Friday, December 30, 2005

Fla. Boy Who Went to Iraq on His Way Home

I relate to this kid because he is brave to a fault, yet highly resourceful to pull his little trip to Baghdad off.

I mean, how the heck do you get to Baghdad these days? You can't just book a flight+hotel on Expedia, can you?

Now I must finish getting ready for my trip. This is the last of me until 2006. Holla.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

See You Next Year

My review of Memoirs of a Geisha, which I liked very much ("love" is such a strong word) is forthcoming, but in the meantime Kevondrala suggested a parody be created entitled Memoirs of Keisha, that would of course star the Thompson Triplets (Blurty, Breezy, and Queef) as the geishas-in-training, Mama P Watson as the wicked house mother, and 2000 lb. thearical powerhouse Honolulu Jenkins as the established, mean-as-snakes rival geisha to the up and coming girls. Insted of being set in 1940's urban Japan, it would be set in a 2005 flop house in Long Island City. And instead of geishas they would be outright Queens Plaza hookers. IMDB entry coming soon.

Today I look like a homeless person, and that is an insult to the homeless. Personal hygeine and "business casual" be damned. There has to be a flaming pit of despair before the Phoenix can rise from the ashes.

There is a lot going on in the news regarding Iraq, the Supreme Court and Orwellian attempts to safeguard our country, but I can't blog about that because I just don't have it in me here at the end of 2005. But I'm thinking about these things and despearately hoping that my friends here in the city take heed of the dangers of the anonymous online (and offline for that matter) hookup of which we gays are so fond.

I am fit to be tied here in the cube, as once I'm out of here I have to pick up a mysterious package from the post office and then pack for my trip tomorrow back to the Motherland, this time to that Queen City of Cities, Charloot, NC. The New Year's festivities are no doubt going to be debaucherous and filled with scandal before I turn over my new leaf in 2006. (As the Pet Shop Boys once sang, "turned over a new leaf, then tore right through it.") Suffice it to say if I see my friend Jack on the plane, I won't say, "Hi Jack!" for fear of air marshalls gunning me down on site.

Speaking of the Pet Shop Boys, I have been advocating for this for about 15 years and am having multiple orgasms over it as I type.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year, and remembers in 2006 that The Butch Stroll is neither here nor there, The Butch Stroll is in your heart. Peace to the mid-east mother fuckers! See you in 2K6.

Is there any way to buy a domain name

without your damn tea being spilled all over WHOIS?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Lovely Lady Lumps

I can't decide if this is funny or deeply, deeply disturbing. I'm leaning towards the latter. [via Snow]

Monday, December 26, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Meow Kitty is sitting in the kitchen, barking like a dog.

She does that sometimes.

Butch Stroll With The Family

My little two year old cousin, after realizing that the attention had turned to the food and away from him, started acting up. So his dad grabbed him up on his lap and tried to interest him in mac-and-cheese and green beans. He was having none of it.

Me (to little cousin's mother): Doesn't Santa Claus come tonight?
Little Cousin's Mother: Yep, he's supposed to I reckon.
Little Cousin's Dad: But Santa only comes for good boys.
Little Cousin: I POOTED!

My grandmother-on-my-dads-side has, for a few years now, been spending Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family at my aunt's house. But as my uncle died earlier this year, this Christmas Eve we had the festivities at my cousin's new house, which is HUGE, and makes me wrongly feel like I need to start catching up with her. Anyway, Grandma did not attend because she was all stressed out about her Love Feast happening later that night at church. But on Christmas day, as is the tradition, my dad's side of the family had the feast at their house, and my mom's side aunt-whos-husband-recently-died joined us. We're all in the kitchen...

Mom's Side Aunt: Well, I'm going to head out, and get out of the way of ya'll's Christmas.
Dad's Side Aunt: You're not in the way, you're family!
Me: I like when the J's and the B's mingle together.
Grandma: WELL MAYBE IF YOU'D GET MARRIED THERE'D BE OCCASION FOR MORE OF THAT.
My Mom: AND MAYBE IF YOU HAD SOME LITTLE B'S, THERE'D BE OCCASION FOR MORE OF THAT.
Mom's Side Aunt: IT'S YOU BOYS THAT HAVE TO CARRY ON THE "B" NAME.
Me: [leaves room]

Later, my mom's side returned to our house for coffee and dessert, as there was soo much left over. We're all standing over the cakes and pies. For the second time since I got home, somebody mentions looking for me on Good Morning America (or whichever one it is with the people standing outside with signs so their families at home can see them).

My aunt: I look for you every morning on the Good Morning America.
Me: Well, usually not out there, you know, cause I'm, you know, at work in an entirely different part of town.
My brother: I wonder what Al Roker would do if I just ran up there and mooned America?
My uncle [seriously considering how this could play out]: Well it's a wonder that doesn't happen a lot more than it does.

When I got back to New York, I came in to the house, I saw that the boyfriend of my roommate who is also my roommate, had left the kitchen--which was pristine when we left--in totally disarray and that he had fed the cat directly from the can rather than scooping it into the bowl. You don't feed the cat from the can, she'll cut her tounge! For some reason I feel like Hedwig when I say this: "You don't put a bra in a dryer! IT WARPS!"

Hope everyone had a Happy Holidaze! I had a surprisingly good time with my family, and after all is said and done, I am lucky to have the whole lot of them.

Friday, December 23, 2005

P.S.

One more thing. ;)

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Christmas has snuck up on me again this year, but I have most of my shopping done, though I am against the consumerism associated with the season but feel compelled to participate lest I be deemed a Horrible Person by my family and others. I'm flying home to the Motherland tomorrow where I will be until my return on Monday. So I won't be blogging, but that doesn't mean I don't care about you. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, a Festive Kwanzaa--whatever it is you celebrate, Internet. And if you celebrate nothing at all, then have a nice day.

In an attempt at stirring a blatant counter attack on the War on Christmas (which we all know is real and meant to keep us from seeing the Lord God in a Manger while we shop for the best deals in Wal-Mart), I leave you with this:


God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Thursday, December 22, 2005

TRANSIT STRIKE DAY THREE: BACK TO WORK SO SOON?

At this point, why not just take Christmas off? Roger Touissaint, by the way, has looked increasingly scared on the news, and who can blame him. Maybe now he won't have to go to jail, and I wonder how much of these new negotiations have to do with that fear of the executive board of the TWU?

Personally, I would have tried with reptiles.

Oh, like you never thought of creating a super race of monkey people.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Transit Strike Day Two

On day two of the transit strike, I think things went much smoother. I was at work with my carpool not only on time but way early. We left at 3:00 and it was more traffic than yesterday when we left at 2:30, but it wasn't that bad. I think most people are just trying to get through and be as cooperative as possible in order to send a big FUCK YOU to the Transit Worker's Union. Sympathy has faded.

A judge has threatened TWU president Roger Toussaint and other TWU executives with jail time. Bloomberg said he would be against this, making them "martyrs", and prefers to keep raising the fines.

I hear that downtown is pandemonium, so I feel lucky that I work uptown where getting to work from Queens is relatively easy if you have a ride. Also, my carpool was baffled by my knowledge of a secret route that comes from years of investigating shady places.

At 3:00 A.M. my roommate is going to walk to Penn Station, which is a looong ass walk, in order to get to his train on time for his journey to the Motherland. Meanwhile, I hope I don't have trouble getting to the airport on Friday for my own trip to the Motherland.
My former haunt, blurty.com got some publicity! Unfortunately, it's a little bit horrible.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

TRANST STRIKE DAY 1: DON'T THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?

This morning I was informed of the transit strike, not by the television, internet, or radio, but by a lowly text message. I accepted it and made my way to my bus stop, which is now my carpool stop.

There were lots of people offering riders trips across the Triboro bridge, as a gesture of good will and cooperation. The Triboro bridge does not have a passenger requirement like the bridges below 96th Street -- to get across, a driver must have three passengers on those.

The traffic across the Triboro was backed up horribly. It took about 2 hours to get to work which should be a 45 minute trip on the bus even with all the stops. I can only imagine how the bridges downtown looked.

I said, "What would we do if we ever had to evacuate New York?"

My co-worker said deadpan and resigned to the fact, "We'd be unable to do it. We'd die."

