Thursday, May 29, 2008

Church / Bathroom Separation Issues in Bethesda (and other stuff)


**Update, June 2, 2008, 1251AM EDT: Please see my Arcturus blog for an interesting update about the fire this weekend at The Planet internet hosting site that took down so many sites "UFN" -- fascinating.**

This entry is supposed to be a relatively short one designed mostly do post some pictures I took the several days (aside from the Monday NoVa drive about ones). Above: the 1500 block of New Hampshire Ave., NW, near Dupont Circle, May 28, 2008

I do not feel well at all. I've had a minor stomach ailment that has caused me some "church / bathroom" separation issues -- see below. I also drank to excess too often this week at my Cobalt hangout with my usual small crew of friends.

Dupont Circle fountain, May 28, 2008

I got into work late yesterday morning (949AM) and was reminded that regular arrival time is no later than 915AM, unless there is a problem.

Getting up is always semi-suicidal agony for me as in I just want to die half the time, esp. after a fun-drinking night when I just want to sleep until noon. But I know that's not a healthy way at all to live.

The start of Mass. Ave. at Goldsboro Rd., Glen Echo, Md., May 25, 2008, while on a drive with LP.

This morning I got to work by 908AM, but I had fallen asleep after my alarm went off at 735AM and didn't get up until 821AM. I didn't do any of my morning routines, including taking a shower, and I felt and perhaps looked like a grungy, dirty dog all day. There were also bathroom issues -- again, see below. I promise that will be tastefully written.

Walking outside in sunny, late May Bethesda at lunch hour, I caught glimpses of myself in storefront windows and I wondered when I became such an old-looking slob. Sigh.

Later, at the 17th St., NW, gayborhood Safeway, I bumped into bartender Jason, whom I rarely see anymore but who is always very sweet to me. He tried to give me a hug but I felt so grungy I had to back away. He looked nice and I told him and he graciously returned the compliment, though it is hardly true.

An illuminated blue door at night, 2100 block, S St., NW, May 27, 2008.

I got home and showered and shaved and ate some dinner and its comfortable and pleasant. My window a/c is purring away, my two lamps are turned on but it is still dim in my apt. as I like it, and my plush stuffed animals o' love (Flippo and the others) are sitting on my bed quietly. I have the TV on watching various stuff.

I watched my former demi-god, the rabidly-Hillary-hating Keith Olbermann interview Scott McClellan, a.k.a. "Scottie the Underbear" (as Bartcop called him --that phrase has been stuck in my head all day) about McClellan's new tell-all book about Bush's Iraq War lust.

And now I'm writing this entry. I also want to post a new Arcturus with the new theme. That theme will variously be political, weather, and astronomy stuff, rather than waste it on other stuff.

On an unrelated note, the Sun apparently burned the Sirius star. That's too bad and I do sincerely hope he is feeling better.

The WORST sunburn I ever got was in Florida in 1993 (or 1994) and it basically left me with some spots and freckles on my back that never went away. Everything peeled a few days later -- when I got on the flight back to BWI, my face looked like a chameleon shedding its skin. It wasn't pretty. I had spent hours frolicking in the surf in Daytona Beach in July with no suntan lotion. I learned some more respect for the Sun. And I grew up at the Jersey shore where I spent my childhood and teenage summers, but somehow I mostly managed to avoid bad burns like that one.


Exterior of Our Lady of Lourdes, Bethesda, Md., May 22, 2008

Oh, yes, my church/ bathroom issue. Here it is in brief:

The previously almost unused restroom on the floor directly below the floor where my office is located in a Bethesda office building is now being used because there is construction activity and a new tenant is moving in. In referring to bathroom / restroom use, I am referring to the sit-down activity, which is something that for me is mostly done at home. That is, I'm not talking about peeing. Got it?

I'll spare everyone the story of how that office restroom's stalls were locked and how I would slide under the stall door ... not like Larry Craig. Ha ha. Kristof thought it was funny.

Anyway, on my lunch hour I sometimes go over to Our Lady of Lourdes ("OLOL") Catholic Church located almost across the street from my office. The more Catholic - devout folks go there to mediate in the church or spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which is actually behind iron bars in a strange sort of alcoved recess locked off (there is a door built into the iron bars -- pictured above).

The Bethesda - Chevy Chase high school kids for the most part just walk past it to and from Wisconsin Ave. going wherever for lunch. I'll be glad when summer vacation comes. Too many BCC kids everywhere. They make me nervous.

Returning to OLOL, I go there occasionally just because it is so peaceful. I don't pray very well -- mostly I just bitch at GOD when I do talk to HIM.

