So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin, mɑ diːɾ

should old acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind...

as i sit listening to Auld Lang Syne on repeat while waiting for the night's party to begin, it's impossible to not reflect on the year that's about to end.

and surely you'll buy your pint cup

and surely i'll buy mine

and we'll take a cup o' kindness yet

for auld lang syne

in early december 2007, my dearest friends and i made lists. to-do lists. i listed 11 things i wanted for my upcoming year, 2008. and i'm not boasting or nothin', but 7 out of 11 ain't bad. 2008 was a beautiful year. a happy year. great success!

we two have run about the slopes

and picked the daisies fine

but we've wandered many a weary foot

since auld lang syne


a small part of me, a part i honestly wish i could silence, wonders if the next year could possibly be as full of happiness, love, triumph, and celebration as has been 2008.

i know, there's only one way to find out.

and there's a hand my trusty friend

and give us a hand o' thine

and we'll take a right good will draught

for auld lang syne


this has been a year of love and joy. we have shared plenty of highs and i guess a few lows.

we've celebrated so much, for there were so many causes for celebration: monthiversaries, graduations, bar passing, birthdays, political revolution, even a world cup championship. who knew i'd even care about that?

for auld lang syne, my dear

for auld lang syne

we'll take a cup of kindness yet

for auld lang syne

Saturday, December 27, 2008

the most wonderful time of the year

after a very relaxing trip home to amishville, i'm headed to Boston for a quick winter getaway with A.

though there isn't much time to blog in my extravagant, jet-setting life (i'm currently squeezing in some blog time from my window seat on the luxurious Bolt Bus), i had to share with you bitches the best Kwanzaa gift i ever could've received:
true love.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

an excerpt from my latest read, Paulo Coelho's
BRIDA

"Right now, while we're here eating, ninety-nine percent of the people on this planet are, in their own way, struggling with that very question. Why are we here?

Many think they've found the answer in religion or materialism. Others despair and spend their lives and money trying to grasp the meaning of it all. A few let the question go unanswered and life for the moment, regardless of the results or the consequences.


"Only the brave... are aware that the only possible answer to the question is I DON'T KNOW.


"This might, at first, seem frightening, leaving us terribly vulnerable in our dealings with the world, with the things of the world, and with our own sense of our existence. Once we've got over that initial fear, however, we gradually become accustomed to the only possible solution: to follow our dreams. Having the courage to take the steps we always wanted to take is the only way of showing that we trust in God...


The greatest thing a human being can do is to accept the Mystery.
"


* * *

"So what's the point of looking for an answer then?"


"We don't look for an answer, we accept, and then life becomes much more intense, much more brilliant, because we understand that each minute, each step that we take, has a meaning that goes far beyond us as individuals.
"





[for those of you looking for a book review/suggestion here, i'd say this is not one of Coelho's best -- though *T is likely to disagree.
tomorrow i pick up the next on my Winter reading list, The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. i'm excited. more on that as i make my way through it.]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

cheese part II

i think i should begin a regular series called "Ridiculous Blog of the Week." or maybe i already started such a series last week.

anyway, this week's winner would have to be the groundbreaking website Cute Things Falling Asleep which reminds me: thank blog for unemployed people with internet access!

i spent half my afternoon yesterday (
ummm... i mean... AFTER work...?) giggling with delight while watching the many videos on the site. let me just share with you a couple of my favorites (btw, for most of them, sound is not even necessary to experience the extreme level of cuteness):

if the following video doesn't bring a smile to your face, then you are cold and empty and possibly a Mormon. check yourself. this is exactly the kind of dog i want -- i don't just mean a french bulldog (which i really really really do want), but one that snores like this and sleeps on my belly in a way attipuss never will:


and the video below warmed my heart like no other:



big ups to The Daily Dish for linking to CUTE THINGS FALLING ASLEEP!

Monday, December 22, 2008

"I have... doubts..."

as Bradical and i walked home from the Ritz, i remarked that it was Meryl Streep weekend for me.
*saturday afternoon i rented Mamma Mia! (
hated it!!!).
*sunday morning i woke up early and sat around watching One True Thing on Hulu (
it was okay... Streep was great.)
*and last night we took a stroll to Old City to watch DOUBT, which...

well, i guess i have to give it a mixed review.

first, it should be said for the millionth time that Streep is fantastic. absolutely fantastic, as she normally is (
except in Mamma Mia, but i'll save that rant for another time). Streep shines as the stern, righteous nun with the steeliness of her character in The Devil Wears Prada, but without the handbags.


what really made this film for me were the brilliant performances by Streep and what i view as her supporting cast, including cutesy Amy Adams (she played the same character as in Enchanted, except with constant tears in her bloodshot eyes) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (who skeeves me out and has always skeeved me out, ever since The Talented Mr. Ripley... but his skeeviness was perfect for his dirty Catholic priest character in DOUBT).

these performances have gotten the film 4 of its 5 Golden Globe noms, and they're definitely reason enough for you to go see the film.
the subject matter is a hot topic, especially considering the recent scandals in the Catholic church, but somehow as i sat and watched, i forgot that the film was about that. 'ya know? it became about the characters... i was taken in.


so why the mixed review? two words: THE END(ing).

