Friday, August 29, 2008

ELECTION 2008: Follow up to Sarah Palin.

Yea, so the reaction is... mixed. Which is distinct from the Biden announcement because no one could say anything bad. Let's jump into the reactions:

Blind Prophecy...
While I admire some of the anti-oil corruption work she’s one since getting elected in Alaska, she couldn’t be further away from me on important social issues without changing her last name to Huckabee.

I really hope Hillary stands frim on her pledge to do everything she can to get Obama elected, because McCain’s choice of Palin couldn’t be more transparent in his desire to steal Hillary supporters away from Obama.

Twitter meme -- Little Known Facts About Sarah Palin... (thanks Kate!!!!) my fav:
Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin is a little known fact.
Coldhearted Truth...

Why it was good:

First and foremost... I don't think this was either the best or worst pick he could have made. I know I would have preferred Pawlenty and possibly even Kay Hutchinson. But I know I would have been terribly disappointed with Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge. I considered Palin in that same area as Joe Lieberman... somewhat of a mixed bag.

Why it was bad:

His very first important decision and it is... GHASTLY

I am extremely disapointed.

I hope she has no skeletons in her closet and was vetted properly.

Bilerico (lots of great research):

Indeed, that's probably reason #1 here. But it's pretty dumb, considering that Hillary Clinton's success didn't derive just from the fact that she was a woman, but that she was a strong, intelligent, experienced woman who fought for women's rights and health care for decades. Palin's not. It's a pretty cynical move, but, then again, McCain actually thinks he has a chance among Democratic Hillary supporters.

Personally, I'm guessing this will only highlight McCain's anti-choice record, and the anti-choicers agree.

Election Junkie...
My initial thought was that it would hurt McCain's experience argument, but from a better prospective, McCain's experience didn't go away. As far as executive experience, Palin is in better shape than Obama. So how could Obama even think about trying to raise that argument. He has had one year in the senate, and two years of campaigning.
This soft gay love could complicate matters with staunch social conservatives, but that voting bloc will no doubt appreciate her strident pro-life and gun rights stance. If Palin and McCain can make the benefits issue look like an issue of Democratic ideals, then that could stop any reactionary outrage. Only time will tell how that will play out.

ELECTION 2008: WHOA! John McCain's VP...

...Is Sarah Palin?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

This is the shocker of the season, and a brilliant move on McCain's part. She has been off the VEEPStakes radar for a while. She's a motorcycle-riding Republican... and, she has great background in some important stuff -- ethics, education, guns, public health, transportation.

Well done... let's just hope her nepotism won't bite the ticket in the ass, which it very well might.

So it's Obama-Biden vs. McCain-Palin.

WOW! This *is* historic.

Pam's House Blend on Sarah Palin -- everyone's scrambling to figure her out.

RELIGION: El universitas de christo

From the security guy at Christ Hospital today when I asked him if I could smoke here in front of the church:

"Of course. I don't see why not. Christ doesn't own this church."

LOL. I giggled a little.
PS School is going well, for inquiring minds.

GENERAL STUFF: New text messages!!!

To AM (both of them):
The bus driver is wearing capri's?

Apparently Metro has capri's for their male bus drivers...
I am developing an acute appreciation for Deborah Cox.
I am; I really am.

POP CULTURE: Awww... David!!!

David Duchovny entered rehab for... sex addiction.

Interesting. He never offered to sleep with me.

Good for him. Per his statement:
"I have voluntarily entered a facility for the treatment of sex addiction," he said in a statement released through his lawyer, Stanton "Larry" Stein. "I ask for respect and privacy for my wife and children as we deal with this situation as a family."

How's that for "boilerplate?"

From the Reuters article.

PS To all those, no doubt, expecting my commentary on the Obama speech tonight... I haven't watched it. I know, I know. I hear it was great. I'm going to watch it on YouTube tomrow and do a joint post on it and the GOP VP pick (coughcoughcoughRomneynotasurprise...coughcoughcough)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

BLOGGING: Newest Addition to Blogroll...

Welcome, get in mah belly, a local Cincinnati eating blog (there's so many of those, but hers is especially charming)! From the site:
this blog is for me to write about food, and maybe other things too if i feel like it. it's also FOR ME TO POOP ON!!! ... i am not from cincinnati. i do not care where you went to high school. i love skyline but i think graeter's is overrated. i am a huge nerd.
Seriously, if you have a blog that covers any of the topics I cover here (primary ones: Election/Politics/Law, LGBT, Ohio/Cin-NKY, Writing), feel free to give yourself a shout out and I'll add you!!!! Even if you don't fit into those categories, I may still put you on the blogroll. Liz at get in mah belly (just like Valeree of Cincinnati Locavore and a few others) said hello on a post, told me it was their first time saying HEY GIRL, so I knew it was meant to be.

I am, after all, the most prolific LGBT-focused blogger in the city. And, if you count people who just hop on to look at half-naked pictures of men... well, I'm one of the best read blogs in the city. But I don't usually count those when I think of people "reading."

At least, *I* don't call one-handed typing, "reading."

WRITING: Updated

Feel free, as always, to check out my two other blogs. First, the one with my mama:

And my "column:"


GAY STUFF: Del Martin Dead at 87

Lesbian pioneer, founder of the Daughters of Bilitis, died today at 87 years old.

That's her (on right) and her partner, Phyllis Lyon, being married the first time in San Francisco. They were remarried again when California approved gay marriage.

I'm glad she got to live that long to see it.


GAY STUFF: Time to stop doing Tina!

HA! Appropriate for our *550th* post!!!! (via Joe. My. God.) Yes, mom, and that's Kristin Chenoweth...

See more Kristin Chenoweth videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ELECTION 2008: Thoughts on Hillary's speech...

CNN has a weird fact on the bottom of the screen while Hill speaks:
Clinton won more primaries and caucuses than any woman in history; 23 in all.
Ummm, unless I miss my guess, she's the only woman to have ever won a primary or caucus.

BTW ---> she hit it. Dead on. Thank you, Hill. Thank you.

And I think it's time the Clintons started championing gay rights. I think we'll hear her come out pro-gay marriage in the next two years.

But I'm rarely right on these things.

GAY STUFF: Gay for Pay

Shhhh... I have a secret for all those people watching the "str8" men who have sex with men on Xtube or on other websites...

If they are voluntarily having sex with men, even as the giver, they aren't exactly straight anymore.

Teehee. Oh boy.

OHIO/CINNKY: Ohio Healthy Families Act

Gov. Strickland comes out against the Ohio Healthy Families Act??? Interesting...

From coldheartedtruth (a rightwing blog):
That makes as much sense as anything else. Governor Ted Strickland has recently announced that he is opposing Ohio Ballot Issue 4, aka The Ohio Healthy Families Act. This ballot initiative is the one of the projects nearest and dearest to the hearts of union organizers in Ohio, one of Governor Strickland's key constituencies that helped him win election in 2006. You can read all you want to know about it here:

Those in the know acknowledge that the ballot issue is a GOTV tactic for union members, wrapped in an inoccuous sounding name that will hopefully fool enough other people into voting in favor of it. The essence of the proposal, for those disinclined to follow the link, is that all Ohio businesses employing 25 or more people will be required to grant seven sick days per year to each employee. Business groups are obviously adamantly opposed to the initiative.