Well, it turns out that that there is a private, lockable mens bathroom off the church entrance vestibule. It is behind two doors and with a big dead bolt that when you turn it, you know it's closed. Yay. (There is a women's restroom on the other side.) And in keeping with the church's window's decor, there are twin stained glass panels.

It's a perfect sort of bathroom. Just the right size. All the necessary and sufficient amenities and decent water pressure* and pleasant liquid soap (not the nasty smelling industrial kind) and not the wimpy kind of tp. I use all of that in great quantity. Only thing missing is baby powder. I guess I could bring some, but that would look weird.


OK, enuf of that.

The bottom line, the bathroom is well-kept and little used. Outside world sounds of traffic and people talking fill the air, unless you close the window, and then there is an odd but soothing silence punctuated by occasional water - running - in - pipes white noise.

* To paraphrase Al Bundy of Married, With Children fame: "Gimme a toilet with a manly flush! BA-ROOOSH! Not a wimpy flush ... eeeeeeeeee ..."

It's not my intention to make a habit of going there everyday -- and now that I've written this, I've NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that GOD is going to punish me and somehow that OLOL restroom will be unavailable for, like, weeks OR I'll be fired and then I can just use my home bathroom until my uncontented heart is made content -- but my stomach has been upset and agitated the past two days. And 20 or so uninterrupted, solitude-filled and otherwise unmolested minutes in there did me much good.

Selah.

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A few other items ...

As a follow-up to my April 8, 2008 Arcturus entry, based on an anonymous comment I got well after the fact and doing the Google Map street-level view (available for Montrose Ave. in Pasadena, Calif.) and looking more carefully at the opening sequence ...

... I am somewhat convinced the house is the one at or near #1059 Montrose Ave. is in fact the Mama's Family opening sequence one, though certain things have changed -- esp. the upstairs windows -- in the intervening 26 years since that opening sequence was filmed.

Type in "1059 Montrose Ave., Pasadena, CA") and it should come up with street-view (it will say "1058" but the even numbers appear to be actually on the other side of the street, which is the view you get if you type that number in.

Glad we got that cleared up.

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9400 block, Seven Locks Rd., Potomac, Md., May 25, 2008.

My full time regular salaried position where I work starts on Monday.

Sigh.

And just in time there is some new assignment that is sure to be difficult to do because it involves telephone interviewing people in private industry. I need to decide by mid - August what I want to do, but for the summer, I will sit tight.

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There is a going away party Sat. night in Herndon for an acquaintance Abby. She is moving back to Dubai. I think Kristof, Gerry, and Phil are going. I'm going to ask LP if he wants to go. Gary is away in Pennsylvania at a bowling tournament this weekend.

It's ashame that he is away because I think the sour cherries are at peak fruition this weekend. There aren't many sour cherry trees in this area, but you know when you found one.

They are tremendous.

One tree grows in particular that he and I found when its cherries were at peak two years ago is located in an overgrown, tangled Battery Kemble part of the four-named Battery Kemble - Glover Archbold Parkway just off the very strange Chain Bridge Road as the parkland slopes steeply down to MacArthur Blvd. in the Palisades section of D.C. I may go there myself.

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Finally, this weekend is the annual Glen Echo festival and I may try to go there with LP. Specifically, the Folklore Society of Greater Washington (whatever that is) is having its 28th annual Washington Folk Festival this weekend.

Ah, storied Glen Echo ...

--Regulus

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Northern Virginia Photo-Memorial Day 2008



Above: The nighttime view from the revolving Skydome lounge of the Crystal City (Arlington) Doubletree Hotel looking north into Washington, D.C., across the spaghetti maze of freeways that forms I-395 on the south and east side of the Pentagon leading toward the various spans of that jointly make up the 14th Street bridge over the Potomac River.

That's the Washington Monument toward the upper left in the distance, and on the far right side, the illuminated object is the U.S. Capitol dome (about 3-1/2 miles away).


Slappy Gerry took this picture. My cellphone pictures were all blurry, like this one here (below) of the same view that I took a bit earlier at dusk.

It takes the revolving restaurant / lounge -- the only one in the D.C. area I know of -- about an hour to revolve through 360 degrees.

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The rest of the pictures below were taken by me today and are presented in chronological order as taken during the drive through the suburban wilds of Northern Virginia that Gerry (the driver), Gary, Kristof, and I took this now-concluded May 26, Memorial Day, 2008.

Yay, a pretty little Bradford pear tree in the Ravensworth Plaza parking lot, Springfield, Va., May 26, 2008. Oh, the Bradford pear.

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We went to Kilroys at Ravensworth Plaza, a sort of hybrid Irish-American military theme restaurant, for a late lunch. The 9/11 imagery of the burning World Trade Center is a bit over the top ...