At the end of the day, I don't hate the transit workers. I understand that they are trying to get a good deal (not only for themselves, but for workers in the future) and that if they just take any ole deal, it will roll down to other professions who will get shittier and shittier deals. Furthermore, from what I understand the MTA had a $1 Billion dollar surplas, which they spent up real quick just the other day which totally looks like a spiteful little kid eating up his whole birthday cake so that when the other kids show up they can't have any. They also flaunt this "discounted holiday fares" in their faces. They can find a way to blow a billion dollars, raise fares, then offer half price fares, but they can't give the workers a raise? Further, blue-collar work is constantly disvalued and insulted in this country. If I hear one more "our man on the street" type say that, for example, "driving a bus is frickin easy, man" I'm going to lose it. For one thing, TWU employees work with the public--the crazy ass, over-the-top New York Public--on a scale unlike any other, except maybe police. Their jobs are dangerous and difficult, and as their strike demonstrates, absolutely essential to a relatively comfortable life in New York City.

BUT, I don't think the TWU executives are entirely not crooked either. This whole mess is a matter of two big organizations trying to flex their muscles and prove they've got the biggest dick. Bloomberg can't go back on saying he'll never give in to their extortion, and he can't have Roger Touissant, the TWU president out there taking pot shots at him making Bloomie look like a pussy if he gives in at all. Touissant himself can't look like a pushover to the TWU members who are going to re-elect him--or not--real soon. So in an effort to sword fight with their cocks, Bloomberg (who I have always liked), the MTA, and the TWU executives are screwing the transit workers and the public at large.


Some quotes, from NY1:



"The MTA's not giving us a fair share so I hope the public understands that this is what we got to do,” said one transit worker.

"We are united in this transit struggle. Roger Toussaint has our full support," added another.

"First of all we want to apologize to the general public,” added a third. “I mean this is something I hope the public understands what we're going through. We don't want to be out here. We are freezing, we know we're not going to get any money, but the fact of the matter is the future of our union is at stake here."

Meanwhile, workers walking off the job at the 14th Street and Eighth Avenue station in Chelsea told NY1 they didn't want to go on strike, but one worker said "sometimes you need to take a step backward to see where you're going."

"It wasn’t really a surprise. Wwe felt like we need to go on strike,” said another worker. “The T[ransit] A[uthority] has been abusing us for quite some years now."

"Nobody wants to be on strike,” added another. “We're going to have family members affected by the strike. Nobody wants to see the strike."

"They showed us this billion dollars that they had and it's like going to the candy store and saying, 'Oh, here's a bunch of candy here, but you can't have any.' That's a slap in the face," said yet another striking worker.

"The way it's going we got to stay here ‘til we're 70 before we can retire with our pension," added another.

"I gotta stand with my members and stand strong," said yet another TWU member. "And hopefully this day will be resolved – soon."


The Transport Worker's Union, I think, is going to end up suffering more for this than if they'd just taken that last deal, which was pretty good. As the mayor pointed out, and I paraphrase, these people who make $50,000 to $60,000 per year are preventing people who make $20,000 to $30,000 from making a living. People will remember this for a long time and give a lot of dirty looks to say the least. But when the Union Bosses say strike, they kind of have to strike. And if there are any of them who would say, "a strike is illegal, I can't afford the fines associated, and I choose not to", the social repurcussions of doing that would be worse than just striking.

True, true.




For all the potential dislocation, the mood was in some ways strikingly normal for New Yorkers, at least, who have seen it all. Everyone had something to say and most had strong opinions.


THE TWU STRIKES BACK

Remember how when you were a little kid and the power would go out in a snowstorm and everyone would be all worried, but to you...it was kind of fun?

That is secretly how I feel about the transit strike.

My heart was kind of full and warm at all the people offering rides this morning--across the Triboro bridge, mind you, which does not have a four-passenger requirement.

I rode with co-workers who live close to my hood. I sense a lot of mixed feelings about the strike--many people are pissed, but they're not sure who to be pissed at. The TWU? The MTA? The Mayor? Pataki and his crazy ass? Who do we blame?

At any rate, New Yorkers really come together in a crisis--it is true. Even if we generally hate each other any time.

And to the seeming-rap-impressario in the passenger's side of the over-the-top obnoxious SUV continuously asking me if I need a ride downtown: I had already arrived to my destination, just heading into McDonald's for a McGriddle, but I love you for it nonetheless, baby.

Later, my thoughts on the strike and how it has come to pass. Stand by.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Funniest Thing Ever

The Chronic-les of Narnia rap from SNL.

WHO Quits Smoking

Daily, when I return from sneaking a cigarette downstairs, I worry about reaking. I immediatley wash my hands and spray a spritz of Axe in the air of my cubicle. I know my boss hates smoking. I can't blame her--though I smoke, I wish I didn't, continuously plan to quit, and understand the disgust and avoidance of non-smokers. It *is* a nasty habit, and the single worst thing that one can actively do to his or her health. It is a difficult addiction to shake, however..

"The World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, has announced that it will no longer hire smokers."

The article claims that


With the hanging of the "No Smokers Need Apply" sign on its door, WHO has joined a long line of bigots who would not hire people of color, members of religious minorities, or disabled or gay people because of who they are or what they lawfully do.


Um, it's not the same thing in my honest opinion.

Also from the article:


Under WHO's policy, if Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Adolf Hitler applied for a job, only Hitler, the sole nonsmoker in the group (and someone who would not allow anyone to smoke near him), would be eligible for consideration.


This is a fallacy of reasoning, a blatant one at that. There are plenty of dictators who have smoked, and plenty of wonderful leaders who have not. It's irrelevant that WHO's policy would keep it from hiring Einstein and allow it to hire Hitler.

While I think this is a wrong-headed idea, and that it should be no employer's business what its employees do in their free time, I understand the point they are trying to make. It would be kind of hypocritical for a high level executive to be sucking down a stogie while advising the public on their health.

And speaking of FDR, perhaps Betty Butterfield says it best: "There's nothing wrong with people smoking cigarettes; Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the damn war smoking cigarettes!"

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Magical Adventures of the Christ Child in Egypt and Beyond

Anne Rice's latest novel, Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt draws from her research into the apocrypha, particularly the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which, from what I understand, was written down after years of oral tradition between 80 AD and the 6th Century. She also draws from the New Testament, and the things we know about Jesus's upbringing--born in Bethlehem (to much applause), moved to Egypt to escape Herod's slaughter of any child under two years old, and then moved with his family through Israel in a time of great uprising and revolution among Jews uncertain about the men who would call themselves King thereof. I've always had an interest in the Bible and the apocrypha, and I trust Ms. Rice's take on these things to be accurate. As she points out in her Author's Note, one thing she is known for--that she has worked very hard to achieve--is a complete attention to the details of the historical eras about which she is writing. She does not fail Jesus, as he is a very Jewish Jesus and the ancient world settings in which the novel places him come to life as much as her takes on the Old World of her novels from Cry to Heaven to The Vampire Chronicles.

Anne Rice is of course famous for her vampires and witches--perhaps the first author to create vampires with whom readers identify and root for. Her wicked supernatural creatures were, to me, always compelling in their searches for the meaning of life and undeath. So, as other reviewers have said, it is fitting that she take on the story of the most widely acknowledged and adored supernatural entity of all, Jesus Christ himself.

The novel centers around Jesus's attempt to figure out who he is. As others in his communities figure out, Jesus is Magic in the sense of Sarah Silverman's joke from her (hyper-offensive but funny as hell) movie >Jesus Is Magic. In one of the first jokes of that movie, Sarah shares how she, a Jew, and her boyfriend, a Catholic, intend to explain the religious differences to their future child: "Mommy is one of God's chosen people, and Daddy believes that Jesus is magic."

In Ms. Rice's novel, Jesus is both "magic" and one of God's chosen people. Of course he is -- his is the begotten Son of God. Along the way, Jesus surprises even himself with his ability to turn clay birds into real ones, to kill a bully with a thought and to raise him from the dead before everyone's eyes. He tries to keep himself from these kinds of miracles, but asks of God ("if it is your will") to cure an old man's blindness in the temple--which God does. Oh, and he also makes it snow one time. Through all of this he is portrayed as a good kid, who does kid things, and who just wants to be the best little Jew he can be.

His earthly father, who he calls Joseph, discourages Jesus from asking questions about his birth and purpose, as Joseph feels that God will reveal these incomprehensible things to Jesus when he sees fit. His uncle Cleopas (one of the novel's most loveable characters) continuously drops hints until Joseph shuts him up. Finally Jesus's brother James confesses to Jesus that he has hated him because of what he has brought upon the family (and likely a little jealousy as well. James may make good marks in school, but Jesus is the Son of God and there's really no topping that). Then James swears that he will never hate Jesus again, and reveals to him what took place in Bethlehem.

