Monday, August 3, 2009

New Site!

Welcome to all of my fabulous visitors!

The oldsite -- with the bombastic URL "cincywestsidequeer.blogspot.com" -- is no longer the host for QueerCincinnai.com. Please update your bookmarks to the new site: http://queercincinnati.wordpress.com . Shortly, the URL www.queercincinnati.com will redirect you to the new site.

Thanks for reading, and look forward to you coming back!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Away! Away! Away!



Off to Charleston -- maybe for the last time ever -- pray we stay in the air!

PS Check out the ad that I saw on QueerCincinnati.com, weird, huh? Especially considering the Scientologists are threatening (we think) to out John Travolta, at least his personal secrets, if he leaves the0 church cult religion practice.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Three Takes on the Same Story

A South Carolina man has been charged with having sex with a horse -- for the second time.

Joe. My. God. says: "It's a crazy world, people."

Cincinnati Blog says: "In a new low, the Enquirer chose this story to pick up from the AP Wire. I guess they have a large equine readership down in the Bluegrass state that would be interested."

The owner, Barbara Kinley, via the Huffington Post, says: "Everyone around here has horses," Kenley said. "And they all said the same thing. You should have shot him."

I say: I have officially added "bestiality" to the list of tags on my blog. Win?

Cleveland: Finalist for Gay Games, 2014

Thanks to UrbanCincy.com for the heads up:

Cleveland is a finalist to host the 2014 Gay Games, along with Washington, DC and Boston. UrbanCincy notes that the event could help pump nearly $60million into the northeastern Ohio economy, bringing in visitors and sportsmen from around the world. The bid was spearheaded by the Cleveland Synergy Foundation, and their full bid book is available online here.

The Gay Games have been around since 1984. Previous host cities have included New York City, Sydney (Australia), San Francisco, Vancouver, Amsterdam, and Chicago. The 2010 Games will occur in Cologne.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kissing Mary

Hamburger Mary's - Cincinnati is reopening its doors for lunch on July 29th (that's -- ahem, tomorrow), and tonight for dinner. The bar -- entitled "Dirty Mary's" -- is still underconstruction and will be open in approximately a month. Business Courier article, thanks to @winemedineme and the Wine Me, Dine Me, Cincinnati website.

Cincinnati will be participating in the Great Nationwide Kiss-in to protest police actions against same-sex PDA across the country, thanks to ImpactCincinnati and Cincinnati Guerrilla Queer Bar. Facebook Event.

Ha -- this is me "on vacation."

Monday, July 27, 2009

On vacation!

I'm taking a little vacation for the next week or so -- I'll be heading home to Charleston (SC) this weekend, so it is unlikely you'll hear from me until after then, but I wanted to give everyone a heads up!

Also, nearly done with Gone With the Wind ... any suggestions for my next read?

Friday, July 24, 2009

"The Sign"

Out of Fort Worth, thanks to Towleroad...

Discuss.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Half-Naked New York Firemen and Don't Ask Don't Tell

First, business. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's seat, has decided to pull an amendment to the defense bill -- the same one with the Matthew Shepard Act -- that would put a stay on discharges from the military based on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." She decided that the Senate did not have the necessary 60 votes to end a filibuster. So many things wrong with the thing, including the question of whether we really need to overcome a filibuster every time to get anything done anymore. Remember, it only takes 51 votes to pass, not 60. Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) have promised to propose legislation to end the discriminatory policy. No word on when though.


And, second, you know all how much I love beefcake. Well, the 2010 New York Firemen calendar has come out for purchase. Though, for the most part, it is an experiment in the thought that "men in groups look better than a man alone," it's still quite tasty to look through. Thanks to Queerty for the full photo set and the below video of the making of...


Joe.My.God. points out, astutely, that it's labeled the FDNY calendar -- not the NYFD calendar as in past years after a 2008 model was found performing in Guys Gone Wild video (link -- NSFW) with his massive schlong. The department pulled its support for the calendar soon after.

Purchase the 2010 calendar here.

Alice in Wonderland

Thanks so much to Wolfie at Back2Stonewall for posting this. You do not know how much I love Tim Burton. I used to say (in high school) that my favorite movies were "dark, Gothic surrealism -- you know, things like Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas." Then, I realized they were all done by the same guy. Though I think his love affair with Johnny Depp borders on homoerotic, you have to admit the two are made for each other.

I mean check out the trailer for 2010's Alice in Wonderland:

Oh, and wander over to Tim Burton's IMDB page, do I see the following as one of his next projects:
Whoa, dude. I think I just squealed a little bit.

HIV/AIDS Updates

Nothing truly ground breaking this morning, but a couple of neat little snippets you might be interested in:
  • Chimps are getting sick from a disease that looks suspiciously like AIDS. The theory has long stood that HIV is a mutated version of the far more pacific chimp disease, SIV, though there has been no actual connection ever made. Our closest evolutionary cousins are starting to get sick and dying off, offering both a threat and a hope. On the one hand, chimpanzees are endangered and a radically virulent new illness further threatens their precarious existence; on the other hand, scientists can study why the monkeys do or don't get sick and may be able to apply it to humans. It's being called 'the missing link.'
  • Circumcision in men has been finally proven to not be an effective prevention measure for female partners. But it may be protective for men who have sex with men. Meanwhile, people with HIV/AIDS are being encouraged to take their meds to reduce transmission. Call me old school, how about this: wear a condom, get tested, get your partner tested. :-) (As a side note: I will comment that I am of the belief that without extraordinary intervention, especially in the developed world, we may have reached the lowest possible infection rate. And by "extraordinary intervention," I'm talking cure or vaccine or microbicide.)
  • Women progress to AIDS faster than men, even with the same level of virus in their body. Did you know that? Actually, I didn't either. Rather than quote the article from Science Daily based on a paper coming out this week (which uses sentences like: "Earlier studies indicated that pDCs recognize HIV-1 using a receptor called Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7), leading to production of interferon-alpha and other important immune system molecules." which I barely understood), I'll sum it up this way: it appears that, again, a woman's hormones fuck them yet again. That was kind of insensitive of me.
  • In perhaps the most interesting ethical HIV questions to come out in a long time, the porn actress who was diagnosed with the disease is suing over the privacy of her medical records. Apparently, the state of California has subpoenaed her health care provider for information regarding her health status, and, most specifically, her identity. Can we call that "career ending?" Fuck Cal/OSHA.
Remember, make sure you are getting tested. For most people, every 6 months to a year is completely reasonable, but consult your HIV tester or health care provider for a more thorough assessment for your sexual risk and reduction methods. Contact STOP AIDS at 513-421-2437 to schedule a free, 20-minute oral HIV test. And pick up some condoms while you're there.