I do not seriously think Ted Strickland is a stealth VP candidate for John McCain, but it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Some think that the Democratic Party in Ohio has already folded its tent on the Presidential election and is focused instead on garnering two or three more seats in the US Congress and perhaps gaining a majority in the lower house of the Ohio Legislature. I don't have an opinion on whether that is true, but if Obama loses Ohio, his electoral mountain will get a little bit steeper.
Blah blah blah. I wonder


Got into a discussion today with one of my new favorite fellow students about whether gaydar exists. I told him I thought he was gay. He said no, he's not, but aren't I cute? LOL.

If gaydar exists, mine is broken.

This is from 60 Minutes, it's a really strange study, especially the gender rhetoric they seem to be using. Apparently, gay men can only be femme, and straight men can only be masculine. Thank god, they said "it's never 100%." Right. A little bit of redemption.

(Although the final male voice, I think was more gayer than she let on. The inflection was so queer.)

Anyways, what do y'all think? And does anyone know where this is coming from?

PS. . . Two things:
1) Great, let's start gender stereotyping our kids very young. "Physical differences." Thanks, 60 minutes for your ongoing, in depth reporting.

2) My boss said once we can't use "gaydar" as a risk factor unless there is some scientific evidence it exists. Well, there you go.


I'm trying really hard to get excited about it.

Really trying, but I have to say this, Nancy Pelosi is an awful, awful speaker.

I'm sure she's an excellent politician, glad she got stuck on Monday night. She was almost... well, does she Botox?

Hill's on tonight. But I have to go to bed. It's a school night.

OHIO/CINNKY: Why I don't support the Cincy Streetcar (Part 3 of a Series)

Two quick things before we begin this evening...

1) It is true, Connect Our Dots is a pro-streetcar blog, but some of their criticisms (granted, from 2007) could have come from me. Ta da:
The issue here is that transit funding is hard to come by, especially when citizens don’t want it. If we want the Cincinnati region to get on the transit bandwagon (or railcar, more appropriately) we need to show a big transit success story. Because the Eastern Corridor line runs through so few neighborhoods and would have such low ridership, it would be hard to market as an astounding success. In fact, at such a high cost ($411 million plus $19m per year) it would be an easy target for transit critics of why we shouldn’t do more transit projects.
2) I am a supporter of public transit. I am happy to hear about this.

So let's continue this charade, shall we?

Part I: Why I don't support the streetcar
Section 4: "Busses aren't cool"
One of the lasting lessons from GEO 451 -- arguably the only lesson I took from there -- was my nerdy professor proudly stating that "busses aren't cool." People don't want to ride them. They're dirty, they reek of other people, they are slow, and don't have that "hip" feeling that a train does. It's much cooler to be able to take the tube or the subway and just hop wherever we're going real quick in a sterile environment where we can pretend, even if for a moment, that we're in New York.

LA suffered from this. Tried to take millions of dollars away from the bus system to fund a suburban train system that was barely used. That's when we got the highly effective Bus Riders Union.

Brasilia knew it was a problem before and so they sought to "cool up" the bus system they had there, and we got this:

And, btw, they have a highly successful bus system.

My point is this: we're just trying to build something that feels cool and looks cool so that we can fall further into the "look how big a city we are" mode. Well, sad to say, a lot of major cities in this country do not have a public transit system outside of busses and are doing fine, and at a faster rate than us.

This is not the end-all, be-all of economic development, and just because we're not "cool enough" to say "oh yea, just jump on the streetcar to get there" to tourists, doesn't mean we aren't cool.

Section 5: Traffic Congestion
The streetcar will cause congestion, and I'm gonna bet some parking problems. Just because they are on a set track doesn't mean that they aren't going to be getting in the way of cars.

Drive down Elm Street, where are those cars parked along the street gonna go? The street is packed as it is.

Section 6: Where is the plan for the suburbs?
Even if I grant that the system will cause some transportation benefit to the downtown area... we're a suburban city. There's a lot of people out there. In fact, lets even grant that it increases the population (read: white, middle class population) of the downtown region. How does that help the burbs -- even as close as St. Bernard, Western Hills, Mt. Adams, Avondale... not to say such out there burbs as Fairfield, Hamilton, West Chester, Springdale, Lebanon, etc. etc. etc. In the end, aren't those the people we are trying to attract back to the city??? Well, hell, aren't we trying to attract somebody back downtown... which we've started to do, which I think is admirable.

How many people commute into the city every day? If we desire so much to clear up traffic congestion or encourage people to spend some time (and money) downtown, then don't we want to *ahem* throw a bone out that direction. Their usage, at the moment, would be severely limited by major events (games, fireworks, etc) when the whole system will be filled by the sheer numbers of people trying to use it.

Even the current plans for "spurs" don't account for a lot of the burbs, and certainly not anytime soon. And the idea of "park-and-ride" is not even part of the equation.

Section 7: "It will bring people to shopping and dining downtown"
No, no it won't. I'm sorry, people can't afford the goods downtown, or the restaurants. We should, maybe acknowledge that there is some benefit to, say, Meijer's or Target in the world (or even Walmart -- COUGHCOUGH) because that's where people can get the majority of what they need easily. The current plan seems to acknowledge that development in the city is disjointed and doesn't seem to be responding to any centralized plan (or is reacting to the lack of centralized plan). Thus, we must connect, and connect quickly!!!!

Part II: Suggestions for Improving the Bus System
Section 3: Create greater suburban access
At the moment, there's only a handful of busses that make it out to Butler County, and more (bus still few) that make it to Springdale. For people who use the bus as their primary form of transportation, how do they go shopping? How do they take advantage of other parts of the city -- still rightfully considered "Cincinnati," btw. More importantly, if it is lower class people who use the bus, and there is no industry, per se, downtown, wouldn't it make sense to improve the busses even as far out as, say, outer Kenwood (along Reed Hartman there are very few busses that make it out to Ethicon Endo-Surgeries, for example).

In addition, in order to "bring the region back to Cincinnati," there should be busses that run more regularly to places like Fairfield (Jungle Jim's anyone???), or Hamilton (one, downtown), or Oxford (for the students to come down and party), or Middletown (uh... I don't know anything out there either), or West Chester. And not just centered around the work schedule. Saturdays, Saturdays, Saturdays. The Metro has a plan for you to buy tickets out those directions, but they run few and far between, and I can't imagine -- especially in Clermont or other rural areas -- that they are really, really accessible.

Thus: advertise. Create a bus station. And tell people it's there.

And make the fare cheaper.

Section 4: Integrate TANK and Metro
There, I said it. We are one metro region, even if we don't like to admit it. Of course, I'm also a big fan of regional governance, but that's just me.

Make them one system. TANK has some great things about it. And have a bus that just runs the Newport-on-the-Levee to Govt. Square route (and, once its built, the Banks). Every 15 minutes. On the weekend and in the evenings.

