Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Take, Take Me Home, 'Cuz I Don't Remember ... "


Sigh. The Na Pali (or Napali) coast on the island of Kauai.

This is the place to go with one's true beloved, rather than a $1.98 romance at Coney Island / Staten Island, but whatever. Just sayin' ...

STATEN ISLAND. The unlikely borough of New York City, and located in Richmond County. ("Richmond" -- the Virginia capital of the old Confederacy)

Did I ever mention that my Polish grandmother -- my mom's mom -- lived on Henry Street in South Amboy, N.J., in a house where my mom grew up and my (gay) uncle STILL lives, and from whose porch, you could see a faraway towering church steeple in "Tottenville" on Staten Island while at night, from her second (main) floor, you could see the lights of Brooklyn even while looking out in the direction of Sandy Hook Bay toward that part of New Jersey whence I am from.

She lived just beyond the farthest most lower left hand corner of the above map on the Jersey side.
It's hard for me to talk about this and I can't begin to explain it. I get emotional.

God is angry at me because -- earlier today and the past few weeks -- of my horrendous blasphemy when I get mad, but I'm not going to go there now.

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Phil Collins' "Take Me Home" ... It's for my beautiful sweetheart of a boy, Mr. Sirius ...



Please watch if you can. I LOVE the last line ("You've been down at the pub!"). Brilliant. The video is about 6 minutes long, but well worth it.

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OK, I'm tryin' to get a few of my boys (LIKE SINATRA!) to go to a CERTAIN FRIDAY NIGHT EVENT whose link is here (please scroll down a bit to the calendar and look at Aug. 1, 2008).

Yay!


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In the meantime, I've been obsessed with The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, published in 1985 and made into a move -- that features that crazy bitch Faye Dunaway! -- in 1990. It's all about life in the post - apocalyptic Republic of Gilead. Boo.

I find this whole dystopian story endlessly fascinating, although The New York Times book review Feb. 1986 from the time did not.

Boo.

If you want the whole story, it's pretty much here.

Sigh.

I'm confused.

Anyway, I think I'm gonna end this entry early now, Sweet Pea, and I'm going to bed.

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Wait, let me post a few political images ...

Ha ha...

Stevens' indictment is the first serious one (other than a rather bogus one against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 1993) since "Abscam" in 1980. Related to Abscam -- a sort of parody of a scandal in its way -- one of these days, I'll explain the "I know Abscam Joe" t-shirts circa summer 1981 or '82 worn by, among others, my grandpa and my dad at the now-vanished Trade Winds Beach Club in Sea Bright, N.J.

My grandparents were friends with "Abscam" Joe and his wife, Dee.


If you want to know about Abscam (or ABSCAM) read
here, including here about Joe "Abscam" Silvestri and the house at 4407 W Street, N.,W., in the Palisades part of D.C.

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At least the war criminal enablers on the WaHoPo Editorial Board and that war criminal himself Mr. Kissinger are happy about their Iraq-Nam catastrophe. Fred Hiatt and his gang (including former members such as Sebastian Mallaby), not to mention the Graham family, are complicit in war crimes and if there is any justice -- do I even have to finish that sentence?? -- will someday be put on trial at The Hague.

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Ha ha.

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--Regulus

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Legend of Sleepy Regulus OR Castle of D.C. Indolence


Pennsylvania Ave., NW, at 13th St., NW, Washington, D.C., at dusk, July 28, 2008

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The Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., July 28, 2008

"A pleasing land of drowsy head it was,
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye;
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
Forever flushing round a summer sky."

-- The Castle of Indolence, James Thomson, 1748, quoted by Washington Irving in the opening lines of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 1820

The Washington Monument at dusk, July 28, 2008

Sigh. I'm very tired. I need to sleep. Just let me leave here, Dear God.

--Regulus

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hippo Unbounded and WaPo Comments Redounded


Flippo ... Plush Baby Hippo - Universal Mind Unlimited & Unbounded ...

Speak, Baby Hippo, Speak!

The green-and-white striped plush baby monkey next to Flippo is Randy. I have 8 stuffed animals in all.