90% of the film is subtle, thought-provoking, and even suspenseful as the characters are developed thoroughly. this subtlety makes it difficult for me to imagine DOUBT as a play, from which the film originated.

and then it all falls apart. i knew
immediately that i didn't like the ending, but it took some thought to put my finger on why. not to give anything away.... i'll just say that i didn't appreciate the unraveling, however slight, of Streep's character.

others might find the ending unsatisfactory due to the lack of closure: because we never know... we really never find out for certain if it happened or didn't happen. i think it happened. either way, though, i wasn't dissatisfied with the mystery. i can appreciate having doubts even as the story is wrapped up.

what i cannot appreciate is a character that i have become invested in and who has been painstakingly crafted by a brilliant actress just... falling apart. it's as if i knew Streep's character and, had i been there, i would've said, "this just isn't like you! snap out of it!"

"You haven't the slightest proof of anything!"
"But I have my certainty."



see the trailer here or here:

Friday, December 19, 2008

from the archives - verbatim, part II


5 years ago today. 2003.
before bloggers blogged.
back when bloggers journaled.
when this blogger journaled.
verbatim.



Dec. 19

Today I stood on Avenida Central and watched tourists wander past, taking pictures and taking in their surroundings. I was like that a few months ago. Now I look straight ahead, walk to a specific destination, and don't notice this country that was so foreign to me a little while ago.

As I walked to Quesada Duran, someone was humming (loudly) Noche de Paz... I began humming it, and for an hour it ran through my head. It's almost Christmas, though it doesn't seem like it.

* * *
Noche de Paz, noche de amor
Todo duerme en derredor
Entre los astros que esparcen su luz
Viene anunciando al Nino Jesus
Brilla la estrella de Paz
O, Brilla la estrella de Paz
* * *

I decided that I should stay home and not attend either the program goodbye party or Luise Enrique's get together. I am too tired, and tomorrow is going to be a long day...


lezz bar


fun txt msg:


received: Dec. 19 - 12:26 AM

I told my mom where i was going and she said
i should be at home reading my bible... HA!



Thursday, December 18, 2008

i'm sorry you feel that way.


why is it so difficult to say "i'm sorry"?

apologetic variations, such as "i apologize," and "i hope you'll forgive me" are so much more comfortable, possibly because they're diffused apologies, less committed apologies, apathetic apologies. apathepologies, if you will.

of course, no apologies are enjoyable messages to deliver, but something about those two words, "i'm" and "sorry," together are especially difficult - if not impossible - for some people to comfortably verbalize. including me.

i was once the master of the diffused apology, to the point that my oldest and dearest friend (who was often the victim of my insincere apologies) would call me Will Truman. this was her way of calling me out on my refusal to apologize, because way back then - when the sitcom was still at the top of its game - Will could never apologize to Grace.

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Gracie," he'd say.
or "I'm sorry you're so sensitive about this."

i can't say for certain that i learned it from Will, but when Danielle and i fought, i came up with some really special Will apologies: "well, i'm sorry your feelings were hurt by that, but i obviously didn't intend to upset you," and "i'm really sorry you took it that way."

in case you have never delivered one of these apathepologies, or in case you don't know Danielle, let me just say: this enrages her. and i'm sure she's not the only person whose eyes widen and whose nostrils flare the second they hear a phrase such as, "I'm sorry you're angry." she used to scream at me, "that's NOT an apology! you're not sorry for what you did, you're sorry for my reaction!"

over the years i've learned that this problem stems from a lack of humility. saying "i'm sorry" is a verbal bow in front of another, and let's just say i would not fare well in China. it's difficult enough to concede a point to a professor, or to my boss -- don't eeeven get me started on doing so to a mere friend, a mere MORTAL.

yet every day should see some progress, and whether or not i've become a more humble person, i have, over time, learned to say those two, little words... if only sparingly.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

as if you have a choice...





even better, in my estimation, than leona's.

i need........ time.


I wish we could just lie quietly together and not have to worry about all the rest.*




i long for a vacation.



*Sabrina Ward Harrison

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NSFC

even some blogs about cuddly animals are simply not suitable for children.

i've stumbled upon what may have the true potential to become my newest favorite useless blog, and i've been jonesin' to share it with you.

the blog is Fuck You, Penguin: A Blog Where I Tell Cute Animals What's What.

the name accurately sums up the goal/theme of the blog. and i cannot get enough.
here's a taste!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sloth, get off your fucking ass and get down out of that tree. I don't care if it is practically impossible for you to walk on the ground, you've been sleeping for nearly a full day now and you promised you would start looking for a job this morning. WELL IT'S ALMOST TWO IN THE FUCKING AFTERNOON. And have you taken a shower recently? Your hair looks like it is literally made out of straw.

Goddamn, Sloth, you are the most appropriately named little fucker of all time.

Oh, you think you're better than me, polar bear? Cause when I lay like that it just looks like I am drunk? Well, you can go FUCK YOURSELF. At least I don't walk around rubbing blood off my FUCKING fur in the snow all day! You probably hang out in Starbucks and watch television shows like 30 Rock and Mad Men. WELL FUCK YOU SOCIALIST.


i really hope this guy keeps up with his blog, because i need more of this in my life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i wish i had said it


some enlightened/enlightening thoughts from a reader of The Daily Dish:


A reader writes:

You write:

"Civil marriage for all; religious marriage for all who want to supplement it with God's grace. Why is that so hard for some people of faith to grasp? Why are their marriages defined not by the virtues they sustain but the people they exclude?"