"You're too young to understand," Cleopas tells Jesus, to which Jesus later replies, "You're right, I'm too young to understand." "You don't fool me," Cleopas jokes, being one of those people who believed Mary's tale and knows that Jesus will go on to great things to say the least.

Like I said about Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, I think this book has come under a lot of unfair criticism for its creators beliefs (which I myslef can criticize given that I'm particularly good at Philosophy of Religion, a philosophical emphasis that is not widely studied these days and that has lost the interest of many philosophers) rather than the actual content. I still contend that whether or not you believe in God or are a Christian, the Bible is an important part of our culture, and an important book to know about as a work of literature because of its influence the world over. (That's not to say that, say, Jewish texts, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita, etc, are not.) So even though Mel and Ms. Rice are hardcore Catholics telling a very, very Catholic version of Jesus's stories, non-Catholics and non-Christians can take something away from their creations about the ancient, perhaps archetypal stories of the life and death of Jesus Christ. I recommend Christ the Lord as an interesting novel with compelling characters to say the least.

Friday, December 16, 2005

But Heaven doesn't want me and Hell's afraid I'll take over...

Heaven
You come from Heaven. You're the purest of pure, a
saint. You're probably an angel sent directly
from Heaven.


Where Did Your Soul Originate?
brought to you by Quizilla

(via Anne Arkham)

A nice post from a random on a Yahoo message board

that addresses the gory Santa display outside a Brooklyn home that has made the news:

Re: Mean Spirited...


Santa at one time was real in his country. The fable is continued through out the world because the magic of it all is innocence, an innocence that lives only in children. We as parents continue the traditions as our parents and grandparents did. Santa was around long before toys and retailers exploited it. I can recall as a little girl one Christmas that was a traditional farm Christmas that my father had as a child. Instead of candy of toys our stockings were filled with nuts and oranges with one or two peppermint sticks. It was that Christmas that I was taught the meaning of Christmas and the need to give and not expect to be given too. Since I have spent years working to share Christmas through out the year. Giving to those needier than I am. I struggle pay day to pay day, some months I can't pay my bills, but no matter what there is always someone worse off than me. Extra food, clothing, or toys that don't get played with. I make sure they go where they will be appreciated. Christmas needs to be recognized as something that lasts not as one day a year.I am not religous but I am spiritual and I have been touched by Christ and his work. I don't preach it but I do teach it to my child. She's only five and hasn't figured it out all the way, but she knows that she needs to give to others and be thankful for what she gets. I would be devastated if someone made her fear Santa. I would be angry.


I of course posted the link to my own mean spirited post. :|

Lest you forget that I'm a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON

Yesterday at our department's fabulous Christmas Party (where authentic soul food was served) my boss (formerly the Big Boss, now my new boss) gave everyone one of those super-soft polyester foam pillows for Christmas.

Then she gave me a card with $100 in it.

Then today she gave me half her sandwich and a bag of potato chips.

So I guess you could say I'm "all that and a bag of chips".

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Maybe It's Part of Being SUPERMAN?

As I am only interested in serious journalism, allow me to summarise some of the New York Post's highlights today.

Apparantly, the producers of Superman Returns are concerned that Superman (Brandon Routh) has too big a dick for the red and blue tights, and they are going to digitally shrink it. Why would they do that? I think that Superman, as an icon of masculinity and superhuman strength, should have an enormous penis. And when Lois Lane is falling from the tops of builings, Superman could fly by and she could just grab hold of his piece.

Everything is bigger in Texas: Barneys is opening back up in Dallas, Texas, after it's failed attempt in the nineties. Texans want BRIGHT COLORS and LARGE SIZES. Barneys, being very "New York", focused on black and size 0.

And finally, for once I agree with Andrea Peyser, who says the anger of New Yorkers regarding the looming transit strike is focused on the MTA and not the workers. The MTA needs to be audited. They have a billion dollar surplas (that no one has heard about lately) yet they can't give the transit workers a raise worth giving? Meanwhile, they're cutting fares in half for the holidays? I have to say, though, that a strike won't hurt the MTA -- they already have the money from Metrocards and gobs of cash -- it will only hurt bus and train riders. Hopefully they'll resolve this before I have to walk my ass across the Triborough bridge to get to work. I may lose my cooks if this lady I work with asks me one more time what she's supposed to do if there's a strike. I don't know, what am I supposed to do? Why are you even asking me? I'll tell you what you'll do, you'll put your damn sneakers on, tie your scarf tight, and get to steppin!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Killing the Christmas Spirit for One Child at a Time



I support this wholeheartedly, even though there is a letter writing campaign by small children.

The NY Post, in typical NY Post fashion is outraged by the gory Santa display and quote about six hundred children who are terrified and disgusted by it. So of course, because it is such an outrage, they devote the entire front page to it to insure that everyone in New York City will see it.

***

Santa, by the way, is a fictional character about which many people the world over lie to their children. I know that it is all in the "spirit of fun", it is a tradition, it's something for the kids. But whatever you call it it is still a lie to tell your children for years that Santa Claus comes down the chimney with gifts on Christmas EVe.

One valuable lesson is to be learned from Santa, though. That lesson is, kids, that you can believe in something with all your heart for all your life and it might not be or ever have been true! That, and even your parents will lie to you (for their own amusement no less!). Merry Christmas indeed!

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Interactive Church Experience

My friend, let's call her "Tee", is a young mother with two beautiful children. Her son is a little spit fire, and cute enough to get away with a whole lot. (He is a mini-version of the rapper T.I.--looks just like him.) He's about six years old. Let's call him "Shawn".

Tee works hard to send her kids to private school. "Private school" in New York City often means "Catholic School". We work at The World Church of Assimilation, but Tee is Baptist. She goes to a large church in Brooklyn with a black congregation. I report from experience that black churches live up to the perception--they are foot stomping, hollering, yell-back-at-the-preacher events. Something to behold, it is enjoyable, but totally out of most white people's frame of reference...a little startling to experience.

Shawn has grown up in that church, spending most Sundays of his entire life in the pews. Of course all the ladies love him there, and dote over him. Being in churh all those Sundays, he has of course noticed that his mother and grandmother, and other people in the congregations holler back at the preacher with "I know that's right!" or "Tell it!" Such things.

Well, in Catholic School, "chapel" is a daily occurrence. Poor Shawn has been getting into trouble lately for "talking back to the priest" during chapel time. He'll shoot his index finger into the sky and proclaim, "YES!" or "Praise God!" He must be so confused about school church and church-church. I find this insanely funny on thousands of levels.


Next time: The valuable lessons of the Santa Claus reveal.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

...Gave Good Face...


Face:Off, For:Real
Originally uploaded by T.Almeida.
The woman who had the first ever face transplant at the hands of French surgeons says she has no regrets and that when she looked in the mirror for the first time, she was "sure it was me".

It seems like a success, but, as we are reminded in this interview with Dr. Eugene Alford from Baylor College of Medicine, the doctor is the same doctor who did the first hand transplant, and that hand later had to be amputated. Imagine the major downer it would be to have to have your face removed after the intense upper of having a new one after a dog mauled you.

Further, Dr. Alford points out the lack of research surrounding the procedure. What's funny to me is he also points out that there was no "ethics review with this patient or the surgery" which is comical because, what's the implication? That the woman wasn't told that it's a no-no to go out and play practical jokes on people with her identity now that she has a new face? I am moving to the forefront of the debat here by declaring, and this is the final word on the subject, if the procedure is not medically problematic then it is no more ethically problematic than a kidney transplant. So there!

In other news: The Bioethics.net reports the ABC News story that the woman has now sold the movie rights to her story. Jonathon Moreno, bioethicist at the University of Virginia, is quoted:


"Physicians are supposed to protect their patients who must be emotionally vulnerable in this situation," said Moreno, a professor of biomedical ethics at the University of Virginia. "Her psychological counseling should have included assessing the implications of this offer."


Rosamond Rhodes, bioethicist from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, justifies the woman's decision as a matter of monetary need:


"Even if her medical expenses are fully covered by the French national health system, it is hard to see how she would have had an income since she was mauled, how she can work during her recovery or how she will find employment in the future," Rhodes said.