I have nothing else to say about this except that your Metro card won't get you to the airport.

Section 5: Actively seek out corporate bus passes
My employer allows me the opportunity to ride the bus -- FOR FREE -- because our Student Senate approved a contract with Metro that a UC ID will get you on the busses and let you ride around and around and around for free. I'm lucky in that way. Does any other organization in the city offer this?

What would be the effect if, suddenly, Kroger's or P&G or Great American made a similar agreement...? Would you significantly alter your mode of travel if they said "here, this is free."

Metro should actively seek the corporations to do this. They pay one big lump sum (I think, I'm not a financial guy) and their employees can ride for free. Maybe throw in a little advertisement to sweeten the deal. Actually, if current trends and moods toward the busses hold out, my guess is that Metro will get a lot of money and no one will ride. :-)

Part I: Why I don't support the streetcar...
8-23: Section 1: It doesn't serve enough people
8-25: Section 2: It's an "economic development tool"
8-25: Section 3: It's going to take too long
8-26: Section 4: Busses Aren't Cool
8-26: Section 5: Traffic Congestion
8-26: Section 6: Where is the plan for the suburbs?
NEXT: "Well, that was cool..." and we never see you again
NEXT: It's not a long term solution to our transit issues

Part II: Suggested changes to the Metro
8-23: Section 1: Improve intra-neighborhood service
8-25: Section 2: Improve the technology
8-26: Section 3: Create greater suburban access
8-26: Section 4: Integrate TANK and Metro
8-26: Section 5: Actively seek out corporate bus passes
NEXT: More professional bus drivers
NEXT: Increase midday service

BLOGGING: New post at Rainbow Cincinnati!!!!

Yea, yea, two in a week. School's going well, thanks to everyone who is asking.

"I dunno -- we could watch a movie or go out or invite a hot 3rd to join us," came the text message, two days after I had made a fool of myself and introduced him to all of my friends by the wrong name.

I knew his name, now, but this was a bit of a surprise. Is this, then, the way my relationships are doomed to end?

Five years ago, I broke up with a guy because he suggested a threesome -- with a woman -- before we had had sex.

This time, I was mildly amused, but the same disgust and annoyance remained.
(click here to read the rest)

Read the rest of my columns over there here and the excellent website by clicking the image below.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Rumor has it -- from a really good source -- that Universal Grille, formerly Hamburger Mary's is closing.

This will be its final weekend open and officially closes its doors on Monday.

Sad to see it go.

OHIO/CINNKY: Why I don't support the Cincy Streetcar (Part 2)

The last one generated a lot of interest and a lot of comments, so maybe I will keep doing this as planned.

Part I: Why I don't support the Streetcar
Section 2: It's an "economic development tool"
I'm actually going to grant this argument. It has been used very effectively in other cities as a great tool of economic development. The plan for the city, though, seems to be "tool for gentrification." As with the tearing down of the West End projects, what happens to all of the residents in these locations? They get pushed out. Great. Where do they go? Northside, Mt. Healthy, Price Hill, etc. No wonder there's no interest in sending it out west, and there's just been a discussion of Northern Kentucky and serious interest in an east side route. That's where the "target population" is, even if they don't use them.

It doesn't even yet serve the University of Cincinnati (or any of the other local universities), arguably one of the biggest benefactors from a streetcar system, nor have there been any plans, it seems, to extend it up that way. Who, exactly, is being served on McMicken if your initial argument is all about economic development?

Besides, doesn't it seem a little insulting for the city to invest so much time and energy into a small public transportation tool for the sole purpose of generating economic development, and not investing that same money in a far more comprehensive PT system, meanwhile actually planning to push people out of their own neighborhoods and not providing a more effective and thorough transportation alternative for them?

But, you're right, it will bring a lot of development. And, quick note, I'm not a big fan of "trickle down" anything.

Part 3: It's going to take too long
How long will it take to put in "Part A" of the streetcar plan? More importantly, how long will it take for the whole program to be built once the first street gets torn up??? Uh-huh. Can you imagine huge swaths of 12th Street, Walnut, McMicken, Elm, and Race for a couple of months, or maybe up to a year while we do all this. Granted, it's going to take some adjustment for everyone while it goes in and I appreciate this. However...

And, having discussed the problems already inherent in Part A's route, how long before it becomes useful to more people? How long before it spreads out and winds out into other neighborhoods?

In the meantime, there is no plan.

Part II: Suggestions to improve the current Metro plan...
Section 2: Improve the technology
This one is very simple: make it so that we know exactly where busses are at all times. Simple answer: GPS and the ability to check this via Blackberry. My sister just moved to Chicago and she says she can check the location of the bus she is waiting for just by clicking on her Blackberry. Columbus, even, as I've mentioned before, has GPS on every bus and you can check online at any given point to see where the bus you're waiting for is. COTA (Cbus), I've been reminded by a reader, even is hooked into Google so that you can simply type in where you are going and where you are and you can get the whole map of how to do it. Google may be taking over the world, but it's better than the current website...

Speaking of which, the current website is a joke. There are a couple of things that need to happen to it to make it useful:

1) Make it mobile-ready, so, at the very least, we can check schedules from our phones.
2) For some reason, if you click to far into the website -- like, I don't know, checking a route -- suddenly the whole thing freezes up and you have to back out and start over. You need a better coding system.
3) Your "starting points" don't compute. My stop is on Purcell and Bassett. I can type in "Purcell and Bassett" as my starting point and the website still keeps flashing back River Road as a possible starting point for my trip. What? Also, I live on Elberon... it is really hard to get down to River Road, there's got to be a GIS program somewhere that acknowledges that.
4) Make a feature that allows you to say "I want to be here at X time," so that you can back-plan your schedule, rather than wildly entering starting times and seeing what comes up closer.
5) Add a feature that allows readers to enter a location and find out what busses serve that specific location.
6) Do something about your mapping. That shit is crazy.

Also, is it possible to make busses wi-fi? Did I hear somewhere that TANK -- Northern Kentucky's bus system -- is wi-fi compatible??? TANK also has televisions on some of their busses. Granted, they only play one channel, but it would be nice to see the news playing as I come into work every day.


And a quick note... you're right, CityKin, public transportation is not just for poor or disadvantaged people. However, they are the ones who have supported public transit in Cincinnati for years, not because they want to but because they have to. I think we should take their needs into account. Because, unlike most people (you know, the people we're trying to attract to public transit via the streetcars), it is a need, rather than just a want. In my head, I see some geeks at City Hall sitting around and thinking, "God, wouldn't it be cool if we had a streetcar..."

I also found this blog, which is no longer running but is still posted, that seems to agree with me in some senses.


Parts in this Series:
Part I: Why I don't support the streetcar...
8-23: Section 1: It doesn't serve enough people
8-25: Section 2: It's an "economic development tool"
8-25: Section 3: It's going to take too long
8-26: Section 4: Busses Aren't Cool
8-26: Section 5: Traffic Congestion
8-26: Section 6: Where is the plan for the suburbs?

