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

"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.

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


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,


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.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


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.


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!