Ok, sure she's "emotionally vulnerable", but what are these "implications"? Why should she not sell her story if somebody's buying? Even if she were independently wealthy, why is it at all problematic that someone says, "We want to make your story into a movie," and she says, "Ok, write me a check"?

The real controversy of face transplantation, like all "living donor" transplantation, is the Terri-Schiavo-like nature of the donor. I was not overly troubled by Terri Schiavo's story, or stories like it, but I was a little bit. From a mother's perspective (and I'm not a mother of course) I can see how there could be a glimmer of hope that the ghost is still in the machine, with Terri's eyes moving back and forth and her "laughing" and moaning. This story argues similarly that "Brain Death" is not really death at all. But, of course it is, right?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

America's Next Top Model

Nik was my girl from day one. She was robbed.

P.S., does anyone want to sign me up for the next cycle of America's Next Top Model? I mean, my face isn't really all that--I will require daily botox shots and pounds upon pounds of makeup--but I will stomp a runway for you, Tyra. I will smile a little bit brighter, kick a little bit higher, and jack my wig a little further than all the other girls. ANTP is not ready for The Butch Stroll! Those bitches can steal my wig glue and put water in my makeup, but I will still make them all cry and take the tiara!

Sith Drag

P.S. If I win, I will never, ever, do a fashion show for Wal Mart.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

I spent three hours in a waiting room today, after which I saw a doctor for two minutes who simply agreed with my self-diagnosis and wrote me the prescriptions I thought she would. I'm telling you, there's something to be said for these telephone doctors that have the American Medical Association all up in arms.

Not much to blog about lately besides the usual world going to hell in a handbasket. Well, there is the new drink yourself thin diet plan. The key on that one is moderation, but perhaps drinking till you yack would be more effective, and quicker.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Note to Self: Movies I Want To See While They're Still In Theaters

Jesus Is Magic
Walk The Line
Aeon Flux
The Chronicles of Narnia
Rent


Any takers?

I am still effing sick. My head feels like it could explode from the sinus pressure. Going to my university today to cup the Bursar's office and figure out what to do about not finishing thesis on time.

All I have eaten in the past week is chicken soup and cold medicine.

My mind is never clear.

I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown between work, school, Christmas, and just about everything else.

And filed under Too Much Information, I can't remember the last time I took a shit. Lovely.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In the news...

Today is World AIDS Day. You can visit AIDS Combat Zone for lots of info and Brad's run-down of events.

Today is also the 50th Anniversary of the day that Rosa Parks did not give up her seat. Transit Authourities all over the country had seats "reserved" for Rosa Parks today. (Though on my crowded bus this morning, somebody sat their fat ass right in it.)

In other news, "scientists believe they have worked out a formula to calculate how 'beer goggles' affect a drinker's vision".

And on a final note, there is now a convenient pill to cure male effimenancy. Side effects include obsession with sports and uncontrollable public belching. [via Lady Bunny]

525,600 Minutes


sarahschulman2
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
The musical Rent is one of Broadway's most well-loved productions. It has made gazillions of dollars, and is now a major motion picture. I haven't seen either yet.

Sarah Schulman was my professor of Gay & Lesbian Film, a random course I took among the philosophy that I very much enjoyed. She is a very political, anti-establishment type woman, to put it simply. I liked her. She once reminded the class that it was drag queens and flamboyant fags that made it possible for there to be such a thing as "gay republicans". In her class I saw, for the first time, one of my favorite films, Portrait of Jason.

Our first assignment for the course gave us some choices, one of which was to compare her book Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America to Rent. The first chapter of her book details the "dirt" on Rent -- that half of its plot was ripped off from her book People in Trouble. She tried to sue, but found going up against a billion dollar industry to be futile. And as the Salon article puts it, "It seems fairly clear that her plot, characters and setting were stolen, but alas, only words are copyrightable."

Slate has an interview with Schulman just in time for the movie's release.

Sarah Schulman's point in much of her criticism (not just of Rent but all "mainstream media") is that the people who do the fighting and suffering are transformed into "secondary characters in the story of their own lives." In mainstream productions like Rent and Philadelphia, for example, we are given a scenario in the early days of AIDS where heterosexuals swoop down and save the queers (and a gay Tom Hanks dies). In reality, gay men and their allies, like Schulman, were the ones who banded together, all alone in the world, to create a movement that changed the way we understand AIDS, gay people, and the politics of disease.

"Bravo" Shows Too Wong Fu Like 40 Times A Month

Possibly the best line from a movie ever: "Lorretta, you betta check yo'self. [Long pause] Before you wreck yo'self."

Strange Dreams

Last night I had the strangest dream...I dreamed that my boss retired, and Joe Simpson, father of Jessica and Ashlee, took her place. I don't remember much else, except that I hated him, and he tried to push me out a window at one point.

Anyway. What the hell is going on in France? Havn't heard much since the unreported end of the rioting, but lately France has gotten its own version of the Patriot Act, stopped letting immigrants in all willy-nilly, and has state-sanctioned "official history" of the "positive role" it played in its former colonies. All the while, Jacques looks stressed out:


"Birthday brings little to cheer about for Chirac"

In other news, C.S. Lewis apparantly opposed a movie version of his Chronicles of Narnia, so I will feel a tinge of guilt when I go see it. I'm a fan of ole C.S., so I am excited to see the movie. However, I think the video game of Narnia is...well...a bad idea. The irony is that Disney is behind both the movie and the video game, while C.S. said of the live-action film translation of his books, "Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) would be another matter."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sick & Tired

On Sunday, I started feeling a little sickness coming on. I went to Rite Aid to buy medications for such at thing. I thought it was only Wal Marts in the sticks doing it, but apparantly you can't buy any of the good stuff strait off the rack anymore because somehow you can make crystal methamphetamines out of it. They keep it behind the counter of the pharmacy, and the pharmacy was closed at that hour. So what was I to do? I figured you can't go wrong with Dayquil and Nyquil. You have both halves of the day covered with those.

I took a shot of Rite Aid's knockoff of Dayquil this morning. (It really comes with a little plastic shot glass.) "Non-drowsy" is a big lie. I felt drunkish all day, and started telling people that I am loopy on Dayquil, but then started thinking they might start thinking that's just an excuse for what I'm really loopy on, so I just hid in my corner and tried to work through the increasingly blurry stacks of papers and to do lists.

Then my boss asked me if I wanted "one of these pills" that she poured out of the prescription bottle for me. Her husband apparantly gets them from the VA. They looked like green M&M's. I took one and she gave me two for the road, which I took on my way home. They pack a punch. Yay antihistimines!

I just took a shot of generic Nyquil but it's not kicking in.

It was also Christmas decorating day. I'm kind of glad I was on drugs for that.

This poor kid is never going to get a prom date now...

Teen With Peanut Allergy Dies After Kiss

Friday, November 25, 2005

Turkey, Kitty, Skull, Fetus

My roommate hunted down a turkey, killed it, made a pillow from its feathers, and then cooked it. I was proud of him on his first attempt at cooking a bird. It turned out great and was thoroughly cooked and delicious. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to become vegetarian, but I figure as long as we used it to its full extent, this turkey is not extremely morally problematic.

Turkey

Meow Kitty is a tiny stuffed turkey herself:

Meow Kitty

This is my favorite thing ever:

Skull Charm

I don't know if you can see that the eyes are filled with rhinestones. Very "One Eyed Willy", though it has two eyes.

My roommate had this plastic fetus in the "goes to the homeless shelter" pile of things in our hallway. I siezed it. It is not only disturbing in and of itself, it is disturbing that he had this in his posession. And now I do.

Plastic Fetus

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Passion of the Stroll

I have written here before about my life long source of despair, having an extreme insecurity about interpersonal and social interactions, even those with my own family. Thanksgiving is coming up and as much as I love them and would love to be with them, a part of me is happy that I "get out of it" so to speak. I will be here in the illustrious Queens NY working on my thesis and dealing with this time without all the scheduling and preperation that puts the holidaze ON EDGE.

We have had a recent death in the extended family, which when I was growing up was always as close as the immediate family, so I have been communicating more than usual. But this is not just because of the death, it has been happening because I realize that at the end of the day blood is thicker than water. As much as I loathe my brother I am envious of his relationship with the extended family. He has kept in touch with everyone, even with my dad's side of the family which we never hear much from except for my Grandma and her other son. He knows people I havn't seen in 20 years. Some of the people I saw just like Christmas I sometimes feel like I don't know anymore, and most of those people dang sure don't know me. Even from my own mother, who growing up I would tell everything, I can't be completely honest about my life. I'm not talking about sex or drinking (things you might imagine would be difficult for anyone to share with their mother) either, I'm talking about just the day to day. My family is not ready for The Butch Stroll.