WEARING WHAT WEDNESDAY: Freddie Stroma

In honor of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince -- which I've promised to see with my mother next weekend -- thought I'd brought to you a delicious little piece of man-candy known as Freddie Stroma, an upcoming British actor/model who plays Cormac McLaggen in the latest flick. Thanks to Towleroad for the heads up on the boy, and for the video of him dancing in his underwear below :-).









Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In Ohio, men tell women whether or not to have an abortion

... or so a new law would have it.

Thanks to the every informative @JereKeys of www.JereKeys.com (who will be leaving and I will be at a loss for good information sources once he is gone). I'm just going to quote straight from the story and not comment, because I think the Pam's House Blenders are doing a fine job:
Led by Rep. John Adams, a group of state legislators have submitted a bill that would give fathers of unborn children a final say in whether or not an abortion can take place.

It's a measure that, supporters say, would finally give fathers a choice.

"This is important because there are always two parents and fathers should have a say in the birth or the destruction of that child," said Adams, a Republican from Sidney. "I didn't bring it up to draw attention to myself or to be controversial. In most cases, when a child is born the father has financial responsibility for that child, so he should have a say."

As written, the bill would ban women from seeking an abortion without written consent from the father of the fetus. In cases where the identity of the father is unknown, women would be required to submit a list of possible fathers. The physician would be forced to conduct a paternity test from the provided list and then seek paternal permission to abort.

Claiming to not know the father's identity is not a viable excuse, according to the proposed legislation. Simply put: no father means no abortion.
I think there is a distinct sector of society that honestly believes that the only real people are those in long-term monogamous marriages, and that shotgun weddings are the answer to all of life's sexual problems.

So much for that whole sexual revolution, and woman's reproductive rights movement we had.

10 Year Anniversary?

It with some reticence that I call this a happy anniversary.

Ten years ago this month, my brother, my best friend, and I were walking on the beach with a pack of cigarettes. Though I had dabbled in the habit since I was 13, it was that night that I learned what it meant to inhale, and thus the jokes about Bill Clinton's marijuana history. I wandered down the beach, heavily nicotine buzzed, and I looked at my brother and asked for another. That summer, one pack, a bottle of vodka, and four people were too much for us to finish. We would be coughing our lungs up the next day.

July 2009 -- I am now, as the medical profession would say, a "ten pack year smoker" -- that is, on average, one pack a day for ten years.

Win?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Pull-and-Pray

Dan Savage has an interesting take on it, but it bears repeating. I have something to say about it, too, but I don't have the time to write it down, so this post is more about "Barry reminding himself to write later." Per the NYTimes article, set off by a June article in Contraception magazine (warning: PDF):
“If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year,” the authors write.

For condoms, used optimally, the rate is about 2 percent. But more significant, the authors say, are the rates for “typical use,” because people can’t be expected to use any contraception method perfectly every time. Typical use of withdrawal leads to pregnancy 18 percent of the time, they write; for typical use of condoms 17 percent of the time.

(There are other, more effective methods. Failure rates for the pill and the patch are about 8 percent; for Depo-Provera injections, about 3 percent; and for diaphragms, about 16 percent. Intrauterine devices fail less than 1 percent of the time.)
Did you know some gay men use the withdrawal method as a means of protecting themselves against HIV? Truth. "On me, around me, just not in me."

Additionally, I wonder if there isn't an interesting study to be done on the effectiveness of withdrawal as a function of age. How well does a teenage virgin practice withdrawal as compared to a, say, established man in his early 40s?

But I've been reading David Halperin, and I've been wondering about risk taking these days, so... yea, I'm trying to cross reference in my head.

Politicking the Matthew Shepard Act

A few days ago, the Matthew Shepard Act -- adding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the federal hate crimes statute -- was attached to the $680B Department of Defense 2010 authorization bill, which Obama had threatened to veto due to an egregious outlay for a F-22 building program. Unfortunately, such politicking begets more politicking, especially when the budget of the DoD is probably one of the more contentious things you can touch after 7 years or so war in two countries:
  • The F-22 funding was stripped today from the Senate bill 58-40. Though it makes Obama happy, the money was approved by the House. Even if the new bill passes as is, the two chambers have to reconcile the differences. Who knew any of us queers woudl care about a couple of fighter planes quite so much?
  • The ACLU has come out against the Senate version of the bill, saying that the Senate version lacks "the strong protections for speech and association" found in the House version.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who is, btw, against the Matthew Shepard Act and voted against its passage, added three new amendments to the bill, in a move that seems to be directed at killing it. The three amendments would allow the death penalty for some hate crimes cases, would require the Justice Department to revise its standards of a hate crime, and would create an additional set of punishment for crimes involving servicemembers. The HRC tells us why these additions are absurdities.
Friend of the blog "Maybe it's just me..." has a list of who voted for and against the Act in the Senate. All the Senators from Ohio and Indiana voted for it, whereas Bunning (KY) voted against it and McConnell.. umm didn't vote?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Local School Board Election

The local school board is something I do not follow; the elections even less so. All I know is that CPS, for the most part, gets really bad press. Whether its deserved or not, I do not know, as I am not a product of that system. Charleston County (SC) School District got bad press, too, but there were enough bright spots within the system to make it a worthwhile education.

It's only recently that I've begun to pay attention to school based LGBTQ issues, not only due to the media regarding bullying, murders, and suicides of queer kids in middle- and high-schools, but because of the tireless advocacy of the local GLSEN organization.

I have not yet done my research on all the candidates, and I am only aware of one person running for the CPS board -- Jason Haap, local activist, editor of the Cincinnati Beacon, and friend to this blog. Haap is hugely LGBTQ-friendly and has come to me on a couple of occasions with questions regarding the local community and how he, as a supporter, can be (well) more supportive. When he announced his campaign for school board, after stirring up a little trouble (as only he could :-)) by announcing a mayoral race, he sent me a message on how a curriculum could be more LGBTQ-friendly.

I checked out his website (via his Facebook group) a few days after that conversation, and this appears there:
Other elements, like anti-bullying efforts and recognitions of excellence, should be linked into the curriculum more particularly. Anti-bullying should not be reduced to random pull-out programs with guest speakers, but a district wide policy should make reporting and follow-up more user-friendly (such as accepting information via email, text, and so forth). Those students who do something spectacular should be recognized more regularly for acts of excellence, and the district should partner with the City of Cincinnati and area media to promote excellence as a strategy to improve the schools, the neighborhoods, and the City as a whole.
I think I just made myself a brand new goal for the 2009 elections: get all the school board electors to make strong anti-bullying statements in their platform. Do you think that's feasible? (Don't worry, GLSEN, you'll be hearing from me first :-).) I have made endorsements in past elections. I think, now that Cool Summer is over, I may spend my time on the 2009 local elections so that you, my dear readers, can have a better view of who is on our side and who is not.