The World War I and World War II era poster reprints are captivating, though, like the ones above (captured by my blurry cellphone camera -- I really oughta get a digital camera).

You can still smoke in bars in Virginia. Boo.

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My friend Gary at Kilroys in Springfield, Va., this Monday ...

Gary had us all really laughing in the car doing his "going to an after hours party" routine, specifically, as phone calls are being made at 430AM once a club closes. ("Ah, yeah, can all 11 of us fit in your car?? We'll be there at 6AM. DJ Myyykee from the Blue Room at Bent will be showing up at 7AM to spin for a while. ")

You know, Gary would be good as a gay comedian. He's quite funny, not to mention a very good person who is one of my best friends -- and so unlike certain truly unfunny and mean so-called "A List" gay guys who really have nothing of real value to say to the world, humorous or otherwise.

Wait, where was I? Oh, yes ...

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Kristof ...

Yay!

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Gerry playing that bar trivia game with Gary.

"GERRY/GERRY/BO-BERRY/BERRY/FEE FI / MO - MERRY..."

... SCREEEEECH ...

"Get out, Regulus."


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AAAAHH!

Yours Truly, Regulus, Kilroys, Springfield, Va., May 26, 2008.

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Turning onto Little River Turnpike, Fairfax County, Va., May 26, 2008 ...

I love the name "Little River Turnpike." As for the etymology of the word "turnpike," it is here. Of course, there are no tolls or turning pikes on Little River Turnpike.

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More Little River Turnpike, westbound, Fairfax County, Va., May 26, 2008.

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Turning onto Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax, Va., May 26, 2008 ...

... that was a cop car cruiser turning in front of us.

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Random Hills Road, Fairfax Co., Va., May 26, 2008

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The tree-and-brush-overgrown lot at the intersection of Oakton Rd. and Waples Mill Rd. (Waples??), Fairfax Co., Va., May 26, 2008.

The 8 to 10 inches of rain we've head area wide this May has made everything so vibrantly green this spring season. And kept the pollen lower than normal. Yay!

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The bucolic intersection of Fox Mill Rd. and Lawyers Rd. (yes, Lawyers Rd.), Fairfax County, Va., May 26,2008.

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Fairfax County Parkway near Fair Lakes Parkway, Fairfax County, Va., May 26, 2008

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Transmission and/or cellphone towers along Fairfax County Parkway, Fairfax Co., Va., May 26, 2008

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Heading back toward D.C. on I-395, the Henry Shirley Memorial Parkway. That would be Gerry driving.

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We drove over to Gravelly Point along the Potomac River on the north side of Reagan National Airport, detouring through the airport on the way there.

Above is a picture of the control tower at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), May 26, 2008.

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When the wind is from the south or southwest, the jets do the "downriver" approach into and take-off from National Airport, and conversely, when the wind is from the north or northwest, the jets do the "upriver" approach into and departure from National Airport.

In those (nowadays rare) times I fly out of DCA, I always try to get a right side window seat in the event there is an upriver departure, and when flying into DCA, I try to get a left side window seat in the event there is a downriver arrival. This is in the hope of getting the brief, spectacular view of D.C.

I'm not sure how it works if the wind is from the northeast, east, or southeast.

(If it is an upriver approach from the south or a downriver departure to the south, it doesn't matter which side you're one.)

In any event, when the jets do the downriver approach into DCA, they come screaming in over Gravelly Point park at literally just a couple hundred feet up. This is a picture of Gary as a jet approached. That is the 2 mile distant Washington Monument. Gravelly Point Park was packed today.

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Yours Truly, Regulus, and my fat ass trying to do a flip. I've never been so fat in my life, my butt is huge. I weigh 168 pounds these days (I'm 5'7-1/2"). I really oughta go to the gym.

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Here is a picture of Kristof and Yours Truly. That distant object over Kristof's right shoulder is actually the approx. 2-1/2 mile distant U.S. Capitol dome.

Thereafter, the four of us went to the Skydome (as mentioned above). The TWO Long Island iced teas I had and the motion of the revolving restaurant made for an interesting combined effect.

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On Saturday, I spent the afternoon with my other good friend LP on the Montgomery County (suburban Maryland) side of the DC area. I took a few pictures but I'll post them later.

Three other items:

* First, I do want to say that I have not been by any of my blogger buddies blogs in a long time, and at this rate, I'm not sure when I will. I am sorry. But it's not like I'm being missed in some huge way. I guess I should appreciate those bloggers who are my regular readers than I do, by which I mean returning the favor and visiting their blogs.