And I would never want them reading this blog.

In fact, I wouldn't want anyone I know reading this blog. As someone once told me, my sense of humor doesn't translate well over the internet. I can understand that and actually like that when people read some of the shit I say, they might have to scratch their heads for a minute over whether I'm being serious or not. In the Real World, by the way, people often laugh when I'm being completely serious.

But I digress.

Of course it is voyueristic and egotistical to have one of these newfangled blogs. If you are posting shit on the internet, be it about politics or your personal life, you want somebody out there to be interested in it. You want to be watched. But the thing about voyuerism is you usually don't want people you know doing the watching. That is either gross or embarassing or both.

That said, I know that there are a few of you out there in North Carolina, and perhaps some New Yorkers too, who do know me in Real Life. You've found your way here because I've told you about it, so it's not a surprise or revelation. But when I told you about it, I also decreed that you must never tell anyone else about it. So don't. You should never mention this blog, or anything that has to do with it such as links to any form of information about me, to anyone I know or don't know, except me. Allow this to serve as a source of updates on what's happening with me, but The Butch Stroll is heretofor the website That Of Which Shall Not Be Spoken, except to me. *gavel slam*

And now that I say that I'm going to not talk about my own personal melodrama so much anymore.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States of America:


Separated at birth?
Originally uploaded by TerranceDC.
This is from The Repulic of T, and it is absolutely brilliant. Unlike the expression on George's face.

Quebec: The Butch Stroll of Canada

Canada is our nice, quiet neighbor to the north who keeps its lawn nice, but not too many of us are sure what's ever going on up there. The only time most Americans really became "informed" about Canadian politics was when they said they wouldn't blow up the middle east with us, and our boys in Washington were pissed.

Well, being a college educated young man (you didn't think just any jackass was writing this here blog, didja?), I know a thing or two about Canada. For one thing, a lot of people in the French-speaking province of Quebec have been wanting to bail for awhile, and become the independent State of Quebec. Quebec is the Butch Stroll of Canada. They don't speak the same language, they think of themselves as different than the rest of Canadians, and they wanna fucking secede, man. Whether or not they have the moral right to secede is another question altogether. Let me know if you have any questions, I took a class. ;)

Well, just the other day the Guardian reported that Quebec's separatists are counting on a politician who admits to snorting cocaine to win independence, writes Anne McIlroy , further solidifying their hardcore status. He is also openly gay, which was the article reports was "a non-issue" as it should be.

More interesting than the fact that the leader of Quebec's separatists is a coke-snorting homosexual, is the decades-old imagining of an independent Quebec.


Quebeckers are still torn about their future in Canada, but a strong majority believe the province will secede after a third referendum. A recent poll found that the sovereigntists would narrowly win a referendum if voters were asked the same convoluted question about forming a new partnership with Canada that was put to them in 1995; but if they were asked a straight question about independence, as federal law now requires, only about 40% would vote to secede.


In my opinion, this is never going to happen. Canada is a huge land mass, and no matter how different the "culture" of Quebec is, I don't see Canada ever willingly compromising the congruity of its land based on the vote of Quebeckers alone.




Before he can realistically contemplate being the first prime minister of an independent Quebec, however, Mr. Boisclair has a fractious party to unite and inevitable questions about his drug use to answer.




The expression on his face in this picture is not going to help. That is a smile that says "jacked up"...and there's something in the eyes, too...

[thanks to Brad for bringing Canada's Butch Stroll to my attention. Also please note that I am entirely kidding about being at all qualified to write about this, so you should probably trust other sources.]

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Super Juicy

After spending a lot of time in New York City, people become desensitized to those "only in New York" moments. An immunity to the unusual develops, because you come to expect it.

I never developed that immunity. I still get a little tingle when I come out of the ground and see the daylight-at-nighttime of Times Square, when I hear the hustle and bustle of a Saturday night downtown, when I buy my paper in the morning and wait for the bus to take me across the Triboro bridge, when I see the skyline behind the river a thousand feet below. When I realize it is 11:59 and I go to my window and wait for that last minute when the illuminated Empire State Building flicks off. It's a crowded, frustrating and hateful place, but I still love New York. Sometimes, I even stop and watch the street performers. After you've seen fifty different Silver Robot Men it gets tired, but sometimes there are...people of interest.

The other day I finished up at work and got on the subway. I was tired and irritable, happy to have a seat, making a to-do list and balancing my checkbook in my head. Everyone else was similarly involved in their own minds, expressionless, wrapped in their scarves and absorbed in their reading materials.

The doors opened at 103rd Street, and two dreadlock rastas came on board with their big ass drums and fold-up chairs. They took their seats right there in the middle of the train and announced that they intended to bang their drums for us. Before they started, they gave a little tag-team hype-up for the crowd. Some people looked up from their books. Some people tried to ignore it. But they were having no such thing. The bigger of the two insisted the woman across from me smile. The skinny one pointed out the lovebirds who were grinning ear-to-ear. The big one said something in Hebrew (?) to a young guy in a yarmuckle.

Then the doors closed, and they started banging on those drums. Everyone was at full attention. It was the most compelling display of musical talent I have experienced in a long, long time. The skinny one looked directly at me and smiled the whole time. It seemed exhausting, all that drumming, but to those of us on the train, it was energizing. The train stopped, and there was a moment of applause. I put the change from my pocket in the raggady ass hat as they came around for the tips.

The girl member of the lovebirds put a handful of candy in the hat.

The skinny one took one out, unwrapped it, and ate it immediately. He read the wrapper: "Super Juicy!"

The big one made some comment about love and the beauty of it. Then he said, "You see, it's these gifts that mean the most to us, because there are a million things you can give someone besides money."

No sooner had it all started than they were off to the next car, to entertain another slew of dispondent passengers.

I love New York.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

There's not a shortage, just a shortage into me...



I live in New York City. Finding a gay man has never been a problem. [via myspace.com]

Friday, November 18, 2005

MY HOMEGIRLS GONE WILD

I was happy to see ole Madge Ritchie on Primetime Live last night, between stories about violence on college campuses (particularly UNCW where people's parents apparantly think that dorms in the UNC system have "check in desks" and "security officers" and students apparantly don't know how to lock their doors), and Anna-Anna-Anna-Anna-Anna-Nicole-she's-so-outrageous and her crazy ass going all the way to the Supreme Court over her dead husband's money, which, by the way, I have little doubt he ever intended to leave her a cent of.

With Madonna, it's usually the same ole tired ass questions (Kaballah, her husband, how "different" she is these days), and you can tell even she is somewhat irritated with it. Nonetheless, I loved that she regulated on the Primetime lady when she asked "what's this about you having given up the material world?" Madonna said, and I paraphrase, "Look at my house and my clothes, bitch. Do you really think I've given up the material world? I'm just saying I try to put things into perspective these days."

speaking of Kaballah, way way way before I ever heard the word come from Madonna's mouth, there was this batty lady I knew that was all into it. She preached it and would always say how "it's older than the Bible!" Last night on Primetime Live (which was not really live because it was an interview she taped weeks ago when she was in New York) Madonna said that Kaballa "predates religion". I'm telling you, they teach you that line at the Kaballa meetings. Never mind that that is an appeal to tradition, a favorite fallacy of mine, and one that Madonna, if anybody, should be careful to avoid.

In fairness to her though, they do always ask her about it. And whatever trips your trigger, even if I happen to think it's stupid, you know?

In other news, Courtney Love has a daughter to support, a lot of lawyers to pay, and a rehab bill, so she's been working on her new album. This fills me with joy.

Courtney has also returned to Buddhism which strikes me as both a WTF and a very Tina Turner thang to do.

Earlier I ate at KFC, where I ordered a big ole plate of fried grease. It was delicious.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Can't we all just get it on?


Rode Hard, Hung Up Wet

Oh Heidi.

Now I may be proven wrong here, but I don't think Heidi Fleiss is working with a good business plan for the opening of the Cherry Patch Ranch, a legal Nevada brothel that offers the services of "studs" to women. You see, Heidi, the male prostitute industry pretty much depends on the gays. And whether it's gay men or strait women, calling it a "stud farm" is so cheesy (on the same level as stripper "break away" pants) that the proverbial penis of interest in such a thing becomes immediatly flacid. Will rough trade be on the menu? Or are these "sexiest men on Earth" going to be cheese grinning crotch-shaved dorks?

