Saturday, December 13, 2008

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past..."

Yes, that's the ending line from great Jazz Age novel "The Great Gatsby" and I used it for an entry title on my now semi-dormant Arcturus blog once, but it sort of seemed appropriate for this entry.

Dusk in Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2008. This is my blurry cell phone camera image at the intersection of 17th and S St., NW, earlier tonight. That is brilliant Venus in the sky.


I'm home now on this cold, still Saturday night here in Washington, D.C., at the start of the Christmas season in my wee, lamp lit efficiency.

I have the window a/c on because it is invariably stuffy in this place as it is an old building and the heat from other apts. leaks in.

On the History Channel is a two hour documentary called "FDR: A Presidency Revealed." As for PBS, it is one of its quarterly pledge beg-a-thon modes.

Oh, yes, I absolutely love Eleanor Roosevelt. She is one of my heroes.

I get strangely emotional about anything having to do with that time in American history, ESPECIALLY World War II. I have this weird feeling that I lived a life in the 1920s - 1940s.

I've mentioned it before: I was born on a farm in Iowa in 1918 and went off to WWII and was killed at the Battle of Midway in the tropical Pacific in June 1942 at the age of 24.

I understand that this sense of deja-vu is a falsely romantic illusory thought ...

... because there was nothing romantic about WWII as shown here in the aftermath of the Battle of Tawara in Nov. 1943 ...

... nor in World War II itself and the evil that caused it.

Rather, I think that feeling derives, at least in part, from the fact I was raised as a child in the 1970s in New Jersey by my Italian American grandparents and dad when my mom was in Belgium with her husband (my stepdad).

My paternal grandparents in Long Branch were somewhat older than most grandparents, having both been born in 1908. They would have been 100 years old last month (Nov. 4th for my grandma and Nov. 11th for my grandpa.)

The period of 1925-1945 was well in their adult living memory. Ditto their many siblings, esp. on my grandmother's side. In fact, most of my grandma's brothers were in WWII -- and all came back.

No, none were gay ("queer" they might have said). I think my gayness comes from my mom's side. That's the Polish - South Amboy side.

Speaking of my past, this particular item in my apartment is from another time and place in my life. In a way, it doesn't belong here with me now, but all the same, I'll never part with it.

It is a very old cylindrical powder puff wind-p music box that belonged to my grandmother. It is approx. 50 years old and it STILL plays on audibly grinding gears To Each His Own, a popular song with poetic, sorrowful lyrics that was first released in 1946. (The wind-up dial is on the bottom.)

Oh, yes, the old piece of wood behind contains sea shells and "sea glass" glued and shellacked to it. I made that circa 1977 at the age of 7. I found the wood and the sea shells at the beach.


Here are all the gifts that my blogger friend Bryan sent me. It includes THREE versions of the children's board game "Hungry, Hungry Hippos" (a large key chain version, a miniature version, and the regular board version), and a stuffed animal I've yet to name. It was the first time I actually stuffed a stuffed animal -- the stuffing came separately wrapped in the same box.

The hippos are: Homer (green), Happy (pink), Henry (?!) (orange), and Harry (yellow).

Thank you, Bryan.


Now here's my other hippo ...

Flippo, that is. (Oh, yes, I really need a haircut.)


Some political commentary ...

The Senate Republicans who filibustered the $15 billion Big Three auto company emergency bailout shows the profound dysfunction and inability of the GOP to govern in any meaningful way.

The Republican party is now primarily a regional, still semi - racist, and reverse class warfare - waging party of the South and the empty square states incapable of offering any policy solutions except total ruination.

GOP policy goals, if they can be called that, these days is little more than the destruction of the working poor and working middle class in order to create its perverted idea of a corporate / theocratic utopia.

Showing their hypocrisy, these GOP charlatans are only too happy to dole out TRILLIONS of taxpayer money to the Wall Street crooks who created all the Ponzi schemes that have collapsed this year, while allowing the real American economy collapse and depression to set in if that means "punishing" the working poor and debtor class.