Because -- as you well know -- their faiths themselves are defined by the people they exclude: the unbelievers, the unsaved (or let's be blunt: the "damned"), the always-demonized Other: without that division, that exclusion, their entire theology, indeed their entire worldview, collapses: a theology of inclusion is anathema to them, just as a politics, a sociology or even a science of inclusion (evolution) is anathema.


And why? Because despite their fine words, and their closely-guarded self-images, the actual and real ruling principle of their lives and their theology is fear, not love.

Everything flows from that original orientation, that original choice (because it is, finally, a choice). For them, to be inclusive is to expose themselves to what they fear; and what they fear most is summarized in their mythology of hell and eternal damnation: an eternal torture of body, mind, soul and spirit administered by an angry, vengeful, psychopathic god. It is all pure projection.


And irony of ironies, it is precisely the opposite of the message the Christian Savior tried to bring: that salvation is found only through love, through inclusion, through openness of mind and heart and spirit, through, ultimately, trust -- that this world, with all its difficulties and pain and imperfections, built through evolution, and including endless Others, is as it should be, as it was intended to be.


But that leap, from fear to trust, from fear to love, from fear to inclusion, is not an easy one, either for the individual or for a society. No evolutionary leap ever is -- and that is precisely what the leap from fear to love is: an evolutionary leap; evolution in action, evolution at the cognitive, emotional and spiritual levels. It's not easy, and it's not fast: we've been working on this for 2000 years -- and longer. Evolution takes its own time, but since this is the evolution of consciousness itself, we do have something to say about it: it's something we can consciously promote, and consciously accelerate -- and it's something we need to accelerate, and complete: the problems we face in this world, social, political and environmental, will not be solved by a people animated by fear.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

i love the "more than"

i choose to be black. i mean gay.

actually i didn't make that choice, but now that i know the drill (ha), i probably would, if offered. you?

here's some interesting commentary from a blogger over at the Atlantic. JUST for argument's sake.

Several people referred me to Huck on the Daily Show yesterday. Good stuff. But here's one thing that's been boggling my mind lately. The case for/against gay marriage is hung-up on this idea of choice--i.e. we should frown on gay marriage because it's a deviant lifestyle. Or we shouldn't frown on it because it isn't a lifestyle, it's a biological fact. This is where the comparisons with race come in. But I always hated this argument. Whenever people say, "You should not discriminate against people because they didn't chose to be black," I hear the mild tones of wild liberal condescension.

Implicit in that logic is a kind of judgment, the notion that if I could choose, I obviously would choose to be white. But what if I just like being black? What if I could choose and would still choose black? Ditto for homosexuality. So what if you do choose to be gay? I understand that a lot of the science says you don't, but why do we accept this implicit idea that heterosexuality is, necessarily, what everyone would chose?

I'm not trying to minimize the bias and trauma that must come from being out, but a basic extension of humanity, a belief that those who aren't like me actually are like me, says that to be gay has to be more than coping with living beneath the boot of the ignorant. It's always about more than getting your ass kicked, no? What if you actually love the "more than?"

What if it is who you are
and what you choose?


Friday, December 12, 2008

i won't even wish for snow

Dear Santa,

I've given the issue serious consideration over the past several weeks, and I've finally decided on a 2008 Christmas wish.

I would like an illegally imported giant panda cub like this one:

If I had this little cuddle-face living with me, I would be the happiest little boy on planet Earth. Just to warm the cockles of your oversized, at-risk heart a bit more, here's another photo of what exactly I'm looking for.


I'd like one in this size and this approximate color pattern, but if you have to get it a size smaller, I'll make due. I mean, I've been wearing all my clothing a size too small for YEARS, but you don't see me asking for new clothes under my Winter Solstice tree, do you? No. Because I'm frugal. I don't live an extravagant lifestyle, and I would never ask for something that I didn't absolutely need.

Santa baby, I absolutely need this baby panda. Don't let me down. Or I'll find you, I swear to--...

In Christ,

M


p.s. Santa, if you are absolutely unable, after reasonably diligent efforts, to obtain for me the gift that I truly want, then I will try to be understanding. If that happens to be the case, I ask only that, in the alternative, you would strike Atticus Finch with a serious yet not life-threatening thyroid disorder so that he gains so much weight that he resembles a giant panda cub, sans the white fur.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

einstein says...

A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years but a photograph always remains the same...
But as people live on, they change completely.

That is why I think a photograph can be kind.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

you get, you give


i have, for a long time, been a very good person. and a charitable person, moreover.

in college, i adopted a little girl from Zambia. for 3 years, i indirectly sent her a check every month... until she stopped sending me letters and crayon drawings, and i was left to assume that she either: a) no longer needed my help or b) had turned into a rebellious tween and was spending my heard-earned student loan money on drugs. it pained me greatly to cancel my subscription to this child, but i felt she needed to learn an important life lesson.