Can we make CPS a more LGBTQ-friendly space? Is it already? What are your experiences?

Marriage Equality ... in Kentucky?

Marriage Equality Kentucky (TM) has announced a public petition to remove the voter-approved Constitutional Amendment 233A, voted for in 2004, which limits the definition of marriage in that state as between one man and one woman.

You might remember that there was a host of states in 2004 that passed marriage amendments ranging from just banning marriage -- Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and Oregon -- to banning marriage and civil unions -- Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah -- to all contracts -- Michigan. It was perceived then, as now, as a move to bring out the radical right to the voting booth and push George W. Bush into his second term as President. It worked.

Kentucky is one of the few states actually moving to repeal, at this point, it seems. I have heard nothing from any of the above states listed. In my own opinion, it is too early for marriage, though I am not against the attempt made. I think a lot of these states lack in the very basic protections for LGBTQ folks. Ohio itself is still facing a shockingly uphill battle just receiving employment and housing protections for sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Public accomodations and hate crimes on a statewide level, word is, is further down the line. And the adoption fight is very real in some of those states; Ohio itself may soon be threatened with right wingers banning gay folk from adopting.

In a world where we seem to have the support of most voters in theory, it's amazing how slow we've been able to turn that support into action, isn't it?

But back to the point...

Marriage Equality Kentucky (TM), under the funding of a friend of this blog, the Kentucky Equality Federation, is starting a petition to repeal Constitutional Amendment 233A. If you are a Kentucky resident and believe in marriage equality, I recommend you sign it. The petition will be organized by zip code an presented to the Kentucky legislature.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Teacher Speaks

After months of refusing interviews due to overwhelming depression and therapy, Larry King's teacher speaks to the LA Times. King, you might recall, was the foster child who was viciously murdered by his classmate after months of torment over his gender expression. Her tale is simultaneously enlightening and heart-wrenching, telling of the utter devastation such a terrible act of violence has not only on the victim and the victim's family, but on everyone around:
"Look Larry, you can't shove this into people's faces," [Dawn] Boldrin recalled warning the 15-year-old who had a habit of taunting those who made fun of him. "That's as wrong as them saying there's something wrong with you."

That was the last time she felt whole as a teacher, a mother and a wife, Boldrin said in a recent interview at her Camarillo home, the first time she has talked to the media about what happened that day.

Within minutes, one of Larry's classmates, Brandon McInerney, stood up in the lab, pulled out a gun and shot him twice from behind as Boldrin shouted, "What the hell are you doing, Brandon?"
Boldrin was both protective and supportive of King, even giving him one of her daughter's gowns to know that he was loved and that people around him supported his gender. It's hard to make in through the interview without tearing up quite a bit.

Thanks to just about everyone on Twitter today for this.

Going through my collections

In an effort to constantly improve myself and find joy in other things except for drinking, carousing, and intimate encounters, I have two new goals: read more and go through my movie collection. And, because I am an obsessive blogger, I plan to write about it as I go.

Reading
I have a lot of books. At one point, I documented well over 2,000 books I owned. For the nerdy and outcast teen that I was -- my middle school years are highlighted by my social ostracism, both internally and externally -- I read voraciously. By 7th grade, I was reading several thousand pages a semester (I know because my English teacher required us to document our reading in great detail). I continued the need for books well into college, though my reading has significantly dropped off since.

My parents are moving and found a large collection of books left in a closet by yours truly, and she's bringing them here. The theory was that, after I went to college, I would trade out my college every couple years when I got bored with it. I am now confronted with the reality of not only having read the grand majority of the books on my shelf, but the addition of hundreds more.

In the past month, I've racked up thousands of pages, and I've found myself enjoying the effort. Some recent completions:
  • George R.R. Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire series -- I admit it, I'm a scifi/fantasy junkie. I have read all the greats and am depressed at the notion that Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series will not be completed by the man himself. I picked up Martin's series in college and loved it, though we are still waiting for it to be complete. Like Jordan's series, it was intended to be three, maybe four, books and has now ballooned out to probably six or seven. I own only the first three and, after my recent re-read of the first three, I am foaming at the mouth of the next few. I think I am like most readers of the series though, wondering when the Starks, the central character family, will start doing something than dying off slowly. It has now been referred onto my brother whom I think will enjoy it. Read time (3 books): about two weeks.
  • Flora Rheta Schreiber's Sybil -- Though steeped in some controversy -- some say Sybil, nee Shirley Ardell Mason, was misdiagnosed by her psychiatrist, Cornelia B. Wilbur -- the book is an interesting and fascinating look into the world of psychoanalysis and the ofter over-diagnosed condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder (Disassociate Identity Disorder). I read it for the first time in a series of books with similar themes, including When Rabbit Howls and The Three Faces of Eve, early in high school. I thought I wanted to be a psychiatrist at that point in my life. Though experiences since with the extremely mentally ill have changed my desire, the book is, nonetheless, fascinating. It's also not for the faint of heart, as the details of Sybil's abuse as a child will leave you squirming. Read time: about four days.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon -- I don't remember exactly when I picked this book up, though it was probably in the middle school era where I was experimenting with religion and thought Wicca was it. It wasn't. I tried to read the book way back when, but I was unsuccessful and, going through this time, I found multiple book marks and dog eared pages where I had left off before. I was somewhat disappointed with it, as it was hardly the classic that everyone put it out to be. The characters were bland and the intrigue even moreso. Read time: about ten days.
  • Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show -- I long established as one of my favorite books of all time, and I found it equally enjoyable this time around, though it can no longer be counted as amongst my favorites. It's good and made for a quick read, but it isn't quite as life changing this time around. Apparently, there are other books in a series -- dubbed The Art, or a sequel at least -- but I really am not driven to read them. Read time: three days.
  • Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth -- I was disappointed with this read the first time, thinking I wasn't as impressed with it as everyone said I would be. I'm actually enjoying it much more, this time around. It's a much heavier text than the rest, and I'm going slowly. Currently in the middle of it. It's an Oprah book, now, too.
Not sure what's next -- but I'll keep you updated, no doubt.