I mean, for God's Sake, it took DICK CHENEY to tell them that if they don't act it will be "Herbert Hoover Times" -- another phrase of his that is sure to be memorable years from now. They still blocked it.

While it is true these Senators are looking out in a way for the foreign (Japanese and European) car companies that are situated in their States, their failure to care about or even comprehend the consequences of letting the heart of America's manufacturing base collapse for parochial, ideological, and warped philosophical reasons ...

... RATHER than seeing this crisis as the profound OPPORTUNITY it could be and create a carefully structured bailout to facilitate a fundamental change in the U.S. car industry with mass production of hybrid / plug-in fuel vehicles and vast increases in fuel efficiency, as well massive changes in as the overall transportation and energy sectors.

Part of the problem, of course, is America's profoundly irrational and flawed care system that imposes such massive costs on private industry. Joe Conason as a good piece on it in the Observer. Link here.

Updated 12/15/2008, 1218AM:

As Morgan Johnson, president of United Auto Workers Local 2166 representing GM in Shreveport, La., aptly said, GOP Senators like Sen. David Vitter (R - Diaperman) would "rather pay a prostitute than pay auto workers."

That about sums up the perverted morality of today's GOP. Of course, don't except Mr. Family Values Vitter to be punished by the voters of Louisiana for voting to allow economic depression. Louisiana is a State that has gone waaay red even after Bush and the GOP tried to drown it in Hurricane Katrina.


One more bit of politics ... yesterday, Dec. 12th, was the 8-year anniversary of the travesty of the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court Coup launched by the "Scalia 5" (one of whom is now dead).

Here "Fat Tony" Scalia appears to make an obscene gesture at a camera man (March 2006).

For a recounting of that travesty that gave us the Bush Disaster Monkey and his cabal -- enabled and facilitated by a compromised media (think Cokie Roberts, the late Tim Russert, and everyone at the WaHoPo) -- as well as the hypocrisy behind it, read here.


OK, as a gay man, I don't normally post pictures of scantily clad women, frolicking in the surf or otherwise. However, this undated picture from the 1950s of the then-"scandalous" pin-up girl Bettie Page is worth posting ...

Ms. Page died earlier this week at the age of 85. Her later years do not seem to have been particularly happy. Story here.


I mean, as a gay guy, I SHOULD be much more likely to post this kind of picture:

Just sayin' ...

Actually, I don't. As it is, I got the above image off this Website entitled "Just Beautiful Men."


Pearls Before Swine, Dec. 9, 2008

Pearls Before Swine, Dec. 10, 2008

Click on images for larger versions.


A few other items ...

There is a new part time bartender at my regular hangout who reminds me a great deal of Mr. Sirius in terms of appearance and body type.

As I don't need a repeat* of that for me very painful and protracted episode (since I'm still not really fully over Mr. Sirius), I tend to avoid going to him to buy a drink.

*At least not more than once every 10 to 12 years.

UPDATED at 340AM, 12/14/2008: I went to Cobalt and stood near this bartender's well. What can I say? I'm weak when it comes to beautiful boys. I actually think he may be straight. Anyway, I'm going to bed now ... I make no mention of my long-running beautiful but irascible boy.

There really isn't anything comparable in the straight world to the social standing of bartenders at certain gay bars (the ones with the pretty boys, not with old trolls and other seedy looking sorts), but I really don't feel like getting into that topic right now.

I am planning to visit my dad in Florida for about 5 or 6 days in early January down in Flagler Beach (my dad and his place are pictured here in a photo I took on Jan. 8, 2008).

I probably need to return at least five days before the Inauguration of Pres. Elect Obama on Jan. 20, 2009 since getting a flight into the D.C. area is probably going to be very difficult as so many visitors are expected (2 to 4 million!).


I have my office holiday luncheon AND water resources management final on Monday.


The weather next week looks to be wet (not snowy white, of course).

Here is an image of the Sterling LWX graphical forecast for Washington, D.C. from the NWS.

I think that's all for now. I may go to Cobalt or Omega tonight. My next entry should be around Tuesday.



Bryan said...