still being the giving person i am, i was excited when i read about Tom's Shoes in my weekly Treehugger newsletter. in case you aren't a good, informed wannabe tree hugger like i am, let me tell you a little about Tom's Shoes. basically, if you buy a pair of their strange-looking, think-before-wearing-them-out-of-the-house slipper shoes, then Tom donates a pair of shoes (presumably of equal or lesser value, like Payless) to a needy, barefoot child in a third world
country. watch this for more deets:



i think this is a really lovely idea, because the children in those Sally Struthers videos are always barefoot while climbing through mounds of trash and broken glass. and also, in giving to this charity, you're still getting something in return, which feels so much better than just giving a penny (a nickel, tops!) to the homeless man on walnut street.


as i read more about Tom's Shoes, my heart was pierced like a little foot. i decided i needed to buy a pair of these shoes. but for whom?


at first i planned to buy a fur-lined pair for my mom, because when we were at Macy's a couple weeks ago she said she wanted a pair of Uggs (to which i snapped, "NO! that's SO two years ago, and they're digsusting!").


but after
all the women in my office yelled at me for trying to buy my mom something that IIII wanted, rather than something that SHEEEE wanted, i scrapped that idea. i ended up just buying the woman some Uggs. UGH. it pains me to admit that. but at least i didn't buy her a pair of disgusting, so-2-years-ago boots. i bought her moccasins! cute ones!!!

anyway, i still wanted to do something good for the world, so i bought a pair of Tom's Shoes for myself. and i think they're awesome and stylish and fun, and i don't want to hear a word out of you if you disagree upon seeing them on my feet.

and if you have half a heart and 1/3 the fashion sense i have, you're already buying your own pair of Tom's Shoes in another browser tab.

DO IT!
!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

sophisticationing


okay, so, remember how a few months ago i would occasionally lament my lack of palate for some of the more urbane liqueur? well, i talked about it a lot. everybody cared.

anyway, i find myself worrying about the potential pain and isolation that i could experience in the future if i'm not able to enjoy a nice brandy with the boys at the yacht club. this keeps me up nights.

and after months of intending to embark on a journey to cultivate my own taste for worldly, refined spirits, i've finally done something about it.

on my way home from the gym last night, i stopped in at my local state-run drunk emporium to take my first step toward being a more sophisticated alcoholic. i perused the shelves, making sure to keep my head up at eye level and above: i figure it will be easier to enjoy something that tastes like hell if i buy the best of the worst.

i finally settled on Chivas scotch, for several reasons, not the least of which is that Kelly Clarkson's last album included a hidden track entitled "Chivas," in which she explains she would prefer drinking whiskey rather than having her ex-boyfriend back.

also, this particular brand of liquid evil was in a pretty box and on the second-from-top shelf, which i felt was sufficiently high to be respectable, yet not so high up that i would be drinking beyond my means.

for $25, you can get a bottle that's about the size of a Softsoap dispenser, but in a much fancier container, which put up quite a fight when i tried to open it back at home. there were several layers of encasement, plastic and foil seals. i felt as though i were about to ingest liquid gold.


nope!


still tasted like hades on ice, gross to the last drop. it embarrasses me to admit that i didn't find the good stuff to be all that different from a glass of Jack.

i guess i have a long way to go.

next up: cognac.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Like a savage underneath...



Winter's occupation seems to have conquered, overrun and destroyed everything, so that now there is no longer any resistance movement left in nature...

this time of year i read more than i do in the summer, yet i add very few books to my "Have Read" list. summer is a time for new experiences and vac
ation reading. fun books and tell-alls. winter, on the other hand, is a time to get lost between the covers. a time to catch up with old acquaintances.

on these cold winter nights, as i like awake - too awake to sleep, yet wearied by the oppression of early darkness - i sift through words i've read before. i silently thank my past self for highlighting, underlining, dog-earing the pages. often i understand why a sentence meant so much to him, and the feelings return; occasionally i wonder why it deserved the ink he applied. i reassure myself that it must have at the time.



this week i picked up an old favorite, a thin paperback that i first picked up almost ten years ago for a book report. ha. book reports. didn't they seem so tedious at the time? looking back, i wish i'd been forced to write so many more.

i'd like to see what my 16-year-old self had to say about A Separate Peace back then, what his deeply philosophical young mind came up with. could he even relate to Gene? had young matthew yet encountered, and fallen in hate with, a Phineas of his own? no, not yet.


that's the beauty of re-reading books. i've said it before, and i'll commit redundancy to impress upon those of you who see no value in the re-read, just how d
rastically a story can change from year to year. it's as if the words rearrange themselves on the page. the pages rearrange themselves in the book.

you know how differently you take in the plot of a film if you're already aware of the ending? the way you notice that the pigeons didn't scatter as the little girl ran around them in A Beautiful Mind? well, it's not like that when you re-read a book. it's more akin to the
director adding more scenes to the film, scenes that can actually alter the ending you thought you knew.

there's beauty in the re-read.


You always were a savage underneath. I always knew that only I never admitted it. But in the last few weeks... I admitted a lot to myself... It's you we happen to be talking about now. Like a savage underneath...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

buddha says...

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

i predict three or four Oscars.

on a chilly saturday evening, A and i went on a cozy double date to the movie theater to see
it's not your typical date movie. it's far from a romantic comedy. and we didn't exactly walk out of the theater with amused smiles on our faces. but for four politically conscious and relatively intellectual young men in Philly, it was a great way to spend an evening. and i recommend that you spend one the same way. (double date optional.)

in case you ain't heard, MILK is a biographical film that chronicles the political rise and tragic fall of Harvey Milk, while also giving us a glimpse into a pivotal time at the beginning of the ongoing gay civil rights movement.

