Monthly Archives: November 2008

>Explosion

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Carlos blew his top.

We had been out with “the ladies” looking all over for a particular CD they wanted. We had driven out to Columbia, and looked all over until we finally found it; at a place called ‘Sounds Familiar’ a funky old new and used music store. I myself stocked up on a new BoDeans and a Billie Holiday I didn’t have.

But I digress.

After going around looking for, and finding the music, we drove into Columbia and headed for West Columbia. Carlos asked if the ladies were hungry. “No.” said La Bruja. So we drove on. Carlos then suggested a place for a coffee and pastry.

“We’d like to have salad,” ordered La Bruja.

So off we went for an short, uncomfortable lunch at Cafe Strudel in West Columbia, after which we headed home. It was cold and rainy, so La Bruja decides to sit in the sunroom–surrounded on three sides by glass with two skylights overhead. The heat comes on and La Bruja waddles back to Carlos and says, “We’d like more heat.”

That was all it took for the Carlos Bomb to go off. He went out to the kitchen and did his version of the dressing down. He ranted about spending six hours shopping. He railed about La Bruja wanting to waited on hand-and-foot. He roared about the absence of Please or Thank You. He was loud, but not as loud as I would have been. I was in the back of the house and I heard the raised voices. I crept into the hallway just in time to hear: “We’re going out to a nice dinner and tomorrow we’ll drive you back up to Charlotte so you can go home!”

My man. He’s a sweetheart, but you can only push him so far before the TICK TICK BOOM!

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Filed under Bob, Carlos, Family, Houseguests, Luz Maria, Tia Gloria, Uncategorized

>Aftermath

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So the dinner is over, leftovers stored, wine bottles emptied and dessert and coffee served.

What do we have to look forward to now?

Oh yes. The guests getting the hell out of our house!

Carlos’ aunt and a friend of hers, whose names I will keep to myself–oh hell no, it’s Gloria and Luz Maria–arrived on Monday and were staying until Monday, but are now leaving Sunday morning. And that won’t come soon enough for me.

It’s not that they’re awful women–at least one of them isn’t, for Luz Maria speaks very little English. But as for the other one, La Bruja (The Witch) as Carlos calls her, can be a demon spawn. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, because she’s almost eighty and quite set in her ways, but she can be brutal.

On Tuesday, Carlos took the day off from work and took them to Columbia to go shopping. Carlos. Hates. Shopping. But it was his aunt and her friend, so off they went, for SIX HOURS. He watched them buy key chains, and nail clippers, pens and comb sets, three-dollar T-shirts and anything shiny and made of plastic. I think they were buying souvenirs for all of Mexico City. And upon their return, how thankful and gracious was Gloria? Um………………………..Not.

The next day I was off and Carlos worked. I was staying home to do some pre-Thanksgiving dinner prep, but the ladies wanted to go shopping again! I suggested the nearest spot, and offered to drive them down there; I gave them my cell phone so they could call me to come get them. In the short drive to the shopping center, La Bruja must have thanked me, and told me I was the sweetest person ever, about twenty times. But Carlos? Bupkus! Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Thanksgiving Day Carlos and I cooked and baked and set the table and poured the wine and served the dinner and prepared his dessert and served his dessert and cleared and washed and scrubbed and rinsed, and wiped down counters and stoves and the table.

La Bruja? Left the room….but not before she asked in that voice of hers, “Can we have some more heat please? We’ll pay the difference.”

Where’s my gun?

The next day, Black Friday, they ask to go shopping again. On Black Friday! With all the lunatics and soccer moms. Well, Carlos and I are shopping for a new flat screen TV, so we went. We drove into Columbia, to the Target store, and dropped them off while we parked. We walked the half mile or so back to the Target and La Bruja and su amiga are waiting on the curb. “What are we doing here?” she asked. “We have no more shopping to do!”

Again. Gun?

So we let them loose in Target while we looked at Circuit City for TVs. Then it was back to pick them, oh yes, and their purchases up, and head home. Gloria passes out in the sunroom for a couple of hours and, upon waking, asks where we are taking her now. Mind you, the woman doesn’t want to do anything but shop.

So, Carlos offered to take them into town and wander through the antique malls. La Bruja agrees, and Carlos gets ready to go. Then she changes her mind and says she’s hungry. The she asks us to make whipped cream for her dessert. Make. Whipped. Cream. If I could have made it into a gun and used it, I would have.

Drop everything and feed her. Gun? Anyone?

Again, not a lacquered fingernail is lifted in reheating their food or setting the table, serving, clearing washing……….it’s like Groundhogs Day because I’m reliving the day before exactly as it happened the FIRST TIME!!!