Part II: Suggested changes to the Metro
8-23: Section 1: Improve intra-neighborhood service
8-25: Section 2: Improve the technology
8-26: Section 3: Create greater suburban access
8-26: Section 4: Integrate TANK and Metro
8-26: Section 5: Actively seek out corporate bus passes

GAY STUFF: Addenda to Favorite LGBT Movies

So the recent OUT magazine had a list of the grosses of "gay-themed" movies (or movies with gay characters), and I wanted to comment on a few.

Movies that most definitely should have been on my favorite list...
1) Transamerica(2005) -- Most definitely one of the best movies of all time. Felicity Huffman got it right and it was amazing. The subject was done perfectly, and it was singularly one of the most beautiful movies ever put together.

2) Wonder Boys (2000) -- I bought this off a clearance rack because "oh, it looks cute." And, despite any overt gay themes, Robert Downey Jr's gay sexual predation was just beautifully done. The trannie at the beginning with the tuba was freakin' hilarious too.

3) History Boys (2006) -- Again, bought it off of a clearance rack at Tim's squeal that "OH MY GOD THIS IS SUCH A GREAT PLAY." It also comes off real well as a movie, and the cast is stellar and charming. It also introduced to me his hotness, Dominic Cooper. PS -- New Stage Collective is putting this on this season.

4) Shortbus (2006) -- The Goober brought this one over. It is most definitely not safe for children, but is an interesting exploration into queer sexuality and sexualities. It ends ... differently, I think, than expected and it has enough interesting commentary on orgasm and sex and love between people to keep you interested.

Movies that would not have ended up on my list but deserve comment...
1) I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007) -- Lame, lame, lame, lame. I hate Adam Sandler, and I think this movie was bullshit even if they did wrap it up in a nice politically correct package near the end.

2) Blades of Glory(2007) -- I lost a lot of respect for the magazine when I saw this listed as a gay movie. Also, lost a lot of respect for Hollywood that this is only one of four movies from 2007 they could identify as having an overt gay theme.

3) Brokeback Mountain (2005) -- The Brokeback revolution failed, and the movie moves slowly. It was OK as an art piece, but was mostly disappointing as an entertaining movie.

4) The Family Stone(2005) -- I don't view this as gay at all save for the incidental gay couple... but bravo to the creators for making theirs the healthiest relationship in the movie.

5) Happy Endings (2005) -- I recommend this to my friends to watch because it's just downright funny. "When you're a gay man and your urologist says 'yea, I choose you,' you just can't be insulted" -- it's a funny, healthy gay movie.

6) Gay Sex in the '70s (2005) -- Saw it at Adonis as part of OutReels... this is for anyone who wishes they had been alive during the sexual revolution of the 70s and that the whole pesky AIDS thing never showed up.

7) Kinsey (2004) -- It's worth a view, though with a grain of salt. It actually turns into a more interesting commentary on the ineffectiveness of Kinsey's method and his own questioning of sexuality than anything at all.

8) Saved! (2004) -- I can't believe they're turning this into a Broadway musical. Can't they leave well enough alone? Besides, the song Rock Me Sexy Jesusis already taken.

9) Eating Out(2004) -- The Goober and I watched this this weekend. The only reason anyone watches it is for the full frontal nudity. I think this is far more "typical" of a gay movie than even Trick.

10) Under the Tuscan Sun(2003) -- I wonder if, when Sandra Oh and Kate Walsh met on the set of Grey's Anatomy, did they say "we were lesbian lovers before." My mommy let me borrow this one and I still have it.

11) Mambo Italiano (2003) -- Another bargain bin purchase. It's cute, it's sweet, and it's kind of like Big Fat Greek Wedding but gay and Italian.

12) Far From Heaven (2002) -- Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad movie. I remember coming out and going "this isn't what we thought we were going to see at all."

13) The Rules of Attraction (2002) -- I really like this movie, and I don't know why. I really liked the cast -- Sannyn Sossamon really is a great and beautiful actress, and you can't deny how beautiful Ian Somerholder is. And James Van Der Beek actually proves he may have some talent. It's bizarre, but fun to watch.

14) Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) -- Two words: creepy backstory. Thanks, end of story.

And, of course, things I want to see on this list:

Sordid Lives
Yossi and Jagger
Ethan Mao (I actually own it but never watched it...)
Party Monster
At Home at the End of the World (also own it)
Imagine Me and You
The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Greene (I love the comic)
Capote (also own...)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Running with Scissors

And where is Y Tu Mama Tambien or Infamous on this list???

Also not on this list but worth a quick note...

Stonewall (1995) -- Yet another bargain bin movie, before they even tried to make independent movies look nice. It's two people's stories up to the Stonewall rebellion. And there's some unnessary partial nudity in it, which is always fun with indies. My favorite part is the song "Mine eyes have seen the suff'rin' of the Negroes and the Jews..." LOL I watch it regularly, but it appears to be only on VHS in the world.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

CINCY GAY SCENE: Court Elections...

The Court Elections were today.

*sh* Don't tell anyone.

I voted for Maxie Mallone.

I was convinced last night at BronZ. But my reasons are my own.

OHIO/CINNKY: Dying cities...

Thanks to 'Nati Life for pointing this out a few weeks ago, but I'm just now getting it it.

From, America's Fastest Dying Cities:
The turmoil of the mortgage market granted a temporary reprieve from
hearing about the woes of America's Rust Belt. That doesn't mean things are
better. Despite a decade of national prosperity, the former manufacturing
backbone of the U.S. is in rougher shape than ever, still searching for some way
to replace its long-stilled smokestacks.

Where's it worst? Ohio, according to our analysis, which racked up four
of the 10 cities on our list: Youngstown, Canton, Dayton and Cleveland. The
runner-up is Michigan, with two cities--Detroit and Flint--making the

Click here to check it out in pictures, and here for the story. Scranton, PA; Charleston, WV; and Springfield, Mass all made the list.

Cincinnati did not make the list, but I imagine -- with so many Ohio cities on the list -- that it was just off the list.

BLOGGING: "My political convictions" -- NEW COLUMN!

New column over at Rainbow Cincinnati. Here's your preview...

Despite studiously following polls, and making sarcastic remarks on the latest scandals, and having a handful of political blogs I follow, I have a confession:

I am an uninformed voter.

And, you know what, I don't really care. I'm a bit of a Democratic party man, and I can be a bit of a one issue voter, especially on local issues. The main reason is that I feel that 99% of government action affects other people, or it just maintains -- keeps the trains running, if you will.

You could make an argument that corporate welfare affects me in a convoluted economic model, or that a minimum wage increase will eventually trickle up to me, or that the ongoing rape of African natural resources sets up a volatile foreign policy that promises to bite us in our ass. However, those things don't motivate me, and they don't lend credo to one candidate or another in an election.
(click here for the rest)

And don't forget to check all the rest of the excellent content over there by clicking the image below.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

OHIO/CINNKY: Why I don't support the Cincy Streetcar... (Part 1 of a Series)

I have briefly mentioned (that's not the only time, but it's the first in a series) this in the past, but I'm going to start talking about two things in a series:

1) Why I don't support the Cincinnati Streetcar
2) Suggestions I have to improve the Cincinnati Metro System

So let's begin...