*Secondly, I have to go to the eye doctor for that follow-up visit tomorrow. I really hope I don't have to do the pupil dilation thing again. Gary is taking me / picking me up. The place is in Riverdale, Md.

* Third, I still haven't updated my Arcturus blog, though I intend to do so in a few days, but I must say that I'm not feeling all affectionate these days anymore toward a certain person in particular -- that gratuitous and shitty cheap shot at my expense last week really irked me -- so why the heck should I bother. I may just turn that blog into an astronomy / weather / political commentary one. That might be a better idea.

--Regulus

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Waters of March AND May ...

**Updated July 4, 2020: Yes, 12 years after the fact, I updated this entry to remove all the "Mr. Sirius" horseshit, plus any immeidately related crap. It has been my intention to do that with all these old entries anyway.


Above: 1500 block, R St., NW, Washington, D.C., this past Sat. night. This entry is being finalized around 430AM Sun. morning (May 25th, 2008) after a very nice night at Cobalt with my favorite bartender and then at Town with Gary in what felt like a sort of weird "Old School" Nation night (circa Summer 2000) that, alas, in the end could not hold a candle to that place. Boo.

Phew. I had a very busy but overall very good week, which is why I wasn't able to update my two blogs as planned. I'm FINISHED with my coursework for my graduate program.

Today was busy with chores -- laundry, feeding Stephanie's cat, going to campus to clean out my locker and print out some stuff, grocery shopping, making dinner, and now writing entry -- that took me on route from home to Phil's place to College Park to take care of a few things, and back home that entailed several miles of walking and riding the Green Line Metro rail.

While walking, I managed to pinch a nerve in the left side of my neck. It hurts like hell and it's hard for me to turn my neck. Uh, oh. But I'm home now in my wee efficiency -- now lit by TWO lamps and the window a/c purring. I'm watching the Britcoms on MPT (they're actually on tonight). Gary is supposed to come over in a bit and we are planning on going to Cobalt.

I had to feed Stephanie's cat, Jasmine, as well as Phil's tropical fish, because Phil and Stephanie are in Paris with Chris and David until Tuesday. Stephanie and David have both lived in France (David is from there). Phil lives a few blocks from me now in D.C. near Belmont and 17th St., NW, across the street from the Meridian International Center.


Above is a picture of the Meridian International Center as seen from the 1600 block of Crescent Pl., NW. Here the Web site to the place. Almost every night there is some event going on there.

Last night, when I went there around 1130PM before going to Cobalt. Jasmine (pictured here) is a cat who was never socialized and is somewhat crazy. She hissed and cat-growled, and made to lunge, swatting at me, her ears back. All I was doing was trying to put food in her bowl. Jasmine looks like "Bucky" in the comic strip "Get Fuzzy."

Today, Jasmine was much less neurotic and only hissed once.

As it is, except for my dad's 18 year old cat, Pyewackett down in Florida, I'm more of a dog person.


The ASTONISHING change at the corner of Irving St., NW, and 14th St., NW. This FINALLY transitioned from boom-boxed, blown-out ghetto wasteland EVER SINCE the MLK Jr. assassination riots that destroyed the neighborhood -- to what you see today.

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Tomorrow, I'm spending the day with LP in Montgomery Co., Maryland, hopefully driving about. I want to visit Garrett Park and Washington Grove, two interesting suburban tree-filled suburban enclaves. On Monday (which I have off), Gerry and I (and maybe Gary and Kristof) may take one of our drives about the suburban wilds of Northern Virginia. I have my eye doctor follow-up appt. on Tuesday and I return to work on Wednesday. My job transitions to a full-time salaried one with benefits the following Monday (June 1).

This is my third master's degree (!), but this one so far is working out the best.


Yesterday evening, we had an office happy hour and dinner in Bethesda (where I work) at Black's Bar & Kitchen on the firm's tab.

There are several Black's in the Maryland suburbs, including Black's Bar & Kitchen (Bethesda), Black Market Bistro (Garrett Park), Blacksalt (MacArthur Blvd., Wash. D.C.), and Addie's (Rockville). The Bethesda one includes a raw bar.

My boss and the founder of the firm were there, as well as four of my co-workers. It was the second Friday in a row where I was part of a $450 to $500 dinner on someone else's tab (!).

Last week, it was at Cafe Japone on P St., NW, with Phil and others that also included a show at The Improv on Connecticut Ave., where we saw a real(ly funny) comedian, John Pinette

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OK!


If you want to get a glimpse of Reagan era American optimism that even a mal - content such as me can appreciate and be moved by, read on ...

Below is an approx. 1 min. YouTube clip of what I consider to be one of the best advertisements of the 1980s. It is one of the "Coke Is It!" ads. I believe there were a number of such ads from the mid-1980s.