Watching
I own well over 200 movies, a collection I began in college when I got my first DVD player. The first movie I bought? Don't laugh -- South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. Hey, it's funny. Anyways, after discovering the cheapy movie deals offered at most movie rental places (seriously -- 4 movies for $20?!), my collection has grown exponentially since, though my watching has not kept pace and there is a huge number of titles that I have never seen before. I think it's time to actually make it through my entire collection, this time around. What have I watched so far, in about two weeks of trying:
  • Mists of Avalon -- FIRST TIME WATCH-- Especially having come off reading the book, I noticed that the movie was missing a lot of important details, though it works as a movie. Shocking, with such a huge amount of talent, you'd think it would have been better. (4 out of 10)
  • The Emperor's New Groove -- Seen it god knows how many times, and I am still entertained by it, though it didn't make it far in the box office. Worth a great chuckle, though not ground breaking cinema. (8 out of 10)
  • The Sweetest Thing -- Simple, lighthearted, and it's difficult to deny the joy of watching The Penis Song scene over and over and over again. As an amusement, it ranks high. Anything else -- including intelligent humor -- it lacks. (6 out 10)
  • The Incredibles -- My favorite movie of all time. I can't get over how well done the movie is, especially with rich characters like Edna Mode and the extensive back story they created for the flick as evidenced by the DVD extras. I am shocked that no one ever decided to make a sequel, though there are enough rumors saying it will happen. Nothing was ever confirmed, and it makes me sad. Charming, funny, and well thought out. (9.5 out of 10)
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow -- FIRST TIME WATCH -- How can so many amazing actors pick such a bad movie? I could barely be bothered to keep track of what was happening. The cinematography was amazing, however, and was the only thing saving the flick. I left wondering what the point was. (2 out of 10)
  • Fame -- FIRST TIME MAKING IT THROUGH -- Meh. Also a classic, but I wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I should be for as many homo's that say they love it. I mean, it was fun and I liked it, but I think the number of times I've fallen asleep watching it is a testament to my interest level. Classic scenes, though, and you'll recognize many references for later works. (5 of 10)
  • Borat -- I turned it on the day Bruno came out. It is what you know it to be -- filled with low brow humor that you can't help but laugh at. I'm not sure why I bought it, and I'm not sure what would encourage me to watch it again in the future. (6 of 10)
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- We, like so many people, heard about it from the grapevine, pre-Twitter, and I was charmed enough to see it a second time in the theatre. I never go watch a movie twice in a movie theatre. It is much as you remember -- fun and whimsical and totally worth your time. And, extra score, the jokes are still funny! (9 out of 10)
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age -- FIRST TIME WATCH -- I loved the movie that preceded this, Elizabeth, so much, and I did enjoy the sequel. It's not as historically valid as the first, and has some continuity problems, but it's well-done and beautifully produced. I'd recommend the first one over this, but I would still suggest you check it out. (7 out of 10)
  • The Wiz -- Watched it twice since Michael Jackson died, and I love it still. It is a brilliantly recrafted and rethought version of The Wizard of Oz, and it may actually live up to the original for its creativity. The songs will stick in your head for weeks, and Diana Ross is simply fabulous, while the final bit by Lena Horne makes you realize why she was a star. (9 out of 10)
  • Sweeney Todd -- I am on a Sasha Baron Cohen kick this week, apparently, and I turned this on to remind myself that the man does have some amazing versatility as an actor. Add great performances by Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, and Helena Bonham Carter, including some surprising vocal talent by the three, and you have a definite winner. Bloody as hell, though. Not an every-day'er though, and I think, in cutting down the original Broadway piece, it lost a little bit (8 out of 10)
  • The Devil Wears Prada -- How can you not have seen this movie? I read the book a few weeks before it came out; my sister was reading it and it was just a cheapie little bit that seemed to be written so that it could be a movie. It turned out to be an excellent flick with a couple of Oscar nom's to boot. (9 out of 10)
The only problem is that I seem to be going after previously watched movies, or favorites. I'm trying to learn to balance new flicks with the old favorites. So far, successful.

I'm not sure if anyone cares about any of this, but I do. :-)

Probable Cause or Intent to Embarass

Ran up to the Stop'n'Go on McMillan this evening -- a local convenient store that is open 24 hours and has earned the distinction of being the Stop'n'Rob for the regularity of burglaries there. Something like once a day, but I don't know that for sure.

As I ran in around 2:30am to pick up a pack of cigarettes (or three), there were three cops out front. I had to be buzzed into the store. I asked what was the problem. The man behind the desk informed me that it was traffic stop -- it, apparently, necessary for three cops to pull someone over. I took my time, intrigued by what major infraction would bring three cop cars -- one without lights -- to go after a girl who looked to be no older than her early 20s and who was panicked on the phone, probably with a friend. By the time I purchased my cigarettes, I walked outside where groups of UC students were slowing down to watch the scene and laughing. The girl's face was buried in her hands as she talked hurriedly on the phone. A twosome was standing outside the doors of the store, smoking, laughing, and talking about the situation. I pulled out my phone to take a picture, and two of the cops, both white, in their late 20s or early 30s, one just under six feet, one a few inches more, approached the car and said, "Here's your license and registration ma'am." That's all I heard of the mumbled conversation before they returned to their cars and let her go.

Assessment: no serious infraction was committed. Had it been a DUI, more would have been done and likely the girl taken off to the Justice Center for the evening. Had she been anything more than just a traffic violation, then more would have been done and the folk around said they had not seen the girl leave her car.... which means this was, at most, a speeding or reckless driving infraction.

They needed three cops for that.

I usually defend emergency responders. For the most part, they do their best with little thanks and people are oft to make quick judgments about them without the full information.

A few weeks ago, I heard our medical director at the Emergency Department teach a second year resident, a medical student, a handful of nurses, and me about patient's dignity. "She's already lost her dignity," he said, "she's in the emergency room screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. She won't remember you telling her off or making a further fool of her. All it does it make you look bad to the other patients around who just think you're being a bunch of cruel asses. Just get her in, make sure she's stable, make sure she's got all the treatment we can do in her current condition, shut the door, and get out. She'll be asleep soon enough."

It's a valuable lesson, and one I think the cops, this evening, should have taken. She's embarrassed enough, being pulled over on a busy street at 2:30am. Do what you need to do and get her on her way. If you think you need more backup, bring them, and then send them on their way when it becomes obvious you don't.

Otherwise you're just making yourself look like an ass -- especially when you've been running plates to make extra cash for the city, as happened to Katy of KatesRandomMusings.com.

STUPID JOKE SATURDAY!

What do you call a woman with a sheep on her head?
Ba-Baa-Ra.

Why is a cat black?
Because it is.

How is a duck like a bicycle?
They both have wheels, except for the duck.

---

In the old west, a settler is watching an Indian meeting. There is an old woman sitting on a hippopotamus hide, and two younger women sitting on other types of pelts. Everybody seems to be listening to the old woman, but paying only half as much attention to the younger ones. After a while the settler asks his Indian guide why the older woman is treated with so much more respect. The guide answers, “The squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the squaws of the other two hides.”