Milk (playe
d by Sean Penn) was a closeted, middle-aged corporate New Yorker who, at the age of 40, finally cracked. after moving across the country and setting up his hippie shop in San Fran, Milk could no longer tolerate the bigotry and harassment faced by his peeps. he quickly rose to political power in the '70s by reaching out to homos in San Francisco, and became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States. true story, y'all!

Milk's story is both upsetting and inspiring. upsetting due to the fate of Harvey Milk; inspiring because the way the gay civil rig
hts movement took shape and the way Milk united his community can motivate and teach all of us, gay and straight alike. i think director Gus Van Sant makes it abundantly clear that it isn't just about gays; it's about what's right. it's about all our rights.

i won't give away the ending, just in case you've been living in a cave and don't already know. but i will tell you that when we left the theater, there were more wet
eyes than dry staring solemnly at the screen. people lingered. some older homes even sobbed. it was, to say the least, a moving film.

unlike many of my co-viewers, i left the theater neither depressed nor discouraged. rather, i felt empowered by, as well as grateful for, all that our predecessors did to advance our
equality and to raise awareness for a group once forced into hiding.


P.S. another reason to check out the film is to witness the mad skills of all the actors. Sean Penn's performance is already being called "remarkable" and possibly his best ever. the film in general currently has a 93% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes (93% on there is nothing short of miraculous!!!). i have to say that i was impressed with all the performances, across the board.
do yourself (and your cold, jaded heart) a favor and go see MILK. it'll inspire you, and you'll probably even cry. and that's okay.

P.P.S. i am now obsessed with Emile Hirsch, but -- i've decided, upon extensive Google image searching -- ONLY when he sports the crazy hair and huge nerd glasses of Cleve Jones:

Monday, December 1, 2008

big ups!



my gal T -- er, sorry. pen name: T.L. Bonaddio -- has launched her very official website.

though still under construction, it's a beautiful start and will soon be up and running, selling
handmade crafts, hot cocoa, and inspiration to people all over the world.

check it out here. do it, or T.L. will paper-cut you.




lovely photo courtesy of/stolen from T's Flickr album. boo-yah!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

even if...?


go here to see what was written on the other side of the card.

for the Bible tells me so, part II



more excerpts from the fantastic book, The Year of Living Biblically, by A.J. Jacobs.

preev post here.


I'll do the Scalia technique on the Bible. I'll try to find the original intent. I want to live the original religion. A lot of people tell me that such a quest is a fantasy. The Bible was written thousands of years ago by people with profoundly different worldviews. And I agree, it's hard. much harder than finding the original intent of the Constitution, which was at least written in some form of English, even if the Ss and Fs look alike.

The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Its journey into other languages has been famously bumpy; the Bible could be the most mistranslated text in history. The Red Sea is a mistranslation of the "Sea of Reeds." The idea that moses (and his descendants) had horns comes from a mistranslation of the Hebrew word qaran. It actually means that Moses's face was shining, or emitting beams of light.


* * *

Day 256. Back in New York, I'm continuing my tutorial in evangelical Christianity. It's Friday night, and I'm sitting in on a Bible study group... We'll be led by a man named Dr. Ralph Blair, who is a hardcore Christian evangelical.


Oh, I should mention one other thing: Ralph Blair is gay.
And out-of-the-closet gay. Not, mind you, the I-once-was-gay-but-now-am-cured type of gay. Ralph -- and all the other men in his Bible group -- embrace their homosexuality with the same zeal that ultraconservative evangelicals condemn it...


Of course, Ralph's organization is controversial. And at first blush, it makes about as much sense as an Association of Vegan Burger King Owners. It's at once inspiring and depressing. Inspiring that they have found one another, and depressing because they are part of a movement in which the majority thinks of their sexuality as sinful.


But Ralph says that you have to distinguish between evangelical Christianity and the religious right. The religious right's obsession with homosexuality comes "out of culture, not out of Scripture."


"But there do seem to be antigay passages in the Bible," I say.


"Yes, the so-called clobber passages," he says. 'But I call them the clobbered passages."


Ralph's argument is this: The Bible does not talk about loving same-sex relationships as they exist today. Jesus would have no problem with two men committed to each other. One of Ralph's pamphlets has this headline on the front: "What Jesus Said about Homosexuality." You open up the pamphlet, and there's a BLANK PAGE.


Ralph says that if you look at the Bible's allegedly antigay passages in historical context, they aren't antigay at all. They are actually anti-abuse, or antipaganism. Consider the famous Leviticus passage: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination."


"In biblical times, there was no parity between men and women. Women and children were just a bit above slaves. To be with a man like a woman was to disgrace him. It's what soldiers did to their conquered enemies, they raped them."


That famous Leviticus passage is actually merely saying: Do not treat your fellow man disgracefully.


Or take another commonly cited passage in the New Testament, Romans 1:26-27. Here the Apostle Paul rails against those who gave in to "dishonorable passions."


"...Their women exchanged natural relationships for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error."