Part I: Why I don't support the Cincinnati Streetcar
Section 1: It doesn't serve enough people, and looks more like a tourist item than a functional public transportation tool

This is the current plan for the streetcar per the Cincinnati Streetcar website...

I have altered the dimensions a little bit so that it's a little more readable.

Do you see yourself on that map? Now, my guess is this: if you're a blogger, you're probably on the map or pretty close to it -- because bloggers occupy the class of citizen known as the "middle class," usually urbane, and overwhelmingly college educated. (Also, I'm fairly familiar now with the downtown and city bloggers -- this is excepting the wonderful suburban bloggers we have -- that I get the impression I know where most of you live, or close enough.)

Let me ask you this question: are those the people currently using the Cincinnati Metro?

No. The grand majority of people who use the public transit in the city are people who cannot afford private transportation, or whose financial or social position makes a car unavailable. They need to serve those communities first and best. An argument will be made "but it goes through Over-the-Rhine and Clifton." That's fine, except you're ignoring that Over-the-Rhine is gentrifying faster than it knows what to do with itself, and Clifton has always been a home for students first and everyone else second.

The streetcar is not serving other major areas that see high traffic... including Clifton Avenue, Ludlow/Hamilton Ave's, Queensgate, Price Hill, Reading Road, Bond Hill, Avondale, etc.

Rather, it's choosing those neighborhoods that are, or will soon be, "tourist friendly" because of their up-and-coming status. The very fact that the map highlights connections to restaurants and arts venues only reinforces the tourism focus.

If the streetcar is going to be an effective local tool, then it should go after those people who need the public transit the most, not those people for whom public transit merely represents a cheaper alternative. Granted, there is a great need to broaden the alternatives for everyone in the city, but why are we placing our bets on people who do not currently use the system and not on people who could really, really use a more reliable form of transit -- ie, a fixed market rather than a speculative one.

My concern is that the current populations that will be served by this route will use it once, think "well that's neat," or use it just a couple of times a year, and the poor lonely thing is going to go round and round and round and be all empty.

Some other bloggers joked with me at the Blogger's Convention that I don't like it just because it doesn't stop at my front door. That's partially true, and I'll admit I'm kind of pissed that there's no service on that system that helps me at all. But I'll expand my own frustration out a little bit: except for entertainment purposes alone, who does it serve?

Think for a minute: let's say you are going to use it for work on a park-and-ride type system, where would you park?

Part II: Possible improvements to existing infrastructure
Section 1: Improve intra-neighborhood service

This is another one of those "Oh, Barry's just pissed because it doesn't stop at his front door" moments, probably. But I just wanted to point this out, as I think it's a real problem.

Example 1: I currently live on Elberon Ave. My bus stop is uphill about 3 or 4 blocks -- fine. However, to get to Glenway Avenue or Warsaw, I have to either walk the addition 10-15 blocks to jump on the 33, or take the 10/32 up to W. 8th, walk past Kroger, and then jump on the 33. Or I could simply take the 10 (I think) all the way out where they would drop me off at Sears. Strange.

Example 2: I am moving to Warner Street in Clifton Heights, near Hughes High School. My bus stop will be 3-4 blocks uphill (dammit!) on the corner of Clifton and McMillan -- fine. In order to get down McMillan, I either have to hoof it, or get to Vine Street to take the 46. Because there's no bus that goes from Hughes High School all the way down McMillan Avenue. Doesn't that seem strange?

Example 3: I was at a party on Chase Avenue in Northside. Way down Chase. Way, way down chase. It was the middle of the day, and it was time for me to go home. I asked my friends: what's the closest busstop to here? Their response was to pick up their keys and say Come on, I'll drive you up. Eh? What? You'll drive me to the busstop... seems like it defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it?

My point is this? I know there is a smattering of intra-neighborhood busses -- I've noticed the 133 near my casa -- but these need to be dramatically improved, advertised, posted (the 231 that drops off at Christ Hospital isn't even listed on the busstop sign), and expanded so that people can use the system more than just as a get from work to home and back. Some people use the system as their exclusive form of transportation, and the need for them to get around more effectively to do their daily errands should be key to the interest of the operators.

UPDATE: And make these intra-neighborhood busses cheaper than $1.50... perhaps $1.50 for the trip out and a trip back, perhaps, so that it would be $0.75 one way trip.


Now, before we go on. Let's break down the economy just a little bit, or at least my philosophy of the economy. There are three primary groups of organizations that should be considered as "playing a role:" the government, the non-profit sector, and the for-profit sector. The for-profit sector, obv., should theoretically always run in the black. The non-profit sector, in theory, should always hover around a zero-sum game when it comes to their finances. Meanwhile, the government, and its programs, have the flexibility for it to run in the red. Why? Because their main sources of revenue are not attached to its services. The government fills a need where the private sector cannot effectively or efficiently. So don't argue that "those routes won't be profitable!!!!" DUH! They're not supposed to be. I think we're going to get a rude wake-up call when we realize the streetcar won't be profitable, either. Government services (and public transit, almost universally in the world, are government services) are supposed to provide service to the public, notprofit for the government.

I think, if we viewed our public transit plan through that lens, we will be far more successful in this endeavor.

Next Week:Part I: Why I don't support the streetcar...
8-23: Section 1: It doesn't serve enough people
8-25: Section 2: It's an "economic development tool"
8-25: Section 3: It's going to take too long
8-26: Section 4: Busses Aren't Cool
8-26: Section 5: Traffic Congestion
8-26: Section 6: Where is the plan for the suburbs?

Part II: Suggested changes to the Metro
8-23: Section 1: Improve intra-neighborhood service
8-25: Section 2: Improve the technology
8-26: Section 3: Create greater suburban access
8-26: Section 4: Integrate TANK and Metro
8-26: Section 5: Actively seek out corporate bus passes


From the Obama website... Confirmed that Joe Biden is the VP nominee for the Democratic party.

Also, the McCain camp is expecting a 15 point+ bump in the polls for Obama after the Convention. From the above newstory:

“Barack Obama is more similarly situated to Bill Clinton in 1992 than any other candidate in recent history,” Sarah Simmons, a director of strategy for the McCain campaign, wrote in the Friday memo. “Bill Clinton was a new candidate on the national scene; he was running in a ‘change’ oriented election cycle and the economy was voters’ top issue — a dynamic he was able to capitalize on.”
And the expectation is that Obama will get a 5 point bump from the Biden announcement.

Update @ 7:50am: This was posted, btw, at 3:40am (the time I clicked "Publish Post"), so I saw the announcement around 3:00am (I know because I had to restart the computer before I put it up, at that happened at 3:02am). The time the text message came in? 3:15am. The text message in toto from the Barack Campaign:

Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee. Watch the first
Obama-Biden rally live at 3pm ET on Spread the word!
So there you go.

And this seems to be the graphic they are "setting up" -- or, at least, are on Facebook for now:

Don't for get to join the 10million strong Facebook group.