---

Five pigs went into a bar. The first pig asked for one glass of beer. He drank it and asked where the bathroom was. The bartender said, “Down the hall and to the right.”

The second pig ordered 2 glasses of beer. He drank them and asked where the bathroom was. The bartender said, “Down the hall and to the right.”

The third pig ordered 3 glasses of beer. He drank them down, then asked where the bathroom was. The bartender said, “Down the hall and to the right.”

The fourth pig ordered 4 glasses of beer. He drank them down then asked where the bathroom was. The bartender said, “Down the hall and to the right.”

The fifth pig ordered 5 glasses of beer. He drank them down, paid his tab, then began to leave. The bartender stopped him and said, “Aren’t you going to ask where the bathroom is?” The pig replied, “No. I’m the one that goes wee-wee all the way home!

---

A juggler, driving to his next performance, is stopped by the police. “What are these matches and lighter fluid doing in your car?” asks the cop. “I’m a juggler and I juggle flaming torches in my act.” “Oh yeah?” says the doubtful cop. “Lets see you do it.” The juggler gets out and starts juggling the blazing torches masterfully.

A couple driving by slows down to watch. “Wow,” says the driver to his wife. “I’m glad I quit drinking. Look at the test they’re giving now!”

---

There were three horny dogs (A British bulldog, A German Shepherd and a Chihuahua).

A poodle walked by and she says "Ill let one of you f*** me if you can use liver and cheese in the same sentence"...

The Bulldog says: "I hate liver and cheese"...

She says: "Nope that wont work"...

The German Shepherd says: "I love liver and cheese"...

She says: "Nope that wont work"...

The Chihuahua says: "Liver alone cheese mine"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

COOL SUMMER

Many thanks to everyone who came out for Cool Summer: Our House to Yours! We had a great crowd and raised about $800 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Cincinnati, though I forgot to take any pictures! :-) That will help off set the stay of a family at the House for 36 days!

Many thanks to my partners in crime, Julie of WineMeDineMeCincinnati.com, Katy of KatesRandomMusings.com, Monika and Shannan of CincinnatiWomenBloggers.com. Also, many thanks to Below Zero Lounge for being such a fabulous host, and thanks to Lancome for setting up and doing free makeup consultations! And, of course, thanks to M2B Designs for her amazing graphic!

I think by the end of the night the overall reaction was: success!

Also, congratulations to the Ensemble Theatre Company and STOP AIDS for a hugely successful Big Hair Bingo, with pictures brought to you by Cincinnati NAMjA!

Of course, after the party and the time at Blue Bar with Cincinnati Guerrilla Queer Bar, I found myself sick with god knows what... so much so that I just woke up about an hour ago. Sigh. We're going to chalk it up to the relief from stress.

Job Postings per 1,000 Residents

And Cincinnati is number 15 on the list, ranking the top 50 metro areas in the counry. Yet another "Where are you getting these numbers and are you applying them properly?" studies.


And, as an addenda, thanks to The Urbanophile out of Indianapolis, here are a couple other pieces of interest you may want to check out:
  • The New York Times did a piece for their Travel section entitled 36 Hours in Cincinnati, detailing what a weekend in the Queen City was like and where cool things are in our fair city. The writer checked out such great locales including the Northside Tavern, Shake It Records, the Cincinnati Ballet, Playhouse in the Park, and Over-the-Rhine. Worth a read.
  • The annual city population estimates are out for 2008 by the US Census Bureau, Cincinnati has only changed by approximately 100 between 2007-2008. On the bright side, even if it is a loss, it's not that big of one. It is not, however, a reflection of the greater Cincinnati area, our metro goes from Northern Kentucky as far north as Middletown, including southeastern Indiana and possibly as far east as Allen and Brown Counties.These numbers only reflect the incorporated city of Cicninnati, which is approximately 330,000 individuals. The 2005 population estimates for the metro was about 2.1m and growing.
  • Ohio has been ranked by Chief Executive as the 46th best state for business based on a variety of variables, including gross state product, civilian labor force, unemployment, and average salary.
When we get bad numbers, it's always our first instinct to find out why they are wrong and argue that we aren't that bad. I wonder if we would be so willing to fight the numbers if we were ranked in the top 10. We all know the economy is shit right now, and Ohio has a lot of room to improve. Rather than fight the individual statistics, we should, perhaps, be working to improve them as fast as possible.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rayya Restaurant

Quick review of Rayya: great food while you're on the go, probably not the best sit-in locale, but a fabulous little family-owned diner to run in and run out of.

I was wandering around the city today, in desperate search for last minute items for Cool Summer this evening, and I got a fit of the hungries on the way to the bus. My first thought? Skyline, though I knew it would leave my stomach churning in the hot sun and with the long evening ahead. I needed something else, and I've always thought it might be nice to try something new amongst the little shops downtown.

Thank god I was on Court Street.

When I walked into Rayya Restaurant (29 E. Court Street), my first thought was, "Oh my god, I've walked into My Big Fat Greek Wedding." From the little old Greek man sitting out front, to the pretty late 20s/early 30s Greek daughter helping mom behind the counter, to the drawing of the Parthenon on the front of the menu, I might as well have been in Dancing Zorba's on that movie, though much smaller. The layout is like any other quick service locale downtown -- a couple of tables, a bar from which everything is served, and the kitchen in the back. Very informal. So informal, in fact, mom walked back to grab my cheeseburger and walked it back out in her hand (gloves on), slid the fries on my table, and unobtrusively shouted, "What you want on it?"

OK.

I got it to go and walked it down to the busstop in front of the court house, and pulled it out, where I promptly took a picture, much to the amusement of my fellow bus riders.

As for the food: it's blandish and will remind you of an improved version of your high school's half-assed attempts at palatable beef. If you're going for the burger of the year award, Rayya is not the winner. It's juicy, the add-ons were good, and the fries -- lightly salted -- were acceptable. You will not leave this burger thinking, "I must have another one tomorrow!" Rather, for $5, you'll think, "That was a pretty decent meal." And, even better, it's perfect while you're running. Their menu is long and littered with classic diner fair to gyros and a handful of Greek items I had never heard of. All of it, I'm assuming, are hand-held delights that you can run off in the paper bag back to your office. Total time waiting on my meal? 5 minutes. And it was made fresh. The fries were steaming and the burger was hot off the grill.

Cheap, decent fair. Completely worth a check-in if you happen to be in the area and hit the hungries.

um. k.