Ralph says that Paul is preaching here against pagan culting practices - the loveless sex that went on in the idolatrous temples of the day...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

that's the way love goes?


i don't know who i am anymore
my world starts and stops right outside your door
i'm feeling weak, and i can't sleep tonight

i never thought that i would ever feel this way
i'm hanging onto every word that you say
i'm beaten down
i come around
one look in your eyes and i am saved

whatever you want, i want
whatever you feel, i feel
i'll follow you
but i keep losing me



a rare gem among stones, offered by the weekly iTunes free download back in the summer.
lately it's been swimming around my head, and it's a hauntingly lovely song, sung by a pretty little mexican version of a jonas brother.
diego sure can belt out a note, especially for a former telenovela star. hot.

disfruten!

Monday, November 24, 2008

you've been SERVED, f-book!

some insightful commentary by Rob Horning at PopMatters:

Friendship As Media

More of my friends are finding the time to get on Facebook, prompting various nostalgia trips as people from the past reconnect. This seems benign enough, but it’s a little strange that the technological means makes possible a relationship that everyone involved in was happy enough to abandon to the mists of time. It’s like Facebook has more at stake in that revived connection than the individuals reconnecting do—and maybe that’s true.


Actually, this seems like the essential bargain Facebook presents us with. It will facilitate our illusions of friendship and connection by making such social contact nearly effortless and highly insulated. We can broadcast gossip about ourselves and present ourselves in a flattering light and make contact with people we had forgotten about just by going to the site. It maintains our friendships for us by storing a configuration of the network of all the people who have ever mattered to us while exempting us from that particular effort that we had already, in fact, stopped bothering to make.


So we get friendship without the trouble of having to put effort into the relationships. It’s friendship rendered convenient through technology, and the convenience to a degree denatures the original significance—isn’t the substance of relationships ultimately anchored in the effort we feel ourselves putting in? (Or am I simply mystifying the ideal of working at things?)


In exchange for making our social lives more convenient, Facebook seizes the right to transform our sociality into commercially useful information, turn our relationships into market research and use that data to anticipate and shape our future selves with the ads it calculates that we should be presented with. It manages our friendships and then processes the data interrelationships to guide the process of how we subsequently develop our identities through its site. Since it is mediating our friendships, and in effect making the effort for us, it is also directing what the fruits of that effort will be, supplying the framework through which friendships develop and making itself the very medium of friendship.


At that point, Facebook succeeds into making friendship a consumption product, and itself as the service provider. The other friends we have through it, on the other side the screen, are the product it marshals for us. And our consumption of Facebook, rather than the actual experience of friendship with all the effort that would otherwise require, now shapes our personalities—in accordance with the commercial goals it has set our for ourselves. In that way, it isolates us more by promising to mediating our connections with the rest of the world. It deprives us of the opt-in to make more effort, and make our social efforts more meaningful. Is this too pessimistic?


Sunday, November 23, 2008

something new every day


what is dis, you axe?

this is a MANGOSTEEN.

say it out loud, it's fun. mang-go-steeeen.

i know this only because, on a whim today, i bought mangosteen juice. i'm such a brave little soldier, sticking mysterious things into my mouth. btw, it's delicious.

thanks to the miracle that is Wickipedia, i now know everything there is to know about this delectable fruit.

and so can you, if you are really that bored.



the more you know...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

thinking ahead


Dear C,

I'm a little strapped for cash this year, but I promise for Christmas next year I'll buy you an abortion.

Love always,

M

oh my blog, ME TOO!

so many great things to tell you.
first is that m'gurl kelly clarkson is about to release a new album. and it's goooing to be amaaaazeeeeng.

second, KC not only knows how to use a computer, but she can blog, too! and if you can get past her excessive use of emoticons, you'll get a sense of how cute and sweet she really is just from reading her blog. of course i knew all that already, since i've met* her several times.


but finally, and most importantly, KC is obsessed with HBO's True Blood, just like me! ugh that reminds me: this sunday is the season finale. i don't want to let go yet. it's just too good.


too. good.


but anyway, back to kelly.
check out her blog, keep your eyes (and wallets) open for her new album, and note that i've added KC's blog to my list of faves for you to check up on often. she better keep up with that shit, too.



*been in the same stadium with

Friday, November 21, 2008

and it's STILL hurting...



so, this is pretty much my favorite youtube vid EVER.

and i'm sure you've all seen it a billion times.

but today it goes out to my dear friend Ash-hole, who's home sick in bed and quite miserable.



ash, try to enjoy this day off. catch up on your internet funnies.
drink lots of fluids. (ginger ale & vodka is my favorite for when i'm not feeling well.)
and remember that nyquil makes everything better. especially during the day.

and i quote


[two friends sit watching the snow-swirling, romantic ending of bridget jones's diary. in 2001.]

M: Uhh... Snow doesn't do that!