Know your market, that's all I'm saying.

More Dubiously Proud Moments in Blogging

Snow recently pointed out that I am in the top thirty returns for "Riding that train, high on cocaine" on Google. Today via ye olde Sitemeter I discover that I am the number two return.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

For Kevondrala: Council of Divas

This is an email from my dearest Kevondrala, and sheds light onto the metaimaginary fantasy world in which the people in my life live.


from: xxxxxxxx@aol.com
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 19:35:08 EST
Subject: EMERGENCY COUNCIL OF DIVAS MEETING
To: councilofdivas

The DIVA Den's doors are officially opening at 5pm this Saturday, please have your Council of Diva's ID cards and certificates ready upon arrival (not quite sure how this will effect you Jo-Jo, considering that you have yet to do the dance of the seven veils and do not have your official certificate as a result).

Dinner will be served promptly at 7:30. The Grand Empress and Jo-Jo Kaps will be providing and preparing the meal. Mattachine Brooks has be gracious enough to offer to provide baked goods for desert (store bought I'm sure) and The Diva Empress and Robinowitz have been put in charge of alcohol (they will probably get carded and don't you dare go to 7-11). Jo-Jo Kaps has suggested white wine in addition to beer.

Mattachine Brooks will be leading a "sing-a-long" with Madonna's new CD. Drugs, hot men and additional food items are, as always, welcome.

Looking forward to another meeting of the Council of Divas.....


My favorite part is "sore bought I'm sure" because that is of course absolutely right.

In other news, Madonna's new CD is fabulous. When I bought it at Tower Records I asked for the limited edition, but that apparantly does not come out until December 6. I also asked for the "free disco ball" as advertised, but alas, they were out of them.

Tee Dee Dee

Sometimes I get on differnt "kicks" with this little blahg, and what it's about, but it's always about what I call "The Butch Stroll", which is indefinable. In short sometimes it's just about me and what's going on in my life, or "the hum drum", or "shit nobody cares about but me." I'm on one of those kicks. Feel free to skip through those for the good ones. By the way, this is going to be one of those.

The reason I post this little disclaimer is because there are a lot (well, a few) people coming here from my website with my papers (a couple of which I think are pretty good, most of which I think are half ass, many of which are just basically notes on books, and some of which on Wikipedia and are probably much better on that site now than my original or near-original versions). Come back! Sometimes it's interesting, I promise! And email me and tell me how my fabulous little website helped you in English 103! Also, click on a Google ad or two while you're there.

I can tell it's about the middle of the semester and midterms and even finals are in the air. I can almost hear the essay questions of your take-home final exam by your search terms.

And to the person who saved the voodoo paper to your C drive: I know who you are and I saw what you did. You better use that paper for good and not evil. And if you even think about plagiarizing it...well let's just say there might be a lone chicken foot clawing into the screen in your window shortly thereafter. And that's only the beginning of what I will do to your immortal soul. 8-|

In other news:

Got some good work done on my thesis last night, only about 600 more hours and 70 more pages needed to put into it.

Going to purchase Confessions on a Dancefloor today.

Got laundry to pick up.

Might buy a pair of pants today, possibly shoes.

Get out of the cube in 14 minutes and counting.

Our Regularly Scheduled Pogrom

The Butch Stroll word of the day is: pogrom.

Here at The World Church of Assimilation, there are countless times per day that I have to type the word "program". The word "program" is pretty close to "pogrom", only the matter of a transposed letter here and substituted vowel there. So I have this nagging, irrational fear that I am going to type "pogrom" instead of "program" and spell-check won't catch it. I cannot imagine having to explain to the WCA Board of Directors why they recieved a mailing updating them on the finances and implementation of any "pogrom" we're conducting: "Immigrant Services Pogrom a Huge Success!", "Substance Abuser Pogrom Fundraiser" and so on.

Monday, November 14, 2005

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you...

Everyone knows I love Madonna. As I have stated countless times before, I have a loyalty to her like no other entertainment figure or celebrity. I have been a fan and supporter since I was a young child. If her image is on a magazine, I have to purchase it. If her machine is going on tour, I will financially cripple myself and steal from my future in order to aquire tickets. I listen attentively to her interviews. I humor her (to an extent) with the Kabbalah rambling. Tomorrow I will sneak out of work to purchase her new CD. I'll even get behind her on this outfit:

madonnapurple

But, even I can criticize Our Lady. I honestly can't sign my name to this:

madonnasilverymess

It looks like she should be singing "These Boots are Made for Walking", not "Hung Up". I think there are some seventies fashions worth salvaging--I mean, bring back bell bottoms, but keep this shiny poofy sleaved high colored pony in the stable.

(Photos from Madonnalicious and Madonna.nu)

The Things I Tell Myself

Got my school computer account up and running, paid my tuition, and patiently waiting for my validation sticker via USPS. I'm here in the lab just testing things out, because tomorrow I'm going to sit my ass here until I have ten pages of thesis written. I'm only about three months behind. I work well under pressure...right? What's motivating me is not academic integrity or intellectual ambition. At this point, I just want the signature that says "pass" so I can get tuition reimbursement and BE DONE WITH THIS SCHOOL SHIT TO NEVER BE SEDUCED BACK INTO IT.

Meanwhile I am having a profound sense of insecurity regarding my job, and major performance anxiety. Sometimes I feel like the kid who never learned to read that bluffed his way all through high school, then gets to college and finds it's harder to keep up the front. Maybe that's the case with graduate school itself for that matter. Maybe I really can't read...maybe I'm just one of the lucky infinite monkeys in front of infinite typewriters?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I have been known to throw the goat myself...

Metal Council Convenes To Discuss 'Metal Hand Sign' Abuse


"The metal sign, or 'sign of the goat,' has all but lost its impact as a token of respectful recognition for something truly 'rocking' or 'metal,'" SMC president Terence "Geezer" Butler said. According to Butler, members are upset that their sacred gesture is being used to acknowledge and celebrate "favorable but clearly non-metal events."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The damn French, always having a revolution...

I just wrote the most brilliant thing ever about France, but it was lost in the posting process. I had solved all of their problems and ours here in the U.S.A. Damn you blogger. Note to self--start writing your diatribes in notepad first.

Basically, what I was saying is that what is happening in France is the perfect opportunity for Brits and Americans alike to say "nya-nya-nya-boo-boo" to France. Since its refusal to join the "War on Terror", France has been held up as this model of peaceful, liberal society. Now, with the explosion of rioting that is largely downplayed by the media, we see that France, like the U.S., has a huge problem of race and inequality. I will venture to say that the idea of what a "Frenchman" is is more ingrained in the minds of the French than the idea of what an "American" is ingrained in the minds of white America. Further, the fact that the rioters are Muslims provides the opportunity for those who support the Iraq war to say, "Should've joined up, bitches!"

That the rioters in France are Muslims, however, is only a part of the reason they are rioting. The relation between Islam and the riots is that they are rioting because they feel the injustice they deal with stems from their being Muslim, which it does. I think to most French the huge people-of-color Muslim population is an issue of both "out of sight, out of mind" and "as long as they're not in my back yard." Their Muslim problem is different from the Islamic terrorist problem. Their Muslim rioting is different from the Islamic terrorism that the "War on Terror" purports to be ending.
It predates 9/11, the War on Iraq, and Al Queda's jihad against the West. Indeed, it goes back for thirty years.

Here is a quote in which the commentator takes some pot shots but I think he's right:


Alain Duhamel, political commentator: “The French Republic wanted to show the world that with its secular values, its schooling system, its language, its history, its universal principles and its strong State it was capable of transforming any foreigner, from any continent, whatever the colour of his skin and whatever his religious beliefs, into a true patriotic Gaul with a moustache and a tendency to moan.

“This methodical assimilation is one of the keys of the famous, indisputable French exception.

“Other countries — the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Canada — had chosen the different route of multiculturalism and communitarism. They accepted, they encouraged immigrants to cling to their culture, their language, their memory, their original habits. They gave them a margin of autonomy, of self-organisation. They admitted, they proclaimed, they facilitated these differences.

“In France, the republican melting pot, this mysterious and unique receptacle, sought the opposite. From multiple immigrants, it strove to form a single type of citizen. For a long time, Paris observed race riots and fighting in countries having opted for communitarism with gloating superiority.