Still more pictures of Flippo, the Flower of Plush Baby Hippo-dom ...

Hmmm.

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Today is a quiet Sunday at home, although a line of thunderstorms just swept across the Wash. D.C. area, and that's (to paraphrase Martha Stewart) a good thing. We like summer rain.

Here is the radar mosaic image for the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. at 1818 UTC (218PM EDT), July 27, 2008. Note the line of thunderstorms stretching from D.C. to NYC and into southern New England. The Appalachian Mountains help enhance these lines sometimes with "lee side troughs," but I don't quite recall how they work.

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Here is the link to a Washington Post story about Obama's whirlwind Afghanistan / Iraq / Europe trip and whether it will help him or not in the presidential campaign against Grandpa McSame. In what was a lucky occurrence, I posted the very first comment the comment section here around 1030PM last night. There are as of now 600 comments (and counting).

I am "Arcturus." Click on the "last page" link at the bottom. Because I wrote a pro-Obama comment, I have 25 recommendations (so far), a record for any of my comments (most of which would probably be classified as "flame-throwing," with the WaHoPo.com comment moderator actually deleting one once. The 25 is, so far, the most for any comment linked to this story.

Yay, I'm great. LP said, "You're on top in your own little corner of the internet."

Ha ha.

That's all for now. I'm meeting Gerry and Gary for a late lunch in a little while.

--Regulus

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Summer Evening Downpour

Hi Everybody ...

The Starbucks in Bethesda, Md., at the corner of Norfolk Ave. and Woodmont Ave., July 24, 2008

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Just a (truly) quick update. Here are a few images of the drenching deluge that swept over D.C. and environs last night, although there was a lot less rainfall west of here.

Last night's D.C. deluge as seen from Cobalt looking out onto 17th St., NW, July 23, 2008

Official airport totals for the event were 1.09" at DCA (National) and a whopping 2.46" at BWI, but IAD (Dulles) 20+ miles west of D.C. got only 0.35". We're well ahead for the year, esp. at DCA.

Here were the storm clouds gathering last night as seen at the corner of 17th and S St., NW, Washington, D.C, at summer dusk, July 23, 2008.

Again, I apologize for not commenting on my Blogger Buddy blogs. There is more I want to post. Just a couple quick points...

More storm clouds gathering as seen from 17th St., NW, outside Cobalt, Washington, D.C., July 23, 2008

I've decided for the time being to move all my blogging activities to this my Regulus blog and let my Arcturus blog remain dormant, although I'm keeping all the content on it. I put too much effort into it and and there is too much stuff on it for me to get rid of it.

A fountain outside the Chevy Chase Building, Bethesda, Md., July 24, 2008

My boss is away for the next 3 weeks starting Monday. I have to decide how I am going to approach the going back to school plan I have. I've decided to try to keep the full time job and take two classes, but the best I can do so far in terms of scheduling classes so far is to need to leave an hour early on Wednesdays. At the place I work, this could actually be "an issue" -- I was turned down in my request to work from home just one day over the next three weeks.

If the answer is no, my second plan is to go back to 4 days a week hourly. If the answer to that is no, then I may have to quit the job and get another one. Sigh. Well, at the very least I can sleep in more. I don't have to make any decisions until Aug. 20th or so.

More deluge images as seen from Cobalt at the corner of 17th and R St., NW (this is R St. looking onto 17th St.), Washington, D.C., July 23, 2008

Kristof and I had a nice Thai dinner at Bua's on P St. on Tuesday night (and it's half price bottle of wine night there). True, Bua's is at the edge of the Mr. Sirius Forbidden / Exclusion Zone (bounded by 17th, 16th, P and Q Streets, NW, and, gee, I'm sorta really tired of the whole D.C. gayborhood) but I'll make an exception for Bua's. Tonight, I had a nice dinner at Bangkok Garden in Bethesda -- yet another Thai restaurant -- with Quill and LP.

Here is the inside of Bangkok Garden restaurant in Bethesda, Md., July 24, 2008, but from a different perspective than I have posted before, away from all the statuary and makeshift shrines 'n' stuff that makes the small place so cozy.