Update to the Update at 8:00am: has a great, great discussion of Biden and why he's probably best for the ticket. But let's focus on what this does for the Republicans and McCain and see why, perhaps, Biden was the best choice:

Every serious observer of the Senate, on both sides of the aisle, readily admits that few, if any, senators know as much about foreign policy as Biden. He shores up a critical weakness in Obama's CV--lack of foreign affairs experience. When McCain attacks Obama for lack of experience, Biden is going to say: "John, Barack and I are a team and I've been in the Senate 14 years longer than you and I'm chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, a job you've never held." This alone is worth the price of admission. It makes it hard for the Republicans to attack the Democrats on foreign policy when the Democratic ticket has more experience than the Republican ticket (short of McCain picking Colin Powell as Veep).

From an electoral point of view, Biden also has virtues. While Obama would carry Delaware even with Dick Cheney on the ticket, Biden's working-class roots in northern Appalachia are going to be a big plus during the campaign. He is going to campaign in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina extensively. He will also appeal to ethnic Catholics in the rust belt. He certainly brings gravitas to the ticket. He is one of the most senior people in Washington and about as prepared to be President as one can be. . .

Other than plagiarizing one speech, Biden is clean as a hounds' tooth. His first wife was tragically killed, then he remarried. He has never been mentioned in any kind of sex scandal, financial scandal, or anything else. If there had been any dirt on him, it would have come out during his many campaigns. . .

McCain plus Romney allows the Democrats to attack the Republicans as the Plutocrat Party. With the experience issue partially nullified by Biden, it is not clear what their best strategy is. Profiling McCain's war heroism will obviously be front and center, but will America's admiration for his personal courage in Vietnam be enough to offset their personal economic worries? McCain could offset this by picking a Veep who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, rather than the son of a wealthy CEO who was later three-term governor of Michigan. But except for Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), who is only 37, he doesn't have a lot of good choices.

There's so much more, but those are great basics.
I'm feeling a little better.

PERSONAL: Uncharted territory

Apparently, I'm in a relationship now.

More to come. I'm working on a bit about monogamy... I'm trying to frame this all in my head.

For the purposes of all of you, if I have to refer to him, he's "the Goober."

This just in, via text message.

PS -- Why is this the more exciting text message this evening than the other one I was going to get??? :-)

ELECTION 2008: My track record keeps getting worse...

Major news agencies (and NYTimes) are reporting that it's Joe Biden as the VP nominee. If you've read (or remember), my choices were (in order): Clinton, Bayh OR Kaine, Sebelius, Richardson. Please note Joe Biden is not on that list. Please also note -- LOL -- that I have yet to successfully pick a candidate for anything...

2000 Pres: Ralph Nader
2004 Pres: John Kerry
2008 Dem Nominee: Hillary Clinton

I mean, jeez. I'm about as useful as, well, on online pundit.

So, here's to Obama-Biden 2008!

From Pam's House Blend post on the subject and his history of gay rights:

* 1978: opposed busing except for gov't-intended segregation. (Jul 2007)
* 1968: Wilmington riots failed at conversation between races. (Jul 2007)
* Nobody asks if you're gay in a foxhole. (Jun 2007)
* Civil unions ok; gay marriage is probably inevitable. (Apr 2007)
* Voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
* Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (Mar 1998)
* Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)
* Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)
* Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
* Issue a commemorative postage stamp of Rosa Parks. (Dec 2005)
* Rated 78% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
* Rated 100% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)
* Re-introduce the Equal Rights Amendment. (Mar 2007)

And now for the run down of blogger responses:
The Gist (Michelangelo Signorile)

Over all I'm... well, not excited. Glad that this is over. McCain will probably pick Romney and we're left with "oh well" kind of feeling for this massive VPStakes that seemed to matter so much at one point and, now, just doesn't.

Update: You know, I've been listening to a lot of people talk, and I have to say this: I think Barack was a miss on this one. I think he missed the opportunity to pick Hillary, which would have solidified Ohio, Florida, and probably Virginia. I'm already seeing little things pop up about people who are not happy about this choice. On the other hand... he will make a great bulldog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

OHIO/CINNKY: A response to 5chw4r7z...

A response to 5chw4r7z's comment on the Metro being ten minutes late and it "making a good impression."

Right, welcome to the world of the busrider.

Some of us don't have the luxury to worry about impressions.

For some of us, it's a way of life.

Today, for example, I left my house at 930pm (last bus left my house around 944pm), so I could be at work to clock in by midnight, and road a bus for about 1.33 hours to get here at around 11pm, and have just been sitting here for an hour waiting to clock in.

Granted, I have talked about some of the benefits of riding before, and I do enjoy it sometimes.

But, for a huge amount of people in the city, those 10 minutes really screw up our day.

And I swear to you that the streetcar will not solve this problem.

Re this advertising campaign -- I really really like it, but I don't think it's all that aggressive in terms of placement. I mean, it's great that bus riders get to sit there and see these signs and think, "god, I'm saving so much money, but where the fuck is that bus," but how saturated is this message?

UPDATE: I did resist, initially, the urge to make the joke: "Gas is high, but are you?" as a commentary on the state of one of my fellow bus riders this evening, but I just couldn't. It was too funny.

Also, how hard is it for them to do the GPS on bus things so we can check for where the bus is, like they do with COTA in Columbus (one of the nicest things I've ever seen)? In fact, Metro could take a hint from COTA and update their technology a lot to be similar.

PERSONAL: Quick update...

Just an FYI for anyone who wants to know what's going on...

I went through orientation this week for nursing school!!!! YEA! I start classes on Monday!!!!!

So, after $1300 for books and supplies, reading through a small pile of paper (it's about 3 inches thick on my desk), freaking out a few times, being told "Barry, you're gonna need to get organized and fast," being placed in the "special group" with my advisor, a boat ride, tons of new people I got to meet, having to retake my CPR class because it wasn't "the right type of CPR class" (I didn't know either), signing away my life for five years...

It's finally beginning.

HIV/AIDS: My new hero...

This lady, Elizabeth Pisani, has to be my new hero. From this article:
Pisani calls the truth: relying on AIDS treatment instead of prevention is close-minded. Forget abstinence programs that don’t work, she stresses. Safe-needle injection sites, arming prostitutes with condoms and learning about HIV on the battleground level is how governments and AIDS workers should approach this issue.
Hell yea lady, someone wanna buy me this book???

Also from the article:
Treatment is rightly very popular among funders and activists. It’s the most successful thing we have in our response to HIV so far. It’s how we change lives, what is called the Lazarus Effect – a sufferer goes from wondering who’ll take care of the cat during hospitalization to dancing at the clubs and enjoying a full recovery. The problem is we don’t have a compassionate view of prevention, because people are less likely to give clean needles to drug injectors then they are to give drugs to those already infected.
She goes on to talk about PEPFAR and a couple other major issues -- including China's amazing response to the growing (now that they talk about it) AIDS crisis.

It's worth a read.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ELECTION 2008: Sad to report... appears that one of my favorite election watching sites,, is now reporting, for the first time, that Barack Obama has fallen under the 270 EV mark in the polls.