“Today, it is its turn to cry over its burning model.”


While I think he is overemphasising how well these other countries "facilitated these differences", and while I do think that a certain degree of assimilation is necessary to fare in any new place, I do agree that in the U.S. and other countries, the policies of multiculturalism have fared better than the French's assimilation. They were a little too proud about how well that worked.

I'm in no way endorsing what the rioters are doing, or that France should blame itself (which it has been doing indirectly). Frankly, I think the French should squash it. Put the curfews into effect, and arrest anyone breaking the curfew. Deal with the problems from which it stems after you've secured your cities from burning to the ground.

But to be gleeful about this is a sign of American arrogance. We should have nothing against France, a country that has historically helped us and that we have helped as well. The thought that we don't have our own problems of inequality and race is itself the manifestation of racism. Hurricane Katrina exposed a part of that, and the ensuing violence is a cousin of the kind of violence that is happening in France. Our racial problems are not only focused on recent immigrants and second generation immigrants, but people who have been here for generations, and are just as American as apple pie and baseball. Do people who are knee slapping and saying "see!" in regards to France think that we don't have huge blocks of people that have the same reasons to get pissed off and go buck wild? I think many people do. These are people that also wrongly believe we don't need to clean our own act up or face a riotous revolution of our own...

Friday, November 11, 2005

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

Nedstatbasic, aka Webstats4u, is dead to me. It took me a while to figure out that by adding their code to this here blog, not to mention about four million webpages, I gave them the entry way to throw pop ups (pop ups!) at my visitors. I have washed my hands of them. They will soon be removed from all of my internet property.

In other news I am in passport hell, as my boss has changed her name after her recent marriage. For the women out there let me advise you to keep your name, not to make any feminist statement about your identity but to save yourself a fucking hassle. If anyone knows any secrets of navigating the State Department's Passport Agency, I'm all ears.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stop Bitching

I have been interested in the growth of "hip hop's" "stop snitching" movement for a while. The most popular of the "stop snitching" t-shirts is the one that has a stop-sign on it, with the word "snitching" underneath.

Another of my many t-shirt ideas is to make a parody of this shirt that says, "Stop Bitching".

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Professor...uh...

I guess you'd just call him Professor Fun.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"The Republic Is At An Hour Of Truth"

The above sounds so surreal, like something from Star Wars or Mad Max. But it is in fact a quote from French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin regarding the continuing riots happening all over France. There is, or at least has been, concern that they may erupt in other European countries. Indeed, France is in deep shit.

The reason the quote sounds so surreal is that there has been no real "moment of truth" in my memory. I remember the Berlin Wall coming down. I remember the collapse of the Soviet Union. But I havn't been around for any real government overthrow, at least not in Europe. It wasn't that long ago, in 1968, when, from what I understand, the government was basically ran out of office. When the Prime Minister says, "this is the hour of truth," that, to me, sounds like "holy shit, they're going to run us out of office."

At risk of being offensive or conveying opinions that are easily misinterpreted, I won't address the Muslim aspect of this, which is basically that most of the rioters are Muslims, except to say that there is something to be said for advocating a degree of assimilation into the culture, and regulating immigration. Inequality or not, I hardly doubt that if the shoe were on the other foot the Muslims governments would blame themselves.

Anti-Democratic Activity In Queens.

So I just voted. And I was totally rushed by an impatient jackass of an old man who came in behind me. There was no one in there when I arrived, so I was a quick zip through after a brief explanation of why I'm on the roll twice. (Actually I don't know how that happened, but I told them to take one off and make sure no one impersonates me. Perhaps my evil twin is behind this, or the aliens.)

Anyway, there are four ammendments to vote on, so I'm reading them carefully before I give them the go. Jackass Oldman behind me, says something, and I'm like "Huh?" Then the little mildly retarded polling man (I don't say that to be mean, he really was mildly retarded)stops him from basically harassing me. So I continue reading. Then J. Oldman says, "How long does it take to push the buttons?" and I, being very frustrated by this affront to informed voting, announce, "I'M READING THE AMMENDMENTS." To which M. Retarded replies, "There are other people waiting, sir." Is it my fault they have ONE booth at PS 171? Is it my fault I was a few minutes earlier than J. Oldman and Random Girl?!

So I felt all rushed and I'm not sure I made the right decisions on the proposals to ammend the ammendments. Of course I should have been more knowledgeable about them before I got to the polls, but I'm busy, just like J. Oldman -- who was apparantly in a big fucking hurry to get the 99 cent store, where I saw him when all was said and done.

Monday, November 07, 2005

IN THE NEWS.

France to impose curfew to quell rioting. Seriously, I've been saying this should be the next step for days. I should be running France.

Meanwhile, Riots Not Yet Hurting Tourism in France. However, it is only a matter of time before marauding rioters and burning towns leads to a cancelled flight or two.

In Texas, the town of White Settlement is Split Over Vote to Change Name. I say, call it "Cracker City" and ruffle feathers all around. ;)

Alien abduction and other matters

Recently, a rapist posing as a firefighter has been a Top Story of the New York tabloids. Today, the New York Post featured an article entitled "Loser Lusts for Front Page". Of course, this is on the front page of the NY Post, which thereby actively satiates the rapist's lust.

In other news, Pink Is The New Blogger Trent has a New York Times article about him. That might be the ultimate mark of blog success.

In other news, when I bought the down comforter I didn't know the ghosts of the dead birds would take their revenge by making it painfully pokey. Seriously, some of the stems of those feathers poke through the fibers and pierce my flesh. I've bled. It's getting intolerable. I need a duvet cover.

Speaking of my flesh, I have this little round circle-thing hapening under my left pectoral/breast. It bothers me, though it is not painful or itchy. It is flat, perfectly round, a little smaller than a penny. It kind of looks like those scars people from the Old School got from their polio shots, though it is not deep like that. The only sense I can make of this thing's sudden appearance is that I was abducted by aliens, they did some tests, and marked me for future studies.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Texas Mac & Cheese

I smoked a cigarette, put a beer in a coozy, popped a speed pill and went and ran the New York Marathon today. I came in a close second. It felt great.

Here is a secret recipe, I like to call "Stroll's Texas Mac & Cheese":

Fix Velveeta Mac & Cheese.
Dump a jar of Tostito's salsa in.
Stir.
Serves two, despite the box saying it serves four.

A Night Out: Definately Not The Butch Stroll

I'm tired of hearing how Astoria is this "up and coming" neighborhood. Come UP already. Let's get some action in this neighborhood, can we do that, girls?

Last night S.D.A. and I went to the new gay bar (which makes it the gay bar) here in A-town. At the door they pat you down. Then you enter and there are about ten people there. Seriously, who is there to shoot? What's with the pat down?

By the way, if I hear that 4/4 salsa beat one more time I'm going to lose my shit. When I lived in Washington Heights, at any hour of day or night, if you listened closely, you could hear it. The bar, known as "Trends", gave me flashbacks. I had to drink like 18 vodka-sodas to tolerate it. Goes down easy but what a bang.

The male bartender was hot. I'll give 'em that.

The female bartender motioned for me and S.D.A. to come closer together so she could take a picture. I imagine this is to put on their website or in the local publications to give the illusion that a lot of people were there, that they have a little scene or whatever. I declined the phot-op because, after all, my brand comes with a price. I mean, I don't put my name on just anything. God knows I don't want to show up in Twist magazine or some shit like that. It's hard enough trying to be photogenic in general, much less in glossy pages of gay rags.

We stopped for a slice on the way home. Some loser yelled "faggots" at us from a dirty white SUV. I thanked him for noticing, and then went to bed.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

You're only coming through in waves...

I have done everything possible today to keep from writing my thesis, and I have succeeded in doing just that -- not writing my thesis.

Today I had Dim Sum, The Butch Stroll of Brunch, with Kevondrala.

Then we did a little shopping. I was going to buy one of those graffittied hats that the kids are wearing these days, personalized with "Butch Stroll", but I decided against it.

Then I came back to Queens, where I fiddled around, finally started cleaning up my room, took the trash out and cleaned the trash can in which something brown and nasty had spilled, and sat around smoking cigs and downloading random shit on the internet [quicktime].

And while I could not bring myself to write on my thesis, I have all the papers, documents, emails, and websites that will go into it nicely organized. Well, not so nicely, but somewhat organized.

