Monday, August 3, 2009

New Site!

Welcome to all of my fabulous visitors!

The oldsite -- with the bombastic URL "" -- is no longer the host for Please update your bookmarks to the new site: . Shortly, the URL 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, 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 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...


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.


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 (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.


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.

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.

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