This one is from 1985 (when I was but 15 years old) and the ad lyrics are set to the tune of the wonderful bossa nova tune by Antonio Carlos Jobim entitled Waters of March except this is in the form of a power rock ballad style (of the 1980s "hair bands") that was popular at the time.

This ad was filmed in 1985 when the Statue of Liberty was in scaffolding for renovations ahead of her 1986 centennial. That is relevant to the NEXT point

At 11 sec. into the video, you will see a small girl on a beach ("... it's a girl on a beach ...") followed by Statue of Liberty imagery. 

This is TOTALLY an "answer" to the Planet of the Apes apocalyptic movie of the time in which the ruins of the Statue of Liberty rises out of the ocean in that legendary scene.

In other words, by contrasting a small girl on a beach with the Statue of Liberty in that final scene, you are getting the "answer" from 1985 to nearly a generation earlier in 1968: America's best days are AHEAD of her!

The space shuttle imagery ("IT IS TOTALLY NOW!") is my favorite -- and all the more bitterly ironic because it was just months before the unnecessary Challenger disaster.



--Regulus

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On second (and third) thought ...

UPDATED: I decided to (re)post a slightly revised version of the previous entry after all 'cuz the whole thing is bugging me.

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... I have decided to take down, at least for now, my May 20, 2008 entry "Local Comedian Mr. Sirius Speaks" that was my reply, as it were, to the hateful and wholly gratuitous comments he made about me in his current blog entry.

--Regulus

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Local Comedian Mr. Sirius Speaks

**This is a slightly revised version of the original entry, which I've decided to (re)post after all.**

The following was posted earlier today by Mr. Sirius on his new blog, "IMJUSTGOD!.COM"

It concerns the audience reaction to his stand up performance at Nellies at a Sunday bachelor show, which by his own admission, wasn't very good. There was a Craig's List posting that said something to the effect "you sucked, but you’re hot, let’s get a drink." He then speculated on who may have written it, and added the following:

"or it could very well be my stalker Unstable Mabel who managed to sneak his way in to Nellies on Sunday night."

Just a few thoughts ...

First (place), I wasn't even going to mention on my blog his performance, but since I was so uncharitably referenced, I guess I have a green light to do so, esp. since I don't know what kind of comments that might elucidate on his blog from his friends and fans. Let's get one thing clear: I DID NOT post that on Craig's List. I've never even used Craig's List. Furthermore, I've attempted no communication with him since March 2006.

Second (chance), I did nothing wrong by going to Nellies to watch that bachelor's auction.

He only wrote what he did because some of his friends and fans were there, and in the event I was recognized, he just wanted to be able to say I somehow had to "sneak" my way in. As he has on a few occasions before, he just made stuff up about me, my actions, and my motives.

Third (way), his act left a few things to be desired, particularly invoking the fact someone he was once close to got cancer. No one laughed and he was reduced to saying, "People laughed the last time I said it!"

I'm sorry, but that really has very little value as humor. By contrast, the late actress and comedian Gilda Radner could do it precisely because it was she who suffered cancer, not her ex-boyfriend.


Of course, it may just be the case that his act isn't really about humor but about himself, a key distinction that unfortunately may very well be lost on him. And how classy and responsible is it to blame the audience? (That's essentially what he did in his entry despite saying otherwise.)


Fourth (dimension), his total disdain of me only seems to grow in time despite the fact I do nothing to him and very rarely see him. Let me say here and now that I don't love him anymore and not seeing him is a relief. Doesn't this therefore make me a strange sort of stalker?

Fifth (element), he looks like a body builder these days, but I guess that's the look he wants. No, it's not bad, but he's just so big.

Sixth (sense), I always knew we lived in different worlds, but I also always assumed he was a nice person. Not I'm not so sure. Instead, he seems to be rapidly becoming that which he has been calling so many other people on his blog lately. Maybe he always was and I just didn't see it.

I don't need that kind of person in my life saying those kinds of things about me. Mr. Sirius can take his contempt of me and those lies about me, not to mention his Milky Way Galaxy - spanning ego, and go to that place he once said on his old, old blog that (in his own words) he said his "cold-hearted" self was on his way to.

Seventh and last (day), I was wrong ever to become attached to him. I may have done some bad things in this whole situation, but I deserve so much better, to be treated like a decent human being with feelings and worth, and not callously labeled and dehumanized as a worthless sociopath and semi-criminal. Maybe that was the lesson all along. It just had to take place through my weak spot -- an outwardly beautiful boy with a very cold heart.