From The Saints' Guide to Happiness by Robert Ellsberg:

Like St. Augstine before him, Pascal saw human beings as torn between a desire for happiness and an innate confusion about where to find it.


I know that's right.

The Butch Stroll word of the day is slugabed.

Saturday Song Lyrics
"At Seventeen"
by Janis Ian

I leaned the truth at seventeen
that love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear-skinned smiles
who married young and then retired.
The valentines I never knew,
the Friday night charades of youth
were spent on one more beautiful.
At seventeen I learned the truth.

And those of us with ravaged faces,
lacking in the social graces,
desperatly remained at home,
inventing lovers on the phone
who called to say, "Come dance with me,"
and murmured vague obscenities.
It isn't all it seems
at seventeen.

A brown-eyed girl in hand-me-downs
whose name I never could pronounce
Said, "Pity, please, the ones who serve;
they only get what they deserve.
The rich relationed hometown queen
marries into what she needs.
A guarantee of company
and haven for the elderly."

Remember those who win the game
lose the love they sought to gain.
In debentures of quality
and dubious integrity.
Their small-town eyes will gape at you
in dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received
at seventeen.

To those of us who know the pain
of valentines that never came,
and those whose names were never called
when choosing sides for basketball.
It was long ago and far away;
the world was much younger than today
and dreams were all they gave away for free
to ugly duckling girls like me.

We all play the game and when we dare
to cheat ourselves at solitaire.
Inventing lovers on the phone,
repenting other lives unknown
that call and say, "Come dance with me,"
and murmur vague obscenities
at ugly duckling girls like me
at seventeen.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Zzzzzzzzz

I want to write about the spreading Muslim riots in France, the violence in Ethiopia, President Bush's visit to Argentina and the ensuing protests, and all about Plan B, but I'm too dang tired. So I'm going to bed at 9:30 on a Friday night.

Like the song says, "She works hard for the money so you better treat her right."

Tomorrow I'll be thesising.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Dubiously Proud Moments in Blogging

I am the fourth site returned from the MSN search for "riding that train, high on cocaine."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween Kicked Ass


Sith Drag 11
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
On Friday I told the Big Big Boss that I would like to take Monday off. She laughed and asked if I were planning on going to the parade. I said yes, an she said, "Of course you can have the day off."

I loved the attention that only an eight foot tall Darth Vader in black spandex and gold dangly things can attract. At first I was a little timid about, um, exposing myself as such on these here streets of Queens, but once I wisked past the neighbors--none of whom I ever see except when I am in a fucking cat suit of course--I got on the street and realized I shouldn't be scared--I'm scary. I was menacing. Getting downtown was full of gasps and oohs and ahs.

I was with my cousin Lito, the Starfleet Captain. People continously snapped pictures, shouted out to us, stopped us on the street, and in general celebrated the Sith.

Though I could only see the fuzzy blur of camera flashes through the tented eyes of the mask, I managed to hold my own and give a little runway or two down the streets as people parted like the red sea. Jaws were kind of dropped. Of course, my entire head was concealed under a two piece black plastic helmet, but I gave the body honey. Mama gave the body.

I have to say I worked it out with my costume, and sadly the batteries in my camera died so I only have photos from the night before courtesy of S.D.A. and my hallway. Please don't notice how dingy the walls look. We're gonna paint soon.

In other news I have gathered a variety of papers I've written over the years to insert directly into my thesis, which should have been started about three months ago. It will be a Frankenstein-like thesis, but it'll do. I'm going to start writing more this weekend. The temptation to just quit is almost overwhelming.

At work, I busted balls today. I'm running that place and I think they all secretly know it.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Possibly the funniest line from a Chick Tract ever:



"There's comics in here! They'll show you how to go to heaven."

"Cool! Thanks!"

LOL

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Trick Or Treat


Sith Drag 10
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
Halloween has gone too far.

Look for me tomorrow in the parade.

Distraction

Screw my thesis, I'm doing NaNoWriMo.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

NOTE TO SELF AND OTHERS

Don't forget to set your clocks back!

The Boys on the Radio

Last night Jo Jo K and I took to the stroll for 1984, which was having the annual Halloween Madonnathon. Sick and twisted, we gave it to the children. Being on The Butch Stroll requires a certain down-for-whateverness, and Jo Jo is always truly Down For Whatever. You might not think that "all Madonna, all night long" would be very Butch Stroll, but you must remember that The Butch Stroll is wherever you take it. ;)

Since it is the Halloween Season, I figured I would wear something scary, like guns:



Another consideration for these pants, which give a "painted on" look, is that they are the only clean pair I own right now. Considering how many pairs of pants I own, this also speaks to how critical (sad?) the laundry situation has gotten around here.

I am already a tall person, so the six inch platform shoes, which I was forced to wear because I sure as hell wasn't going to wear penny loafers or Kenneth Coles with those pants, made me abnormally tall. My butt was around Jo Jo's breasts to put things into perspective. When we got up in there there is no telling how many toes I crushed under the weight of my thick rubber soles.

But before we were even in a cab headed from A-town to Downtown, a gang of ruffians were yelling at us, some strange mixture of "faggot" and "hey baby" that I love so much. Those poor children, so confused by how tall and slim I was couldn't decide if they love me or hate me, yet they know they love every minute of it. I gave them some poses and a flirty little wave goodbye as we got in the cab, and the leader of that little group blew me a kiss. So I guess that settles that.

There was this one little redbone guy there who I kept referring to as "my boyfriend" though he was a complete stranger, and as is the story of my life, I let him get away like the boys on the radio..."they crash and burn they fold and fade so slow..." We could have had many a night of talking about Madonna and postmodernism and choreographing our lives together, but alas, I had to wave goodbye before my carriage turned into a pumpkin (i.e. cabs stopped being plentiful) so Jo Jo and I ate the most delicious piece of pizza ever and returned to the Compound. What could have been, but what was never meant to be...

I had a couple of mean moments, but only ever am I mean is if someone deserves it. And this girl deserved it, for sheer bad attitude and shade-throwing. She was dressed as Rainbow Bright, one of the only costumes in the joint, and when she got up in my face I told her with excited praise: "You make the best CARE BEAR ever!" Completely shut down.

I am in a really strange mood today. I have to put a stop to this glamorously filthy lifestyle and go wash some clothes now, and I just might wear my Darth Vader helmet to go do it. More later. Holla!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Trick or Treating Deer

The Pennsylvania Game Commission asks anyone who has seen a deer with a pumpkin head to call 1-814-643-1831.

Edited to add: What's really interesting about this article is that, while there is legitimate concern for the deer, the article notes that if the wildlife officials see it "a tranquilizer gun is not an option because it would make it unfit for human consumption for up to thirty days." So while there is an effort to save this deer from the thing on its head, it's still game. I find myself in another conflict akin to the previous post about fishbowls/birdcages. I would, and have, eaten members of that deer's species. True, it wouldn't suffer as much from being shot and cooked as it would from dying of thirst because of a pumpkin on its head, but still. There's something conflicting or contradictory about my feelings for this animal. For a while now I have seen myself on the road to vegetarianism. One day, maybe.

Possibly the Greatest Website Ever Created.

You can do anything at Zombo.com

The CIA Leak Case

Like any good graduate student, I appreciate a good summary of anything long and detailed. So regarding the CIA leak case, I appreciated this: Confused about the CIA leak case? Start here.

Allow me to summarize even further: They are all crooks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

PICTURES OF QUEERS!

People think I am a hypochondriac, but I really do constantly have new ailments and conditions. Anyway, I am certain that I am afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

When it was Spring, I was bouncing back to life, and then over the Summer I kicked major ass and generally felt good about things like living life and being fabulous. Suddenly though, it's 40 degrees outside, rainy all the time, and it starts getting dark at five and I'm hating it.

By the way, did you hear that there are lesbians in the WNBA? Who knew?

Speaking of lesbians and other homosexuals, the story about the American Family Association's claim that Walgreens is pro-HIV because they support the Gay Games has been making the blog rounds. The American Family Association has put these pictures on their website (the page is named "gaygamesproof1.html") to show the shear and utter debauchery these queers are involved in. "The following photos are shown here for the purpose of educating Walgreens customers to the types of activities their purchases are supporting." I wonder how many of their members are secretly tittilated by boys kissing boys and girls kissing girls? Seriously, these pictures are tame. Give me $100 for drinks and a disposable camera and I can get you some material to work with, people.