I didn't take any pictures of LP or Quill.

I had a bit of a shock, though, when Quill showed me pictures she has of me on her iPod -- that she got off my blog(s) and stretching back to well before my blogging era -- and I saw how startlingly and appallingly I've aged in the past 6 to 12 months.

It's not pretty. Something may be wrong with me. I may be dying. Or I'm just getting old and really out of shape and hideous looking.

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The view from the window at Bangkok Garden looking onto St. Elmo Ave., across the street to Rock Bottom (love that name) restaurant and pub.

Altocumulus clouds in the sky at the corner of 16th and Corcoran Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., July 22, 2008, behind the Church of the Holy City. This just happens -- and here is some more D.C. street grid system trivia -- to be the 1600 block of 16th St. and 1600 block of Corcoran St., located between Q and R Streets, NW.

One of the flame-shaped English elm trees that grow along 16th St., this one at the intersection of P St., NW, Washington, D.C., July 23, 2008, as I walked to Bua's.

Well, that's pretty much all I had to say. My planned next update will be over the weekend. I'm already way late going to bed, and I so need my sleep. Zzzzzz...

--Regulus

Monday, July 21, 2008

A River Runs Through It

This is the entry I had planned to post yesterday. It features some weekend pictures of me (other than standing in the Dupont Circle fountain) and my doings. I'll start with the Sunday pictures first.

Here is the view from Fort Washington Park, an old military garrison from Revolutionary War times all the way through the Civil War (as a Union defense of the Capital) and still with a military function to World War I, but now turned into a peaceful National Park Service Park about 13 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C. This is the view looking to the west at and beyond the Potomac River.

This is where the Potomac River -- as seen in this blurry map image to the left -- makes a big bend to the west on its lazy, turgid way to the Chesapeake Bay.

The river is pretty cloudy and brackish and of questionable cleanliness. There are tides here -- anything below Great Falls just upstream of D.C. is part of the Tidal Potomac -- but the water is mostly "fresh," so to speak. The salt wedge / intrusion is farther south.

George Washington's Mount Vernon estate is located on the Virginia side of the river.

I am reposting a section of my lead picture with a purple circle encompassing what I believe to be the spot where Mount Vernon is located.

One tree in particular seems to stand out: the giant (140' or so tall) pecan tree that grows within 115 feet of Washington's mansion.

It had a companion pecan tree that was cut down in March 2004 after being damaged by Hurricane Isabel in Sept. 2003.

The two trees were probably planted at some point in the 1860s. I had -- incorrectly -- thought that both dated to Washington's lifetime.

As an aside, this undated photo (taken probably in November, judging by the trees) below that I got off the internet shows what I believe to be the surviving pecan tree in question. There is actually a cluster of very tall trees relatively close to the house.

Here is a link to a picture of the second pecan tree when it was being removed. Boo.

As for finding that chalet structure I mentioned in my previous entry, see below.

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I'm home right now 930PM Monday, typically my most depressed night of the week. My extreme depressive agony is lifting slightly, but still this photo entry will be intersperse with my entry with some of my usual cheery lamenting. Sigh.

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The intersection of the 900 block of Kenilworth Ave., NE, and 4200 block of the excessively named Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave., NE, in a shuka-boom, shuka-boom, SHUKA-BOOM boxed, ghetto-wasted, Bad-Ass Crackton Heights* section of Northeast Washington, D.C. , July 20, 2008

*Actually, it's called the Deanwood area of D.C.

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Gary, Gerry, Carl, and I started on our road trip around 330PM on Sunday.

In the car on I-295, the Anacostia Freeway, Washington, D.C., July 20, 2008

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Ah, St. Barnabas Road. That's one of my favorite place names in the D.C. area, although that part of Prince George's County is pretty slummy awful. This is at Exit 4 of the Capital Beltway in / near Oxon Hill, Maryland, July 20, 2008.

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Lunch at Five Guys Burgers & Fries fast food restaurant in Clinton, Md. The cheeseburger I had was very good. This shovel-ful of greasy French Freedom French fries was just a side dish.