--Regulus

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Regulus' Blog Improv: Tragedy, Comedy, & Hippopotamy


Updated slightly (4 AM EDT, May 18, 2008): See below as noted.

Picture of a sunset along the beach in Krabi (sometimes spelled Krabbi or Khrabi), Thailand that I got off the internet.

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There is a lot I have to do, including finishing the edits to the group report for my environmental project course and I have to write up -- by midnight Wednesday (that's 11:59PM Tuesday, although folks will insist on referring to that as "midnight Tuesday") -- a 20+ page final report for my international environmental treaties course. I have taken Monday off from work and I have Tuesdays off anyway and I'll just dedicate both days to composing it.

The full time regular position at work starts on June 2nd.

At some point I will have to explain the ironic financial incentive I have to remain in school in the 2008-2009 academic year because of my extreme student loan situation.

If I could figure out how to work full time and somehow take 4 credits of a 600-level class, I would be golden. I may not be able to do it. I was able to get a waiver for the 1 credit requirement (a student needs to be registered for at least one credit in the semester in which he or she graduates from UMCP) if I opt to go ahead and graduate in December 2008. That 1 credit would cost $750 in all.

I also want to relate some of my doings the past few days.

Finally, I want to write this blog entry. The very act of composing this blog entry -- it requires several hours. I also want to put together an entry for my Arcturus blog in time for that crappy "4th anniversary" related to Mr. Sirius.

Speaking of Mr. Sirius, it turns out he is according to at least one press account, a D.C. "local gay comedian," or so said a recent article in our weekly gay newspaper about an unrelated event he is hosting tomorrow night.

Local gay comedian. Well, I suppose he has some talent for doing stand up comedy. (I've seen his YouTube clip of his act from last year and something he hosted at Cobalt last year.)

In general, though, young and pretty gay guys don't do comedy very well. Why? Well, I try to explain below. Please note that I'm NOT saying ANY of this applies to him, since ultimately, I don't really know Mr. Sirius at all.

I think young gay guys are not good at the kind of comedy others (outside their social group) want to hear because they often don't see themselves in proper perspective to the larger world, both in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. A combination of being self - absorbed and needing constantly to create perceptions of who and what they are, often by contrasting themselves in a zero-sum game to others in the world, is not good for that kind of comedic genius.

The problem is that is in order to be the kind of humorist or comedian that others really relate to, you have at some level to be able to make fun of yourself, at least in part, and to see your own personal weaknesses.

Gay guys, esp. young and pretty ones, intentionally avoid seeing their weaknesses, and so they don't see how these weaknesses generate conflict with the wider world that, once realized and retold in a way in which others can relate to it, become the basis of humor. I'm not saying ALWAYS it has to be like this, but if it's only "I'm great and everyone else is shit," well, folks aren't going to pay to hear that.

Two points: (1) It is true that with life experience that sometimes changes, and (2) Lesbians, by contrast, seem to flourish at stand up comedy.


It is true that charisma, presence, timing, confidence are all important as a stand-up comic (maybe not so much as a humorist writer), but they are just the package, as it were. You can throw in looks and body, and well that's great, too, it still doesn't make a good comedian for the long haul.

My own view is that there has to be a touch of tragedy under - pinning comedy. What The Wash. Post TV critic Tom Shales wrote in a March 14, 2000 article about the great 1950s TV show The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows -- "comedy drenched in sorrow, and therefore true to life" -- is absolutely true.

The bottom line is that real or alleged A-lister travails in life because the world is (perceived to be) filled with so many losers, crazies, uglies, and otherwise worthless humans, has a very limited shelf life as humor, no matter how many F-bombs are dropped or how many straight, drunken girls are in the audience. People aren't gonna pay money to hear that.

Speaking of Jackie "The Great One" Gleason, his Ralph Kramden Honeymooners character also once made the wonderful observation to his friend Ed Norton's wife Trixie when she said she had theatre experience: "Yeah, but there's a big difference between a STAGE and a RUNWAY!"

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Speaking of comedians, last night Phil, Stephanie, Gary, and I along with Becky and Wayne went to the D.C. Improve where we saw a really and truly funny comedian, John Pinette.

John Pinette is a large man, and his size is the basis for so many of his jokes because so many things flow from it. He actually lost a great deal of weight from an enormous size.

As an aside, Pinette was the fat man featured in the final Seinfeld episode who the cast sees getting mugged and their failure to help him -- instead they just mock him -- lands them in jail for violating a good Samaritan law. I always thought that was an appropriate ending for that series, which I never liked. I couldn't get beyond Jerry Seinfeld's arrogant, sneering look and lackluster acting.