As of today's polls on 264 (BO) to 261 (JM). JM ahead in the following swing states: Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida. Virginia still a tie.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

Oh, and I am starting to believe Hillary is the VP candidate. Why??? He needs a bulldog. Everyone else mentioned ain't nobody compared to a Clinton to go after a Republican.

Besides, I bet all this build up of the Clintons is nothing more than to energize herbase.

I believe it will be Barack-illy 2008.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ELECTION 2008: Barack's VP

With an announcement of Barack's VP assured this week -- next week is the convention, duh, and I'm rooting more and more for Sebelius, Bayh, or Richardson -- I, too, decided to come out of the closet like Texas Liberal and admit...

...I signed up for the text message announcement.

You can too.

Although I think my reasoning is far less convincing than TL's.

GENERAL STUFF: Random pic from the hospital...

Saw this in the bathroom of the hospital. I know, I'm a weird, lovey-dovey hippie today.

We're ignoring the "NOT" part for the purposes of this point.

Monday, August 18, 2008

OHIO/CINNKY: Paying it forward...

I saw the most amazing act of kindness today. I was sitting waiting for a bus today and this homeless guy walks up, grabs a pop out of the trash can and starts to drinking it. The lady sitting next to me made a face, reaches into her purse, and hands the man two dollars.

"Buy yourself something clean to drink."

I just smiled and smiled and wanted to hug her.

She looked at me and said, "It was just gross, I wasn't going to watch that shit." And then she scoffed.

That's ok -- her bitchiness can't cover up her kindness!!! Thanks lady!!!!

(One of the nurses at work whom I related the story to came back and said: "Let's hope he doesn't buy a 40 with it." You know, let's not be so jaded and bitchy about it... at least he won't have gotten that 40 out of a trash can!!!!)


GAY STUFF: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

I know, I'm a few years behind on this one, but thank god for cable re-runs.

It's awful. God awful. Carson is annoying. The whole damn thing was a joke. Why did anyone watch it in the fist place, for the love of god???

Of course, I'm watching "Best Clips of the Hills" right now, so who am I to judge taste?

MIAMI UNIVERSITY: Oxford Drag Show and Zenformation

Ok, so one very drunken night I met this guy in Oxford and he told me he ran a blog. I more or less had forgotten about it (blame it on the alcohol)... BUT! I ran into his blog again on Technorati today and found he had mentioned me in his "THE OXFORD (FUCKING OHIO)DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS:Blog Awards, Deodorant for the Parts that Matter, Old Bigots and Drag Shows" post.

The part, in toto, is reposted below, but I have to say I love this man. He's a GREAT ally.

"You know, I'm sick and tired of a few queers ruining [the Local U.]'s reputation with stupid drag shows. No way in hell is it that popular!"

"It's one of Oxford's biggest tourist attractions, for a good cause, and, well--"

"I don't give money to THIS university to help faggots get outta closets!"

"Well, I don't give a shit about cold-hearted bigots, but I'm still letting you have your say..."

- Heated conversation with a middle-aged, obviously drunk Local U. Alumnus last week.
This was the closest I've come to dragging a guy out of a nice restaurant and beating him within an inch of his white-slacks-an d-deck-shoes life in several years. Normally, I can deal diplomatically with hatemongers of all sorts - Klansmen, Aryan Brotherhood and Christian Identity members, anti-Semites and Radical New World Zionists, Brown and Black Power types, etc...

The only thing that stopped me? His saint of a best friend from his college years, who reminded me that, yes, even off the clock I - along with the thousands of other employees of my greater institution - still represent the ideal of a diverse educational landscape that values all opinions, even unpopular ones. Fisticuffs two blocks from the Local U. campus would accomplish nothing, aside from possible arrest and a trip to the unemployment line for yours truly.

The Spectrum Drag Show, in recent years, has become one of this community's biggest tourist attractions. The AIDS charity events draw hundreds of people and thousands of dollars into Oxford, which helps the Local U., businesses, and the city itself in terms of public image and revenue. I'm proud, too, to call some of those drag queens friends - they really do make for some gorgeous ladies.

And hey, how many Oxford Fucking Ohio hetero bloggers pose for a quick pic with one of the drag show's founders, Barry from QueerCincinnati? Yeah, the guy's an out-and-proud Local U. alum - and has as much right to be who he wants to be in this town as your average straight alum from the 1960s, 1970s, or even 2008.

What good would it do to be involved in just another drunken brawl on the sidewalk, over someone twenty years my senior being unable to cope with change?

With true diversity comes tolerance. And with tolerance comes that understanding that everybody has a right to their own opinions - even opinions one doesn't agree with.


Kisses darling. Excellent piece.

It's sad, then, I have to do what I am going to do.

(Zenformation has been blogrolled)

GENERAL STUFF: Rise of the Machines

Via Neatorama...

Most disturbing story ever.

Meet Gordon, probably the world’s first robot controlled exclusively by living brain tissue.

Stitched together from cultured rat neurons, Gordon’s primitive grey matter was designed at the University of Reading by scientists who unveiled the neuron-powered machine on Wednesday. [...]

Because the brain is living tissue, it must be housed in a special temperature-controlled unit — it communicates with its "body" via a Bluetooth radio link. The robot has no additional control from a human or computer.

From the very start, the neurons get busy. "Within about 24 hours, they start sending out feelers to each other and making connections," said Warwick. "Within a week we get some spontaneous firings and brain-like activity" similar to what happens in a normal rat — or human — brain, he added.
From NewScientistTech.

HIV/AIDS: Three news stories

At work, I sometimes surf the web to find interesting news stories about HIV/AIDS to share with my coworkers. It's something I started to relieve a little boredom that can happen at 4am in the Emergency Room; but, mostly, it's to keep myself updated and provide fodder for postings for my blog.

Found three interesting little bits...

1) To start, the biggest duh story of the year (up there with "alocohol and drugs increase HIV risk behavior"): Crack users with HIV engage in unprotected sex. Thanks guys, we know. The numbers:
One-fourth of the group reported having unprotected sex in the last six months,half had not seen an HIV specialist in the last six months, and more than three-fourths were not getting important medical treatments.

*Shrug* I suppose it's a good reminder.

2) From Uganda...
Health officials and campaigners have protested proposals from Uganda to condemn
to death or severely punish people who deliberately infect others with HIV.

Uganda has become the latest in a number of countries which are considering or have enacted laws which punish people who deliberately infect others.

Let me go on record as saying: I do not support laws that criminalize sex for people eith HIV. The laws, I understand, that say it is illegal for HIV+ persons to engage in sex without first notifying their partner of their status are to provide safeguards against the almost mythical (thus, rarely true) predatorial person who is consciously and knowingly infecting people. Rather, the law is being used mainly against prostitutes and people guilty of other sex crimes -- public lewdness, solicitation, importuning, etc. -- and I don't think there has been a case where the law was used genuinely against the people that was used in propaganda to support the bill (think Welfare Queens a la Reagan for a similar example).