They had coffee with dessert. I got the big wine goblet out.

T-minus 41 hours and counting.

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>Happy Turkey Day!

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Among those whom I like or admire I can find no common denominator;
but those whom I love? All of them make me laugh.
–W.H. Auden

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Filed under Quotes, Thanksgiving Day

>Words

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Narrow Your Focus: The Whole World As A Hundred People
–57 Asian, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Americas, 8 Africans
–52 Female, 48 Male
–70 of various Races, 30 Caucasian
–70 Non-Christian, 30 Christian
–89 Heterosexual, 11 Homosexual
–59% of the world’s wealth would be in the hands of six people
—all citizens of the United States
–80 citizens would live in substandard housing
–70 would be unable to read
–50 would suffer malnutrition
–1 would be near death; 1 near birth
–Only one would have a college education
–Only one would own a computer

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Filed under Ethnicity, Gender Reassignment, List, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Wealth

>From Candace to Newt

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I ran across this online.
Fabulous!

Dear Newt,
I recently had the displeasure of watching you bash the protestors of the Prop 8 marriage ban to Bill O’Reilly on FOX News. I must say, after years of watching you build your career by stirring up the fears and prejudices of the far right, I feel compelled to use the words of your idol, Ronald Reagan, “There you go, again.”

However, I realize that you may have been a little preoccupied lately with planning your resurrection as the savior of your party, so I thought I would fill you in on a few important developments you might have overlooked.

The truth is that you’re living in a world that no longer exists. I, along with millions of Americans, clearly see the world the way it as — and we embrace what it can be. You, on the other hand, seem incapable of looking for new ideas or moving beyond what worked in the past.

Welcome to the 21st century, big bro. I can understand why you’re so afraid of the energy that has been unleashed after gay and lesbian couples had their rights stripped away from them by a hateful campaign. I can see why you’re sounding the alarm against the activists who use all the latest tech tools to build these rallies from the ground up in cities across the country.

This unstoppable progress has at its core a group we at HRC call Generation Equality. They are the most supportive of full LGBT equality than any American generation ever — and when it comes to the politics of division, well, they don’t roll that way. 18-24 year olds voted overwhelmingly against Prop 8 and overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. And the numbers of young progressive voters will only continue to grow. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning, about 23 million 18-29 year olds voted on Nov. 4, 2008 — the most young voters ever to cast a ballot in a presidential election. That’s an increase of 3 million more voters compared to 2004.

These are the same people who helped elect Barack Obama and sent a decisive message to your party. These young people are the future and their energy will continue to drive our country forward. Even older Americans are turning their backs on the politics of fear and demagoguery that you and your cronies have perfected over the years.

This is a movement of the people that you most fear. It’s a movement of progress — and your words on FOX News only show how truly desperate you are to maintain control of a world that is changing before your very eyes.

Then again, we’ve seen these tactics before. We know how much the right likes to play political and cultural hardball, and then turn around and accuse us of lashing out first. You give a pass to a religious group — one that looks down upon minorities and women — when they use their money and membership roles to roll back the rights of others, and then you label us “fascists” when we fight back. You belittle the relationships of gay and lesbian couples, and yet somehow neglect to explain who anointed you the protector of “traditional” marriage. And, of course, you’ve also mastered taking the foolish actions of a few people and then indicting an entire population based on those mistakes. I fail to see how any of these patterns coincide with the values of “historic Christianity” you claim to champion.

Again, nothing new here. This is just more of the blatant hypocrisy we’re used to hearing.

What really worries me is that you are always willing to use LGBT Americans as political weapons to further your ambitions. That’s really so ’90s, Newt. In this day and age, it’s embarrassing to watch you talk like that. You should be more afraid of the new political climate in America, because, there is no place for you in it.

In other words, stop being a hater, big bro.

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Filed under Candace Gingrich

>Thanks

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Not to brag, but I’ve been told that I am an extremely polite person. I was raised on Please and Thank You, Yes Ma’am, No Sir, and I still act that way today.

I was selected for jury duty in Miami once and when they were questioning us in the courtroom, it was my turn to stand. Well, it was a narrow aisle, so I put my hands behind my back, and as the judge and the lawyers began to ask their questions, I always answered Yes sir, No Sir. The judge stopped for a second and smiled. “Are you in the military?” he asked.

“No,” I said, “I was raised by a military man.”

Another time, a few years earlier, I was in a grocery store buying a birthday cake for a co-worker. I asked if I may please order a cake. May I please have a name iced onto it. I pleased and thank you’d my way through the ordering process and finally the girl left to go in the back and finish my order. But she turned around and just before disappearing, and she said to me, “I think you are the most polite person I’ve ever waited on.”