I actually met Mr. Pinette after the show. He was signing autographs. I just handed him a blank piece of paper -- I didn't buy his CD -- on the front of which was printed up a menu. He turned it over and saw that and I was worried he thought I was making fun of him.

He wrote: "To [Regulus] You Go Now! Best Wishes, John Pinette."

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Bethesda, Md., sky vista, May 16, 2008 around 615PM.

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Prior to this, we had gone to Cafe Japone on P St., NW, along with Chris T. and Aimee. There is a story there, too, including a $440 bill that Phil covered and a hot, straight, but arrogant waiter who I ended up having some words with just before we left to head over to the Improv.

Of note, after the Improv, as we walked up Connecticut Ave., toward Dupont Circle, Phil and I managed to scale the statue of a seated Henry Wadsworth Longfellow located by M St., NW, and 18th St., NW. Gary and I then went to Cobalt.

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Looking up Connecticut Ave., NW, at R St., NW, around 745PM, May 16, 2008.

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Today, I had lunch with my mom and Ray at Applebee's in College Park. Our usual 94th Aero Squadron place by the College Park Airport was overrun with families for a graduation event. I then walked via University Park to Prince George's Plaza, where I bought some needed new t-shirts, underwear (boxer briefs), and socks, as well as two shirts.

I'm meeting Aime tomorrow for lunch in Silver Spring. Tomorrow night, I'm not sure.

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Political Detour -- Part I

Ha ha

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Weather Update: Area Precipitation Stats

We continue to do very well with rainfall (precip.) this season even as the pattern has mostly remained seasonable to a bit below normal -- rather than WAY, WAY FRICKIN' above normal, as is so standard these days.

Through 5PM EDT today, DCA is at 8.57" for May month-to-date, or +6.51" above normal and +7.12" above May 2007 through this point. For year-to-date, DCA is at 21.83" or +7.56" above normal.

The BWI numbers are 6.77" for May month-to-date or +4.68" above normal and +5.87" above May 2007 through this point.

For IAD, numbers are 8.34" for May month-to-date or +6.08" above normal and +8.12" above May 2007 through this point. Recall IAD had a record dry year last year. For year-to-date, IAD is at 20.97" or +6.12" above normal.


The long-wave pattern -- as reflected in this 60 hour forecast for 500mb heights and vorticity over North America -- featuring a trough over eastern North America and a ridge over the western U.S. (with extreme heat and rapid snow melt in the mountains) should continue for the next 3 to 4 days, keeping the mid-Atlantic a bit cool.

ANYTHING that keeps the D.C. summer season shitty heat and humidity AND rainless drought at bay is fine with me.

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Political Detour -- Part II

Below is appended a column by writer Gene Lyons about the Hillary hatred out there coming from the hateful liberal Democratic base, the mainstream media whores and bullies, and the netroots thought police. I have a lot of political commentary I'd like to write, but instead I'll just append the piece. It sort of sums up how I feel.

Lyons co-wrote with Joe Conason THE definitive account of the effort to destroy the Clintons by the rightwing GOP hate machine in The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton published in 2000. Now the hate comes from the left.

Clinton navigates ‘perfect storm’ of naysayers
by Gene Lyons
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 14, 2008

Source here. I inserted some paragraph breaks in this version.

It’s long been my opinion that if Hillary Clinton could be appointed president,nobody could do the job better.

I couldn't agree more with Lyons.

In a parliamentary system, she’d stand an excellent chance of becoming prime minister, since political parties tend to select leaders more on the basis of competence than the dubious skills of a game show host.

Amen. But America doesn't have a parliamentary system and what's more, it tends to be stupid, so the wrong people usually win.

Like Al Gore, Clinton is seen by friends as warm, funny and empathetic. She does better in small groups and town hall-type events than in large arenas. Also like Gore, she’s motivated more by duty than most politicians. Unfriendly eyes see her determination as “entitlement.” Misogyny runs deeper in American culture than many admit; brainy women are seen as unnatural.

The camera doesn’t love her the way it loves Sen. Barack Obama. Too, her candidacy has labored under the manifest dis - advantage of the Beltway media’s unreasoning hatred of her husband, the virulence of which continues to amaze. In Arkansas, some think it’s rooted in resentment that some smooth-talking, white-trash hayseed from the American outback could become president. In Washington, it’s whispered that her unresponsiveness to certain socially prominent hostesses made them loathe her.

Who knows? There’s no denying that her candidacy has encountered what a friend calls a “perfect storm” of progressive idealists merging with Clinton-hating celebrity courtiers in the “mainstream” media. And yet she keeps chugging along like the Little Engine That Could, defying increasingly shrill demands to quit.