Maddow on Pat Buchanan


And this is why the blogosphere is fabulous. Rachel Maddow makes Pat Buchanan look like a racist asshole, and, the next morning, though few of us watched the actual show, we all know about it. A bit from HuffPo:
When asked why the overwhelming majority of justices have been white, Buchanan declined to explicitly cite discrimination, but explained that "White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks, who were 90% of the nation in 1960 when I was growing up and the other 10% were African-Americans who had been discriminated against. That's why."

When Maddow asked whether the reason that 108 out of 110 justice were white is because "white people deserved to have those positions," Buchanan answered: "A lot of people get up there for a lot of reasons."...

Later, Buchanan attacked Maddow for being out of touch and seemed to slam judges who support affirmative action when he stated, "You know what they ought to do? They ought to defend the rights of white working-class folks."

Maddow cut him off and snapped, "I don't need a lecture from you about whether or not I know, what I think about working class Americans... For you to privilege race... and say that what we need to tap politically is white people's racial grievance, you're playing with fire and dating yourself."

Snap when you say that, girl.

Random Thoughts For Today

Guys online are flakey as hell. Including me. It comes with the territory.

I think I'm missing something about everyone's excitement over the Matthew Shepard Act. -- WIN or FAIL

Don't ever write a check your ass can't cash. TRUST.

I need to be more victorious in my awesome responsibilities. (Thank you, David Krikorian, for the most amazing personal mantra ever.)

I really need to start spellchecking and/or editing and/or reading my blogs before they post.

I think the best description of depression is this: You're more upset that you are depressed over everyone else, rather than being upset by anything in particular.

DiGiornio pizza is amazing. Better cold, though. Great drunk food.

People will find anything and anyhow to get high -- witness the growing fad, "Butt Hash." (not for the faint of stomach)

Social media websites that don't have an effective layout for mobile web are stupid.

I am overwhelmed by the greatness of the people around me, and constantly strive to live up to the person my friends believe/want me to be.

The chronically ill are simultaneously the strongest and weakest people in the world.

I have blogger envy. It's something like penis envy, but I have a blog.

Follow Friday (#FF) on Twitter is annoying to me -- so many to pimp, so few characters! (Meanwhile, I got to my 1000th follower -- WOW!).

Tried watching Borat again. Turned it off 20 minutes in. I remember it being better than that.

Meanwhile, Sweeney Todd was just as good, if not better, than I remember.

Slowly but surely, I'm becoming obsessed with old school musicals. I am listening to Barbara Streisand as I write this.

Really Gay Broadway Baby

I'm perusing YouTube this morning, watching more Broadway performances, and I thought I'd share.

First, John Barrowman's rendition of the La Cage Aux Folles classic, I Am What I Am, also a Gloria Gaynor disco hit and one of the many songs every drag queen tries to do in their careers.

And a mashup I never thought I'd see... Alan Cumming and Joel Grey performing Willkommen from Cabaret. I think this vid shows how drastically different the two actors are, and what amazing talents the two of them brought to the role.

Good morning from Cincinnati!

Milk: Summer Underground

Ari of Milk: Summer Underground, Cincinnati's weekly party that focuses on the music rather than the party, has been asking me to say something about the even since it began, and, though I started off posting announcements, I have done little else to support it. I went tonight, the first time all summer I've had a chance to, and had a great time.

Milk has had a bit of drama in the last few weeks. It moved its location from Below Zero to Little Bit, and I was sure that it would die. However, word had it that last week's event was huge and made for a packed house at Little Bit's. Once upon a time, Little Bit's was one of my favorite bars in the world, though I have not had the opportunity to enjoy as much as I should have, though it's the only LGBTQ bar I could feasibly walk home from. And it is the only LGBTQ bar left in Clifton -- sigh.

I will say this: for everything else I might criticize, Ari plays some great music. It's an unexpected break from the usual. Jazz, a little bit of pop, some hip-hop. It's both unexpected and delicious. In the two hours I spent there, I heard everything from Billie Holliday to Madonna... and who couldn't appreciate that kind of diversity? The crowd was distinctly smaller than the
week before. but still busy. I didn't see Irene -- one of the three owners and recently returned to the bar full time (a fact I am very grateful for) -- stop moving behind the bar except for a few brief moments the entire time I was there. A handful of cute gay boys even made an appearance, as well as some of the cast of Cincinnati Opera's Carmen.

The only true complaint is that the music, for the size of the crowd, was too loud. However, had there been more people, it would have been the perfect volume.

Milk: Summer Underground occurs every Thursday night at Little Bit's Bar on Vine Street.

Matthew Shepard Act Faces Veto

It was little more than a Twitter Rumor earlier (or "tumor," or "twumor" if you will), but it appears that the US Senate has voted to end discussion on (63-28) the Matthew Shepard Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to federal hate crims states, to be attached to a Department of Defense authorization bill. There was unanimous consent to add it to a Department of Defense Authorization Bill as an amendment. The bill allows for a $1.75 billion program to fund the building of new F-22 jets, which Pres. Obama has opposed in the past.

That's right, folks, the Matthew Shepard Act is now attached not only to a defense bill, but one that Obama is not happy with amd has threatened to veto...

...which means we are, again, potentially fucked. From the Advocate:
"The President has long supported the hate crimes bill and gave his personal commitment to Judy Shepard that we will enact an inclusive bill,” said Shin Inouye [D-Hawai'i], referring to Shepard’s Oval Office visit with the president earlier this year. “Unfortunately, the President will have to veto the Defense Authorization bill if it includes wasteful spending for additional F-22s. The collective judgment of the Service Chiefs and Secretaries of the military departments is that the current program is sufficient to meet operational requirements. A Presidential veto would not indicate any change in President Obama’s commitment to seeing the hate crimes bill enacted."
*sigh* Does this mean we have to go through this again next year? Perhaps. We'll see.

For the record: I don't want the $1.75B spent on the F-22s, either. I think most defense spending is a complete waste, but it is one of the few things the federal government is constitutionally mandated to deal in... but we just spend too damned much on it, and wasteful wars. However, I might be willing to suck it up the spinning if the Matthew Shepard Act is attached.

Might be.

Cincinnati Queer Bar: Spreadin' the Love

As always, at midnight, Cincinnati Guerrilla Queer Bar announced its newest target bar for Spreadin' the Love, where they strive to "take over" an underused queer bar, via Facebook...
Hello beautifuls!

Its time to spread some love! And this month we have an amazing night planned for you. Ready for this? We are jumping the river this month and meeting tomorrow night at Blue Bar! As always we are going to create a night full of queer community love - with games, drink specials, and all kinds of dancing. What else could you ask of a Friday night?

So tell your friends, that cuteness you have been eying, and anyone else you come across to come down and make some fun. We want this night to be just as amazing and beautiful and exciting as our first Friday events, because we love you and we have heard rumors that you might feel something special for us too. So lets make it happen!