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Old Branch Ave. and Schultz Road, Clinton, Md., July 20, 2008. This picture was actually taken a bit before the lunch one. We turned around here to go back.

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Nu Look 1 Hour Cleaners, Clinton, Md., July 20, 2008

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A house along Brandywine Road, near Clinton, Md., July 20, 2008. Slummy ghetto inner Prince George's County begins to give way to old time rural P.G. County / Maryland.

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A house along Groveton Drive, Clinton, Md., July 20, 2008

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The Battery Decatur ruins at Fort Washington Park, July 20, 2008

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Here is the view looking north up the turgid Potomac River toward Washington, D.C., located about 13 miles away and visible -- except not resolvable in my lousy cellphone picture. As an aside, the address of Fort Washington Park is actually 13551 Fort Washington Road, and that "13551" number reflects the fact it is still on the D.C. address grid, specifically, 135 blocks "south" of the U.S. Capitol. Yay.

There were lots of poorer folks -- Hispanic and African American folks -- picnicking underneath the trees by the river. Some people were even swimming in the river.

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An old house on the grounds of Fort Washington Park, July 20, 2008. It was frickin' hot as hell (lower 90sF) with blazing sunshine.

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As for the chalet structure I wanted to find ...

... standing on the slabs of broken cement and rock jutting into the turgid Potomac by the fenced off little light house, I actually saw it about a mile or two to the south, set in the foliage of the ridge toward Piscataway Park.

We never made it to Piscataway Park, which is where I had wanted to go but we didn't bring a map and the TomTom GPS System -- we dubbed her "(Sister) Bubbles" as she kept talking and talking -- just wasn't up to the job. And Gerry was kinda lost in Maryland, as opposed to the Commonwealth of Virginia ...

As it is I believe that chalet is actually a private house. It faces due north up the Potomac River and on a decently clear day, the folks who live there can see the small, white spike of the Washington Monument, the white speck of the Jefferson Memorial, and the graceful new span of the Wilson Bridge, and the more distant (approx. 20 miles away) but much bigger Washington National Cathedral on its high spot.

I've done Google map / terrain searches over and over, but I can't locate a candidate house. I originally saw it once on a Potomac boat ride with my mom some years ago.

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Later, we went to the Double Tree Skydome revolving restaurant in Crystal City (Arlington), Va., July 20, 2008

We ran up a $94 bill on Long Island ice teas and margaritas. I had two L.I.'s. Oh, I forgot, I owe Gerry $10 still.

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This image actually shows a distant thunderstorm that the setting Sun was sinking behind. This particular storm -- which I saw on the radar on Carl's new iPhone -- was located about 80 miles to the west over Winchester, Va. That there was any t-storm activity was unexpected.

I don't know what that smudge in the picture is. There were all these spiders on the outside of the Skydome's windows, and webs galore, and in a few cases, mortal combat as captured insects struggled vainly to break free.

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Another image of aforementioned distant thunderstorm, its small, neatly formed anvil head fringed by the Sun behind it. The revolving part of the restaurant had revolved a bit (clockwise), so the windows and storm appear farther behind.

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Here is a picture of Carl as the main view of downtown D.C. slowly swept by. It looks like the Washington Monument is about to go up his nose.

We also had quite the view of National Airport (barely a mile away) with the jets landing and taking off.

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The main line of t-storms really didn't hold together, but a smaller line formed in front of it, and here are the approaching clouds. Actually, in the end, it didn't rain at all at National Airport (DCA) while Dulles some 25 miles to the west had 0.03" and BWI some 30 miles to the northeast up toward Baltimore had a short thunderstorm (0.24").

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Here was a "shelf cloud" -- not to be confused with a (detached) roll cloud -- although both are "arcus clouds" associated with the outflow from a thunderstorm, as opposed to the rear side "wall cloud" associated with a tornado. This was taken as we left the hotel in Crystal City (Arlington, Va.)

We went to Cobalt thereafter. There were a few drops of rain and some lightning to the northeast, but that was about it.

This concludes my Sunday pictures.