I smiled and said, “Could you just shut up and ice my damn cake!”
When all else fails slip into sarcasm. That’s my motto.

But I digress.

Tomorrow is a day of thanks for Americans’ a truly American holiday, like 4th of July, but one we celebrate not with picnics and beer, firecrackers and sparklers, but with a meal we share with friends and family.
I have so much to be thankful for this year.

Yes, the usual family and friends and health and happiness, blah blah blah, everyone says that.

But I am also thankful that we are soon to have a President that inspires hope, not fear; who speaks to truth and not to lies; who wants to show the world that America is not defined by the last eight years.

I am oddly thankful that Prop 8 passed, because it has motivated not only the gay community but everyone who believes in equality to stand up and say No More. It has galvanized many people, gay and straight, to work together to see that All Men (and women) Are Created (and treated) Equal. Complacency doesn’t get you anywhere; and simply asking for what’s right doesn’t always work. Demanding what’s right is what’s sometimes necessary.

I am thankful that Stylista is almost over because it’s like a car wreck I can’t avoid. I try to avert my eyes, but then, some diva queen breaks down and it sucks me back in.

I am thankful that Jennifer Hudson has given me a new catch phrase, which I have already almost worn out, “Don’t make me hit you with my pocketbook.”

I am thankful for cold mornings and blue skies.

I am thankful that Elisabeth Hasselbeck cannot spout her anti-Obama hate speech on The View anymore. She is the poster child for The Ill-Advised Who Have a Platform and abuse it.

I am thankful for small dogs and cats because, well, I’m bigger than them and I will always beat them. Just channeling Joan Crawford and Christina at the pool.

I am thankful for……
Carlos Dad and Mom Jeri and family David and family uncles and aunts and cousins sunshine falling leaves music pets living breathing speaking thinking being feeling living.

For Life. It encompasses it all.

To Life.
Thanks.

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Filed under Bob, Carlos, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Family, Good Manners, Jennifer Hudson, Joan Crawford, Jury Duty, Miami, President Obama, Prop H8, Stylista, Thanksgiving Day

>Life In A Baptist Town

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We moved from Miami to Smallville, smack in the middle of a Red Sate in the Bible Belt. Talk about culture shock.
One of the first questions people ask upon meeting you is, “Where do you worship?”
Not “Where are you from?” or “Where do you work?” or “Where do you live?”
Where do you worship.
I don’t go anywhere to worship, I say. I am a Free Thinker, I say.
Free Thinker? Their eyes glaze over and I can almost hear them say, “Free Thinker? Bless his heart.”
Translated to English from the Southern, Bless your heart roughly means You are an idiot.
But, they say, where do you talk to God.
And I tell them that I don’t need to go to a church to talk to god–lower case ‘g’. If I want to talk to god or see proof of god, I’ll go outside and look at the trees, the birds flying overhead, the bright blue sky or a cold gray one dripping with rain. If I want to talk to god, I just do it….in my yard, in my car, in my kitchen. If god listens from everywhere, he’ll hear me no matter where I speak. And I don’t need to prove that in a room full of mostly strangers every Sunday morning.
I am not a fan of organized religion, for a lot of reasons. I think religion is restrictive. It’s a lot of can’ts and shouldn’ts judgments and condemnations. That isn’t god.
God, I say, is love. God made me. I am gay. God loves me. And he doesn’t need to see me in the third pew from the front, sitting next to a woman in a giant hat, fanning her double chins, and dripping sweat onto her Gideons, to know how I feel.

I just finished reading at Towleroad about the Westboro Baptist Church protesting the election of a transgender mayor, Stu Rasmussen, in Silverton, Oregon. Their “God-loving” members stood on the American flag they had tossed into the streets with signs calling President-elect Obama the Anti-Christ, signs that said Death to Fags, God Hates Fags. Luckily, the townspeople protested the Westboro Baptist Church and stood up for their mayor, stood up for themselves, and stood up for God Is Love.

Now, I know that all religions aren’t Fred Phelp’s religions, but his ‘church’ and what the Mormon church did in California by funding the Yes on H8 campaign, reinforce in my mind what is wrong with religion.
It isn’t what we can’t do.
What we shouldn’t do.
It isn’t what you say I should do, or what I say is best for you.
It’s what we should do, that god wants for us.
God is Love. Upper case ‘G’.

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Filed under Bob, Carlos, Fred Phelps, President Obama, Religion, Smallville, Towleroad, Westboro Baptist Church