me. "What if I gave you $4K?" "What if I gave you $5K?" I'd say that even if you offered what I originally paid for the car I'd still like to know how much the car I want is going to cost and you still haven't answered my question. Agh! I finally got the answer, but it was like pulling teeth. And then we got into a beyond insane conversation about mortgages. Don't ask. I still want the car. Just not sure I'm going back there again.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Kylie 2009!

Lawyer X scored tickets!!

And you know what they say, "What Happens in Vegas . . . . . "


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Maine Rocks, Crazy Marion Barry, and Kylie's Coming to America!!

The governor of Maine signed into law today the bill that would allow same sex couples in Maine to get married. I watched/listened to some of the debate from the Maine legislature via the intertubes and couple of times I just got so choked up listening to men and women, gay and straight, young and old, arguing for equal rights for all of Maine's citizens. And just a big thank you to the governor for changing his position and signing the bill. So Maine makes 5! Do you know what that means? That 10% of the states in the US allow same sex marriage. I know we'll lose some battles along the way, but I really think we are winning this war and history will look back and say, "Really, you were freaked out by this? How sad."

Of course, some people just won't be happy. Including our own crazy Marion Barry who after years of being an advocate of gays rights, has decided to side with the wing nuts. Another poster child for the right wing. Multiple divorces? Check? Problems with the law? Check (tax evasion), Check (drugs the first time), Check (drugs the second time), Check (hit and run accident), and Check (bribery). So to Marion Berry, I'd like to dedicate this song (so totally NSWF, but oh so fabulous!)

And the most important news of the day (okay, maybe below the announcement from Maine), comes word that Kylie Minogue is coming to the United States. OMG! Must go see her. Must. Ms. Showgirl is only playing in like 6 cities, and not DC, so you know what that means don't you? Road trip! Need to see if we can get tickets when she plays in Las Vegas! I *must* get tickets. Must! So excited.

Ms. Kylie was the soundtrack of my coming out while I was Down Under. Here's the song that started my love of all things Kylie:

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Today's Post Brought To You By the Letter "B"

B is in BOGO. Buy one, get one off. I've seen it before, ad nauseam, on those Payless Shoes commercials. And I guess it makes sense for relatively low cost items. But when I was home in Colorado I was flipping through the really tragic local newspaper and since I'm sort in the car shopping mode I was checking out the car ads. And there on the back of the Sports section was a BOGO add for a car! Yep, if you buy one 2009 Hyundai, then you would get a like a 2002 Hyundai for $1. Now, let's forget the whole, it's a Hyundai thing. I still think it's kind of crazy that they are doing BOGO for cars. But i guess it's a sign of the economy, especially in the car business these days.

B is for Boytoy. Lawyer X has now started to refer to me as his boytoy. Which I think is a little bit presumptuous and not really accurate. For one thing, I am older than him. And I'm fairly certain that I make more money than him. But he thinks it's cute/funny and it sort of is. So I'll let it slide. For now. ;-)

B is for Big Breasted Bigots. Specifically, Miss California. Sigh. I get that you don't believe in same sex marriage. Fine. But here's the deal, atleast be able to CLEARLY articulate why. If I was a judge, I would have given you low marks not on the content of your answer, but on your inability to articulate what you are saying. I'm guessing her major isn't in communications. Of course, now that's she popping up on ads for NOM, interviewing on The 700 Club, I guess I could be wrong. And I'm not really appalled by fact that she has breast implants. Hello, she's from California! But I do find it interesting that the Miss California organization paid for them. That's interesting. Anyways, I hope Miss California has learned to do her own hair and make up, because after her remarks at the Miss USA pageant, there isn't a gay man in the US who's going to help her dye her hair again. Those hair and make up gays will make her look like Broomhilda if she ever makes the mistake of asking for help from them.