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As an aside, I am SO FRICKIN' sick of seeing that grotesque "Joker" image played by the late Heath Ledger in this stupid Batman movie which I haven't the SLIGHTEST intention of seeing. That fucking image is EVERYWHERE in the media and I've had it. Who the fuck would go around looking like that in real life? That's a question seeking no answer. I don't care.

OK, got that out of the way.

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The following are just a couple Saturday pictures.

A jet on final approach into Reagan Washington National Airport on Saturday evening (July 19, 2008) passing over Gravelly Point and my friend Gary.

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Looking from Gravelly Point down the axis of the main runway of National Airport earlier today. There is a distant cumulonimbus cloud that was a thunderstorm located about 70 miles to the south over Westmoreland County, Virginia along the Rappahannock River. Oh, yes, this blurry cellphone picture includes an exceptionally large black man standing as the leftmost person in the cluster of people on the right. He was a BIG man, maybe 500 pounds.

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Actually, that's all I had to post from Saturday.

I've been unhappy with this blog and keeping it up. Ditto my Arcturus one, which I need to update because I want to write about the death of Joseph Dwyer. I think that's worth an entry. I will try to have that posted tomorrow.

My blog readership is negligible except for a few faithful readers for which I am very grateful, and I have been unable to visit some of their blogs, for which I am sorry.

As some of you may know, I started the whole blogging thing as a weird sideshow that was based on an unhealthy obsession with what turned out to be a figment of my imagination, itself based on a person who never actually existed and never could have in the way that I thought.

The expanding gaseous shock front from a Type IA supernova that detonated 8,000+ years ago in the direction of the Southern constellation Lupus and that was visible in AD 1006 from the skies of Earth. Source here

It was all in my imagination.

Oh, that's not to say there isn't an actual person to whom I have applied the name "Mr. Sirius" but in real life that person -- much like the historical Shakespeare? -- had nothing to do with the person I've written about over these past 28 months.

The truth is, the Mr. Sirius I was so stuck on, and wrote about so much, was really just a ghost. Or maybe I'm the ghost.


Speaking of ghosts, here is my new avatar -- "ghost writer." Any thoughts on it? Or was the Kermit - Cookie Monster one better? I think the ghost is kind of cute.

I've been rather tired of my D.C. life and part of me really wants to move away, although money precludes that ...and all my friends are here. I don't know what to do. My biggest issue will be how to handle my job status. My boss is away for three weeks beginning next week. My plan is wait until she turns to raise the subject of going back to four days a week as I go back to school in early September.


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Another random picture ...

Two wine glasses on the sidewalk at the corner of R and 18th St., NW, Washington, D.C., July 19, 2008 around 1210AM.

There are a few more pictures from Saturday around 1130PM when my wee efficiency hosted a party of four others, two gay guys and two straight guys -- Gary, Kristof, Phil, and his good friend J.

I'll post just this one image of J., a totally straight guy / father of four who lives in suburban Maryland, passed out on my bed with Flippo watching him.

He had been drinking with Phil at Buffalo Billiards all afternoon and promptly crashed into my bed upon arrival at my place.

As for my bed, I am tired of hearing it referred to as a "nest" just because it is on the floor and is really just a pile of quilts and blankets and pillows with my stuffed animals underneath the covers.

We left him while we went to Cobalt and Omega, although I made him up a better bed on the floor next to it. Phil took him back to his place after we got back from Cobalt and Omega (after my Dupont Circle fountain dip).

That's all for now. My next entry probably won't be until Friday.

--Regulus

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Two coins in a fountain

It made sense at the time ...

Dupont Circle fountain, Washington, D.C., on a sultry night around 3AM, July 20, 2008.

The water has been extra clean in the fountain this summer.

Six months to go until Bush leaves office. He has been in office exactly 7 years and 6 months -- the precise amount of time that I am older than Mr. Sirius.

I will never be over him. But since he long since stopped listening, noticing, or caring (well, he never cared), none of it matters.


Today, Gary, Gerry, and I are going to Piscataway Park in Maryland. I want to try to find that chalet, if indeed it is there. I'll post a longer entry tonight.

--Regulus