Weeks before the Indiana primary, Obama described it as the potential tiebreaker. Then he went out and lost it. Nevertheless , all but openly gloating, NBC’s Tim Russert took it upon himself to announce, “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it.”

Reaction among some Obama supporters was less polite.

“It’s high time,” wrote John Aravosis on americablog. com, “the Superdelegates told the Clintons to take their sorry, scandal-ridden asses and get the hell out. We are going to have another month of these vindictive, racist losers destroying Obama’s credibility with the very voters he is going to need in the fall to beat [John ] McCain.”

Avarosis is a gay netroots blogger who lives right here in D.C., and like so many of the other big netroots bloggers, not to mention Olbermann, fell so in love with Obama while coming down with Andrew Sullivan anti-Clinton Deranged Syndrome.

Clinton didn’t help herself with an infelicitous demographic allusion, citing an Associated Press story “that found how Senator Obama’s support... among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again.”

This prompted even so normally sensible an observer as my good friend Joe Conason to compare her to George Wallace. So did New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, who’s been fanning the racial flames since Obama’s New Hampshire loss. This because under the politically correct rules of engagement preferred by the Obama camp, only the Illinois senator gets to make ex cathedra observations about such ticklish matters as race and class, which must be treated as infallible. Pundits like Herbert and The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson have been chattering about the so-called “Bradley effect” ever since New Hampshire, but the Clinton camp must not.

Why not ? Because contrary to conventional wisdom, it wasn’t the Clintons who “racialized” the campaign at all. It was the Obama campaign, seemingly for the sake of galvanizing African American voters in must-win South Carolina. (See Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s article, “Race Man: How Barack Obama Played the Race Card and Blamed Hillary Clinton,” in The New Republic. )

The problem, however, is that tactic, along with the crackpot effusions of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s deeply unpersuasive claim that he knew nothing about them, transformed his candidacy. Many citizens who would vote for an African American without a second thought are put off by a candidate who makes race the central issue of his campaign. Winning tactic, losing strategy.

Screaming “racist” at people -- I’ve received a grand total of two e-mails from Obama supporters that didn’t -- only makes things worse. Real bigots don’t care, while Clinton supporters increasingly resent the accusation. (My skin’s thicker than most. ) Most also think it’s a foolhardy way to avoid discussing the realities of the Electoral College, which is what Clinton was trying to do.

Regardless of why working - class white voters don’t support Obama, no Democrat can win without them. Can anybody name two states that Obama can win that John Kerry lost in 2004?

Supporters normally duck the question with effusive references to massive voter turnout, which the blogger “Anglachel” parodies: For all the “crowing about what a superdoublewidefantastic party organization The Precious has built, how it’s cool and digital and virtual and full of lots and lots of bloggers and money.... All of which makes me go so where were those voters in Indiana? Pennsylvania?...

His efforts didn’t make a difference for him in Ohio, Texas, Massachusetts or California.... The fact is that the contest this year as such, not just Obama, is bringing out a huge number of voters, and half of them are voting for Hillary.” Meanwhile, I’m hearing increasing numbers of Clinton supporters, passionate Democrats all, say they cannot vote for Obama. And that’s a very worrying sign.

Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award.

Copyright 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved

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Ha ha

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I think that's all for now. Kristof is coming over soon and we are going to Cobalt. I actually don't feel that well tonight. I have a headache and feel a bit dizzy and flush, but it could just be from sitting in from of this computer for so long.

UPDATED: I went to Cobalt with Kristof and I'm back home now. It wasn't the best night in the world BUT it was packed in an old-school sorta way because of a special DJ who was "spinning" there. The music sounded like Nation back in the day. My favorite bartender was there and he sure is looking buff and attractive, but I'm not going to go there. I've created enuf difficulties for myself vis-a-vis bartenders in years gone by and I know better.

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P.S. On a hippopotamus note ...

Yes, this is an actual photo. It comes from Haller Park, a zoological preserve in Mombasa, Kenya and was taken in 2005. It features a baby hippo named Owen snuggled up to Mzee, a male Aldabra giant tortoise estimated to be 100 to 130 years old.

Owen lost his mother in the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of Dec. 26, 2004 as the wave train reached the African coastline, going up the Sabaki River, where he was battered around and lost his mother. He adopted Mzee -- "wise old man" in Swahili -- as his surrogate mother, at least for a while. Yay. Zoo officials moved Mzee from the enclosure and paired Owen with a female hippo named Cleo, who apparently is kind of a bitch. Boo.

Here is a happy photo montage of Owen and Mzee and other images from Kenya set to the song "What the world needs now is love."



Sigh.

My next update, barring something noteworthy, probably won't be until Wednesday or Thursday.

--Regulus