D: It does when you're in love.


maybe it's just what happens 25 stories up, but today snow is doing that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

um... yeah, i guess so.


so this website, Typealyzer, analyzes various websites and blogs in order to quickly and concisely sum up the "personality" of that blog, as if the blog were a person.

i entered in my blog. and this is how Typealyzer summed up my blog:


ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.



i thought that was cute, and i felt happy to have a "friendly" blog that enjoys being able to help people. the "soft fabric" thing is a bit gay, but then...

anyway, just to be sure, i decided to Typealyze Dlisted. and as it turns out, Michael K's blog gets the same personality result, so.....


site don't work, y'all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'tis the season

there are many things i love about this time of year:
-the sound of crisp leaves underfoot
-the warmth of a scarf or comfy shawl sweater
-being able to justify eating a sandwich with stuffing and sugary cranberry sauce inside it
-the park suddenly devoid of homeless people in the freezing morning air

but one of the things i love even more is that atticus finch has returned to sleeping on my legs and/or feet.

how truly charming it is to witness the selfless behavior of this dear animal, whose only concern is to warm my cold extremities throughout the freezing night! i can't imagine a more comforting gesture.

i find that mr. finch is even more prone to this selfless behavior if i close the door to my bedroom, thereby keeping the room cooler than my very warm living room and prohibiting the escape of any person or creature without opposable thumbs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

chapter 22

"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..." The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. "Please, tame me!" he said.


"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me..."


"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.


"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me, like that, in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day..."


The next day the little prince came back.


"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you... One must observe the proper rites..."


* * *

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near...


"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."


"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you..."


"Yes, that is so," said the fox.


"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.


"Yes, that is so," said the fox.


"Then it has done you no good at all!"


"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added: "Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."


The little prince went away, to look again at the roses. "You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world." And the roses were very much embarrassed. "You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you..."


And he went back to meet the fox. "Goodbye," he said.


"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."


"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember...




another of my favorite parts here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

down memory lane


dear internets,

thank you for the nice surprise today. stumbling upon our old Camajalini blog from Roma brought a big smile to my face.

i forgot this even existed!

i'm not sure why it was such a surprise - because we all know blogs never die.

keep on keepin' on!

love,

M

Sunday, November 16, 2008

wise words, redhead


a friend of mine shared some deep and very personal feelings and thoughts in an e-mail, so naturally my first inclination is to post them on my public blog.

just kidding just kidding. i'm not going to tell you what the e-mail was about or all that my friend said, but i'd like to share with you one point she made, which - even though it's not about me in any way - resonates tonight. oh, look, i made it all about me. again.

anyway, my friend said:

we all know that none of us are perfect... i'm not either. we judge. we say and do small things that are hurtful (even unintentionally) and we look back on and regret.

but if you can talk about them and through them, that's something.



simple truths, my friends.

simple truths. she's right. and it really is something.
in fact, it's everything.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

our love has changed. again.


the year was 1999.
i was a junior in high school.
i realize many of you were still in diapers at that point. i am old.
like that of every other human, my favorite actress was julia roberts.
and my favorite movie and my favorite cd both went by the name of NOTTING HILL.
to date, i've watched the movie approximately three hundred (300) times. i've listened to the soundtrack even more, considering it travels better than my 75-pound non-flatscreen television.

anyway, the Notting Hill soundtrack is still one of the very best ever, topped (in my mind) only by the soundtracks for Great Expectations and Practical Magic. but i digress...

a seriously obscure (in America, that is) band by the name of Boyzone sang my favorite song on the album, called NO MATTER WHAT.

when i heard this song, i knew. i just knew. 'ya know?



so i was elated to learn that, almost 10 years later, the boyz from Boyzone are still alive and well, and have just recorded a cover of one of the loveliest songs EVER -- a cover of BETTER by Tom Baxter. i love it so much i blogged about it last april and then couldn't help but re-blog about it just a couple months ago.

anyho, here's the Boyzone cover of one of my favoritest love songs, complete with a toothache-inducing video of the band members and their real-life spouses/civil partners:

***********************

OMFG, youtube disabled embedding for this song.
apparently it was TOO WONDERFUL for people to handle.
so you have to go HERE to watch and listen.

**********************

p.s. i just realized there are so many LINKS in this post. that's not like me. links links links! click them now. seriously, i think they're all worth it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

that's my middle name!

i've been indulging my passive-aggressive side today, and i encourage you to do the same!

ideally, you would tell the sales girl pestering you at Macy's that you'll "yell for a salesman if i DO need something, though." or end a fight with a close friend with a very sincere apology like, "well, i'm sorry you're so sensitive."

but if you aren't fortunate enough to be in such an appropriately snarkworthy position today, you can sit back and enjoy other people's bitchiness, thanks to the website PassiveAggressiveNotes.com.

after a quick
(hour-long) skim, here are some of my faves!

roommate affection, i presume:
somebody has some issuuuuuesss:
even God can be passive-aggressive at times:my most favorite of all:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

believe it or not. (but do it just in case.)


beginning in mid-september and throughout much of october, i found myself having serious trouble sleeping.

i should note this cycle of sleep v. sleeplessness is not new to me.
i've gone through these phases before, beginning in high school (i'm pretty sure i didn't get a solid night's sleep between 1996 and 2000). for a recovered insomniac, even a few sleepless nights in a week can be worrisome, and i was beginning to worry.

so i resorted to one of my old faves, Tylenol PM. and i found myself whining at work in the mornings, to the point that one of the paralegals in my office brought me Lunesta (score!!). and of course, i complained
non-stop about not sleeping well.

it was during one of my complaining sessions, while on the phone with A, that i remembered something i once read, and which i had learned to follow in my previous apartment: feng shui teaches us to leave space on all sides of our beds in order to allow energy to flow around us while we sleep, thus allowing us to sleep better.

right then an there, while still on the phone with my very incredulous boyfriend, i pulled my bed away from the wall. i haven't had a sleepless night since. believe it or not.


i got to thinking about feng shui, the 6,000+ year old art of what i would sum up as re-directing energy. and somehow, despite my extremely busy schedule and overwhelming workload, i found the time to research the topic so that i could provide for you a concise list of basic feng shui tips.

i've summed up some helpful tips below, for your
edification and enjoyment. this way you won't have to spend 6 hours of your own work day reading 1,000 websites and pretending to do actual work.

i won't bore you with the philosophy and/or history of the ancient art. i'm just going to boil it down to some basic changes you can make in your home and office.

you may or may not buy into it, but open your minds to making a few changes... just in case.

the most important room in your house:
I. the bedroom
-place your bed in a "command position," meaning a position that is diagonally far from the room's entryway yet facing the door. this is the position of power in any room. (note: don't sleep directly in line with the door, though!)