As always we have packed the evening with incentives. $1 jello shots, $3 grape ape shots, $4 sailor jerry shots, and $10 domestic buckets. We are also bringing back the messenger game! There will also be a DJ makin' it happen on the dance floor.

You can find Blue Bar at 264 Pike Street in Covington, KY. It closes at 1:30, so come a little early to get in all the queer love you can handle.
Word is that CGQB (on twitter, now) has changed up its organizational structure. Whereas it used to be very hierarchical with Mr. Ethan Philbrick running the show, a crew has grown to organize the bi-monthly (does that mean twice a month???) events so that they can incorporate queers of all varieties -- black, white, asian, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, women, men, etc. etc. etc. As you might remember, CGQB has received some criticism for their white male-dominated organization that ignored other issues outside of the passing gender issue. I think this change will be good for the movement, as a whole.

But, as for a committee, well, I don't like them. You know what they say, when a committee chooses a color, it's always gray. But Blue Bar sounds like a fabulous time (though I'm not sure if Blue Bar is technically "underused")!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Equality Ohio Fundraiser

Equality Ohio hosted a little fundraiser at Below Zero this evening, and I had the distinct pleasure of hanging with my dears Erin Upchurch (of Equality Ohio), Cameron Tolle (of Impact Cincinnati), and Rusty Lockett (of Church of our Savior and the Gay and Lesbian Community Center), all pictured above. I did the single most shocking thing you would ever expect from me ... that is, gasp, signed up to be an Equality Ohio member. (Yes, Lynne, it's true.) Thanks to Erin we have a mini update on the Equal Housing and Employment Act (EHEA -- HB176), which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in Ohio.

The Ohio legislature is on recess right now, but we have received assurances that there will be a vote before this session ends. As it stands, we've not had a lot of leadership emerge in the Ohio Senate on the issue, so there is a lot of lobbying to do over there, too. Law in Ohio, though, seems to read that the House can pass a bill this session and then go to the Senate next session, so we don't have to start the process over again. Equality Ohio is asking people to continue to contact their State Representatives throughout the summer to keep the pressure on them until a vote comes up in late September or early October. For information on how to contact your local representative, go here.

Other events of note this weekend:
Hope to see you out this weekend folks!

Holy Shit, Meghan McCain

If you have not had a chance, you must must must read the Meghan McCain interview with OUT Magazine. I don't like Republicans, but she is on our side. Somehow. I'm a bit surprised, too. Her final statement:
“Homophobia is the last socially accepted prejudice,” McCain says, repeating it for emphasis. So it’s only natural that she also views the fight for gay equality as “my generation’s civil rights movement.” At a time when California can constitutionally ban gay marriage and the current presidential administration -- having vowed so much -- has yet to fulfill its promises, it’s hard not to be won over by this bubbly optimist. “In general, I don’t get a good response from the conservative movement,” she admits, unfazed. “But there are a lot of people who have said, ‘I’m Republican and I’m pro–gay marriage. Thank you for showing that you don’t have to be anti–gay marriage to be a Republican.'"
And she goes after Obama for his lack of support for LGBTQ so far in his presidency, and more importantly, this is the single most amazing single thing anyone has ever said:
“Joe the Plumber -- you can quote me -- is a dumbass. He should stick to plumbing.”
Snap when you say that, Meghan. For the love of god, someone needed to. I think in a single interview Miss McCain may have done more for the Republican LGBTQ'ers than years of gay-baiting via Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, George W. Bush, and the whole bit.

I have often said that gays would be far more Republican if only they would be more libertarian when it came to queers.

Meanwhile, she's still a Republican, which means she's against about everything else I believe in.

Internationally Queer Update

A few news items are floating in the blogosphere on international queer rights:
  • Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Israel, Britain, and Australia all allow openly LGBTQ individuals to serve in their militaries, whereas the US does not. We've noticed.
  • Lithuania: In an 87-6 vote, the Lithuanian Parliament overrode President Dalia Grybauskaite's veto of a law that would bans speech promoting homosexuality, bisexuality, and trans-identity to children. The heavily Catholic country also banned information that promoted hypnosis and bad eating. As expected, gay rights groups are pissed. One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Petra Grazulis, had this to say: "We have finally taken a step which will help Lithuania raise healthy and mentally sound generations unaffected by the rotten culture that is now overwhelming them." No word on how the EU will respond, which Lithuania joined in 2004.
  • Mongolia: Queers in the Asian nation are seeking international help to get the Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendre Centre registered with the government. However, the Legal Entities Registration Agency is stonewalling the process, saying that the name is A) not moral and B) uses words that have been improperly translated into the native Cyrillic language. From the official rejection letter: "The name ... has a meaning that conflicts with Mongolian customs and traditions and has the potential to set the wrong example for youth and adolescent."
  • Pakistan: In a surprising move, the Supreme Court has ordered that social service benefits must go to trans people, citing extensive prejudice, oppression, and social ostracism as a reason that poor trans-identified persons must receive governmental benefits. Unlike wealthy trans-individuals, who are protected often by their privilege, impoverished people are rejected and find themselves the victim of harassment and abuse. The court has ordered an investigation on the best means of extending these benefits to trans people.
  • Ukraine: Banned Bruno for depictions of nudity and gay sex. Don't act surprised. You knew someone was going to ban it. On a related note, I really like Sasha Baron Cohen, and I'm just waiting for him to do something amazing after his blow-out performance in Sweeney Todd. Seriously, he's very versatile.
  • Venezuela: The heavy Catholic influence in this country made it politically impossible to add equal protections for LGBTQ individuals in the remake of the Constitution a few years back. Now, the "Organic Law for Gender Equity and Equality" is coming up for consideration, which would extend some rights to individuals and same-sex couples. The same Catholic Bishops that stonewalled on equality in the consitution are now pointing to the very constitution they crafted to object to the new law.
The world, as it is, according to queer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Daniel Radcliffe on everything queer

Daniel Radcliffe has been making some public statements lately that make him seem, to my mind, one of the coolest mo'fo's around. Seriously. I'm sure some people get angry with him over his lack of PC, but, like Hillary making a joke about Indian grocers, I wonder if he says them because he feels so part of the community.