They were on clearance w/ free shipping. What's a boy to do? Go Hippo crazy! I wouldn't gnaw on any of it though... you know, the lead paint thing.

Give Flippo a hug and a kiss. No need for jealousy! Fly over them and protect your friends! Make sure they don't lose their marbles!

I'd have sent you the original but a: It's in the jam packed attic b: It's my sister's. She'd kill me.


Bryan said...

ps: I gotta send you a pic of my maternal gandmother. She was born in the Bettie Paige era and was quite beautiful.

Not as scandalous as Betty but quite nice. I saw them when I was little. She purposely destroyed all of her pictures from her brief modeling career. She thought they were sinful and ugly.... but she had gained 150 lbs by then, so of course she couldn't stand to look at them.

I have a few family photos from the 60's floating around.

Regulus said...


fifi said...

I thought you might be stuck in this Ice storm I just read about. The pictures of it look very pretty but it sounds very awful to lose power and be stuck in the freezing.

Nice Hippos!

Rita said...

Wow! This post has more to it then usual.
Do you know your posts are sometimes overwhelming?

I'm only still thinking about how my apartment lets in damp & wet & i'm Bombarded with a whole lot of other stuff.

Honestly, I do read all the content in your posts & I do think about more then the superficial...Oh by the way, I think I found a guy I might like. He is a newspaper editor, very quick witted & charming. I would sleep with him in an instant.

Big Pissy said...

Awwwwwww.....that was so sweet of Brian! Love all the hippos! :)

Regulus said...

Fifi: Those ice storms in New England were about 500 miles and a world away as far as climate regime goes.

Very nice hippos, indeed.

Handmaiden: I will give you a call later today. I really appreciate what a faithful and dedicated and earnest reader of my blog you are. It makes me think that when I write these 20-page long printed out entries that I should be more careful -- take into account my readers and do they want to read so much. The way it is I just assume that folks just sort of scan the entries and look at the pictures.

BP!: Hey, you! How are you? It's been a long time since we've talked -- too long. And I apologize for not having been by your blog this past week. I will do so today.

Bryan said...

I read them all too, word for word, but yes, sometimes I do space out simply because there is so much. I just come read again later.

Thank you for the link to Just Beautiful Men. You know I'm gonna be going over there!

How obscene were the shipping materials your things came in? I can order an unbreakable thing the size of a golf ball and it comes in a box a toaster would fit in, filled with styrofoam. Idiots.

Off to my sister's holiday dinner this afternoon. Wish me luck! Everyone is supposed to be there. Yikes!!!

I've already warned my sister and dad that if I'm not in the house or yard, I took the train home!!

Wish I could bring you.

fifi said...

oh, I just read Ice Storms hit US. I should have looked on a map.

We had the biggest rain "event" (ha) and now everything is so clean. Washed all my windows.

I also just read that someone threw a shoe at Bush's head which I thought would amuse you.

Regulus said...

Fifi -- I just looked up average annual rainfall for Sydney, Australia from several different sites and I was startled to see that it is approx. 48" or 1220mm per year. That's actually more than Wash. D.C.., which gets about 40" (1016mm) per year. I didn't think Sydney was that wet. I just figured most of Australia south of the far northern tropical zone was semi-arid to outright desert except maybe for some mountain locations.

Yes, I saw that someone identified in some reports as an "Iraqi journalist" chucked his shoes at Bush. That's probably not a good idea, although I can understand how an Iraqi seeing Bush himself -- the architect of so much mayhem and destruction and death in their country standing there with that stupid smirk on his face saying things about how "it was worth it all ...freedom gonna git on the grow now" (or whatever he burbled) would inflame passions.

fifi said...

as of 12 months ago it has been very wet. Prior to that was a decade of drought.
At the moment there has been a lot of rain, and this recent rainfall was unusual in that it almost was the whole entire country, even in Alice Springs it was bucketing down.

The water in the dams is still very low. Rain is usually confined to the coast.

good luck with your "finals".

fifi said...

hey, handmaiden,
did you just hit the deck?

Regulus said...

Fifi -- She took down her blog for a while owing to the complicated issues surrounding her run for city council member.