-there should be a solid wall behind your bed, but leave space on all 4 sides of the bed to allow the flow of chi through the room
-remove workspaces (desks, computers) and excessive electronics (televisions) from the bedroom.

for the stubborn among you who refuse to give up television in the bedroom (to the detriment of your sleep and health, as i've been saying for years), at least "put the tv away" when it's time to go to sleep. there are lots of ways to do this.

-do NOT place any mirrors on the wall opposite your bed. according to chinese legend, this will attract a third party into your relationship. (of course, if you're looking for that sort of thing, take out the "NOT" above ;-)

-keep nothing under your bed!

-no trash cans/waste baskets in your bedroom, or your love life will suffer.
and finally,

-king-sized beds are usually a bad idea. why? because in most, the mattress is made of two distinct mattresses, placed side-by-side. this means you're not technically sleeping on the same bed as your spouse/lover/significant other/soon-to-be-ex. sad...

II. the living room
-unlike in the bedroom, mirrors are great in the living room, as they can redirect both the energy and the light in any space, despite architectural limitations you might have to work with. mirrors bring a sense of calm and refreshment. it's also really convenient to be able to check your hair and teeth without walking to the bathroom.

-if you have a red sofa, get rid of it immediately. that's all there is to it.

-the more water you bring into your living space, the better. this explains why old women a few years ago were obsessed with those little rock fountains, until the motors burned out or the rocks grew stinky algae.

-every room has "dead areas" in it, usually corners and shady alcoves. it's important to bring life to these spaces by using lamps, plants, or fish tanks. do people still have fish as pets? i dunno...

-if this isn't already obvious, your
seating furniture should be placed in an OPEN layout, as a circle or curve. duh.

-according to learned chinamen, a fireplace should be the focal point of a room. in my house, it is; but i bet most of you have replaced the fireplace with a television set. the least you can do is get a dvd of a lit, inviting fireplace, and play it when you have guests over.

-arrange a seated area called the "honored guest position," which should be cozy and located opposite the entryway to the living room. i think the HGP at my house is in my bedroom.

III. the bathroom
-because this is the ceremonial site of your daily cleansing ritual, this room should be kept pristine. this might come as news to many guys out there, but clean up your disgusting bathrooms! piles of toothpaste in the sink and pubes on the toilet bowl are unacceptable and may cost you a second date.

-a key tenet of feng shui is welcoming fortune to flow in your direction through the prominence of running water in your house. even something as simple as a picture of a waterfall is enough to encourage this flow; unfortunately, a leaky faucet or a running toilet does just the opposite. a dripping tap sucks the fortune out of you both spiritually and literally (waste of energy, waste of money. obviously.).

-keep the lid of your toilet down. especially when you're at my place! total pet peeve of mine.

-place mirrors so that they can reflect the faucets in your bathroom.

-important colors for the bathroom are pale blues, grey, and cream. and i'm NOT just saying that because those are the very colors with which MY bathroom is decorated. i read it somewhere!!!

IV. the kitchen
-all i could find for the kitchen is to hang a mirror behind your stove. i don't know why. maybe so you can see how fat you are while you cook, and thus will be discouraged from eating.

finally, what i was looking for when i set out on this research journey:
V.
the office
-place your desk in a command position. remember what that is? if not, you might be retarded or have alzheimer's, because we just talked about that (above).

-your desk should have rounded edges. it probably doesn't, though. mine has ONE rounded edge and the rest square. ugh.

-you need plants in your office to generate creativity and the growth of new ideas. it also doesn't hurt that they provide fresh oxygen to your overworked, overcaffeinated, and sometimes hung over brain.

-remember that the color yellow has been scientifically proven to sharpen focus, especially in dyslexic children. the chinese knew this thousands of years ago, before dylsexia or children even existed!

-you need a window in your office or near your desk, for the natural light. if you can't see a window, you need a new job. your job is literally killing you as you read this.

-three words: solid wooden desk.

as i read over my 6 pages of feng shui research notes i compiled today (i can be extremely productive when i'm being paid to do something else!), i realized something funny. i have inadvertently been following many key tenets of this ancient art during the past few years. if you've had the good fortune to be in my home, in the presence of the great Atticus-Buddha, you'll concur. and i promise i didn't tailor my findings to support what i've done with my own home.

so look around your house, and i bet you'll find that you're already practicing feng shui to some extent. and if, by chance, your home is completely out of whack in feng shui terms, let this be impetus to re-arrange (and vacuum the dust bunnies out from under) your furniture. whether you believe this mumbo jumbo or not.