On rumors that he's gay:
I grew up around gay people my entire life, basically, that's possibly why I'm quite camp, and some people think I'm gay when I meet them, which I think is awesome.... [Apparently] someone said 'Daniel Radcliffe is gay. He's got a gay face!' [Laughs] I really don't know what a gay face is. But I think it's wonderful that Dumbledore was outed as gay ... Half of me thinks Jo Rowling just did that to see if she could piss off the right wing, but I'm not sure how true that is.
On wanting to play gay:
I'd love to play a drag queen or transvestite, but not just because of the costumes. Wait, what am I saying? Yes, because of the costumes! If the script was good - I wouldn't just do it because I got to dress up. Although I maintain that I look good with eye make-up. And I'm not going to be an emo kid, so the only other option is drag queen.
On how to avoid the paparazzi:
The one piece of advice I would give to any actor is, if you want to go out on the street without being recognized, without even being looked at, go out with a 6' 8" beautiful transsexual. No one gives you a second glance. Especially when you're 5' 5"
See, now I just wanna hang out with him, though I still contend that Emma Watson is the best actor out of the leads in the Harry Potter series. And he's getting better looking the older he gets...

Speaking of Harry Potter -- my mother said it wasn't good. What were y'all's thoughts?

Matthew Shepard Act Up for Vote THIS WEEK?

The rumors are a-flyin' this week that the Matthew Shepard Act -- or, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HR1913 and S.909) -- will be voted on this week in the Senate. DailyKos is reporting it, the right wingers are up in arms about it, and it seems that Judy Shepard is in Washington, DC this week.

All signs point to yes, which means one thing:

It's time to make the phone calls to your Senators.

It's as simple as this: go to OpenCongress.org's Senator Page, click on your state, and make the phone call, or make the email. Takes about 45 seconds. DailyKos is saying that they have received well over 300,000 right wingers fighting against the bill that would add gender identity/expression and sexual orientation (oh, and disability -- did you know that one?) to federal hate crimes protections. It's so important to protect ourselves, and this is just one more tool added to the arsenal.

If it passes the Senate -- it has already passed the House -- President Obama has promised to sign it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

National Equality March

I guess it is happening -- October 11th, Washington, DC, let's MARCH, baby! (And follow their Twitter for more updates.)

Prepare to Prevail: 2012 for Proposition 8?

A group of California rights groups have posted on "how to win back marriage equality in California." It is a daring document, given what seems to be the interest in taking equality back to the polls in 2010. Perhaps they are right:
Unlike Proposition 8 in 2008, any upcoming electoral campaign for marriage equality would be one of choice, not one of necessity in fending off an attack from religious-right foes. Timing is ours to determine. Going back to the ballot to remove the voter-imposed ban on same-sex marriage from the state constitution in 2010 would be rushed and risky. We should proceed with a costly, demanding, and high-stakes electoral campaign of this sort only when we are confident we can win. We should choose to Prepare to Prevail.

We have much work to do before we proceed to the ballot. Many of us, which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations and progressive allies, have been doing critical educational and organizing work for years, intensified it during the Prop. 8 campaign in 2008, and have continued to communicate with key constituencies after the election. We vow to intensify our efforts until we win back marriage equality in California. We invite all groups and individual leaders to sign on to this statement and join us in building a solid battle plan for equality. We must step up our work, collectively and in concert, as soon as possible.
It's for 2012, huh? Most of their reasons are around simple organizing coalitions and building support, as well as data collection/etc. A good portion, also, has to do with the realities of the ongoing economic recession.

Take a gander at the list of signatories which includes a lot of regional groups that I have never heard of. Nothing national signed on yet, except for local offices of nationals like the ACLU.

WEARING WHAT WEDNESDAY: True Blood


The Twitterverse is always so up on True Blood, the vampire TV show that Twilight should have been. I have never seen it. But, after these pictures of Ryan Kwanten and Mehcad Brooks came out on the omg blog, I may have to check it out. Click on the pictures above for the NSFW pictures. Seriously -- NSFW.


And this week's fabulous beautiful men blogger -- check out V-M-P, Vintage Male Physique, which seeks out images from the "golden age of gay erotica." My first gay erotica was a book of black and white physique pictures that I took from my employer -- the library. :-) Check it out. It may not be our perfect A&F models you typically see on WWW, but it's totally worth it.

Bill Clinton Supports Equal Marriage

In a high profile turn, former President Bill Clinton comes out in support of equal marriage -- well, basically. Or, at least, that's what every other gay blogger would have you believe. It is not, however, true, at least, not entirely. From the Nation:
Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, "I'm basically in support."

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, "I think all these states that do it should do it." The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is "a federal question."

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, "Yeah." "I personally support people doing what they want to do," Clinton said. "I think it's wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage]."
SFGate blogger Joe Garofoli makes the perfect point: this is the man who tried to redefine what "is" is. I don't think Mr. Clinton will be waving any flags anytime soon... but it is in the right direction.

In somewhat related news, Liz Cheney is looking to run for public office. That should throw the national groups for a loop. A high profile, lesbian GOP'er. Hrm. And the daughter of a former VP. I falsely reported that Liz Cheney was the lesbian daughter... which is not true. Mary Cheney is that happy lesbian. Liz is the other one.

aw, the joy of brand new doctors

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cody's Take on the Streetcar

Hello all!

I'm currently unemployed, and due to the fact that I'm unemployed and have litterally no money left (and debt to pay off), my parents are talking about throwing me out... That makes perfect sense doesn't it...? Yeeeaaah...

Anyway, as another consequence of my predicament, I've been applying to as many jobs as possible, including applying to be Examiner.com's Public Transit writer. for the application I had to write a brief article about my chosen subject matter, so I figured I'd share it with you folks (since this blog tends to feature the Streetcar periodically):

Ignorance is not always bliss… There hasn’t been much in the media about the proposed Cincinnati Streetcar lately. In fact, the only public exposure I have encountered has been a clipboarder campaigning to stop the streetcar project back at the Cincinnati Pride Festival in June and a poster for the upcoming film showing of “Taken for a Ride,” a film about GM’s role in the disappearance of streetcars, which I saw in Northside. Regardless, because yours truly is such a transit fan, the subject is always nagging at me like an angry spouse. There are so many different sides to the story to take into account, and here are a few that move me most:
1.) www.cincystreetcar.com has some good points about the benefits of a streetcar system. It is true that a streetcar system is a bit more permanent than the use of motorbuses because there are tracks laid in the roadbed. Permanence of a route could certainly spur business development along routes because of the guaranteed movement of people in the area.
2.) The same aspect of a streetcar system has a number of drawbacks however. There is a huge cost of materials and labor to tear up a roadbed, lay tracks, repave the road, and set up the overhead wires to power the cars. Also, when there is bad weather or road work bus routes can be diverted to compensate for flooding, snow, or maintenance. Streetcars cannot do this. In fact, there are photographs of rail lines built on stilts during flooding. This could cause Cincinnati to spend even more of the money it already doesn’t have…


Enjoy,
-Cody, The Seeker