There are two people (or more, I suppose) in the room (or car, I suppose, or park) when sex occurs. They both make decisions and they both consent to a series of behaviors that they know may put them at risk for HIV and/or any other STD. To blame just the HIV+ person is marginalizing them, because the (supposed) HIV- person had a say in what was going on. I don't think it's right to prosecute because, as is most cases, the negative person simply did not ask if the person they were having sex with was positive.

In the case of prostitutes, I don't think it's really an issue 99% of the time because that's mainly oral (extremely low risk for HIV transmission).

A friend of mine (HIV+) once said to me a line that was disturbing at first, but I now regard as truer than anything I've heard in my years of work in HIV/AIDS: If they don't ask, they either have it or want it. It's disturbing to hear, but the reality is that most people in the world (especially in my gay world) are keenly aware that HIV exists. Most of them know that they play a part in their own protection, but, for whatever reason, depersonalize the risks and move on. So, in a way, he's right. People know they should ask, and, if they don't, they are consenting to the risks of the behavior as well as the behavior itself. (Consent, ultimately, is an agreement to knowingly accept possible outcomes of a decision -- negative and postive and, sometimes, unknown.)

Do I agree with this death sentence? No. Though my coworker brought up the point: If someone knowingly infected my daughter, I wouldn't wait for the government to do anything. I'd string him up myself.

For the record, I also don't support lynchings or vigilante justice.

3) And a good reminder that the best way to get tested is through a known source and/or provider of HIV testing services... online testing kits are not always the safest, and there are no current FDA approved HIV tests (I don't think... can someone fill me in if I'm wrong) that are "home testing." There have been in the past, but the vast majority have been pulled from the market. Besides, I don't like the idea of home testing simply because it concerns me about someone finding the result at home, alone, with no one to say "alright, this is the next step" or to help bear the emotional brunt of those feelings.

CINCY GAY SCENE: Two events of interest...

I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't talk about these. Kind of funny how I hadn't even thought about them...

1) From Miss Chanak here:

Joe Penno, Cincinnati GLBT Pride Chair 2009 and Community Center President - reminds you the first planning meeting for Pride 2009 in the Greater Cincinnati Area is Tuesday August 26, 2008 at 7 pm.

The location of the meeting is the Community Center at 4119 Hamilton Ave, Northside (Cincinnati), Ohio.

Please make a note of it.
I may actually go to it, although my explosive personal behavior and subsequent disappearance on the day of the parade may make my role there somewhat questionable.

If I do go, though I'm somewhat outspoken, I may try to keep my mouth shut and listen for a while first.

2) It's that time again... Pride Night at King's Island...

I'm not going, but I feel I should announce it. I'm not much of a rollercoaster person.

And, when I get a moment, I'll talk about the Gay & Lesbian Community Center in greater depth before the event. But, also, I don't have the money and it's the first week of classes, so I will not be going.

Sad. But not really.

BLOGGING: Update @ Rainbow Cincinnati!!!

New column posted at Rainbow Cincinnati!!!! Here's your sneak peak, and here are all of my columns!!!

"When did you become a hypocrite?" Libby asked as I handed her an HRC sticker during the Northside Fourth of July Parade.

Just a few weeks before, she and I had harangued a local HRC Steering Committee member at Dayton Gay Pride about the evils of the gay empire -- the Human Rights Campaign. And now? I was promoting their event. In the matter of less than a month, I had become a hypocrite.

(click here for the rest)
And don't forget to check out Juliet's column, too, over there... a preview from her latest:

Lesbian Bed Death is a term created by sex researcher, Pepper Schwartz. It’s a term that describes, what she calls, the inevitable diminishment of sexual passion in a long-term lesbian relationship. Schwartz study indicated that over time, lesbians have less sex than all other couples, no matter the sexual orientation. Most noted was the fact that there was a steep decline in sexual activity among lesbians after the first year!
(click here for all of her posts)

Darren has not posted since last I updated.

And don't forget to click on the img below to browse the rest of this excellent site!!!!

POP CULTURE: J'accuse (also: Tiffany Pollard is a god awful bitch)

Watched a bit of VH1's new "New York goes to Hollywood," following the life of young Ms. New York (aka Tiffany Pollard) attempting to go from reality star and celebrity wanna be to actress.

It's to laugh and it's awful.

She's disgusting, loud, annoying, and stupid. Who the hell wants to sleep with this woman; and, like Flava Flav, who can stand to listen to that obnoxious voice for more than 2 seconds? I was willing to watch the two seasons of I Love New York because of the cadre of beautiful mensfolk. But this... well, this will be one reality show I'm missing...

And from the old blogs... It's funny because they mention New York specifically when the Flava of Love first came on:

j'accuse VH1 and MTV ... (date:1-1-06)

...for creating a cult of personality (VH1 even openly admits it -- glorifies it in song).

It makes me sick. Do I care about how Class B stars are living their lives? Do I care that a whole bunch of women are going after Flava Flav -- cuz I'm sure they think he's cute (bleh)? Do I care that the Hogans have an expensive home and Hulk is a little creepy and roid-ish? Do I care that Countess Vaughan or Bizarre are fat? No, thank you. You know why? Cuz the only reason any of you fools are doing these damned shows is because you ain't making any money. LOL -- Janice Dickinson even admited the only reason she was on the Surreal Life was for the money. I'm sorry. You were famous, you were fabulous, and now you suck. MC Hammer doesn't do D-Class car insurance commercials cuz he's cool, it's cuz he's washed up. Period.

And why are most of these people famous? And why are most people famous these days? It amuses me when you look at the bylines for so many stars and it says "celebrity" or "socialite" or "tv personality." Like when Ryan Seacrest was interviewing Nicole Ritchie -- what and what? And Ryan is listed as a CNN CORRESPONDENT? God I got sick from that. What have these people done? For god's sake, at least Angelina is doing something. The rest of you... go away until you get some talent.

Oh and reality TV stars should never ever be allowed on the red carpet.


update on "j'accuse" (dated 1-1-06)

Aight, so I just caught a bit of the flavor of love -- you know, with flava flav picking his woman.
and the quote of the evening...

"I think New York [that's the girl's name, from a girl named Pumkin... or Cherry... or Goldie... or Rain... or some other god-awful something] is here for the wrong reasons."

I'm sorry, is there a right reason?

On the bright side, looks like Flav is trying to make some sort of line for people to use. See, instead of roses, he's giving out clocks for the girls to wear around their necks (classy).

"Yo, you know what time it is."

Yea, if I ever say that seriously, shoot me.

GENERAL STUFF: A question...

Here's a posed question for y'all...

You're out, you've been drinking, you gave your phone number to a guy (hoping to hook up), and then the guy makes a drunk dial at 1:30am to you.

What is the guy calling for?

GENERAL STUFF: Instructions for your body..

Also from the old blog, but let me preface this by saying this: I get, too often perhaps, the whole "I don't have sex, but I do like to get head" thing on a regular basis. It is very very real this conception -- thank you, Bill Clinton.

I don't know; it just amazes me that people really think that they are completely devoid of responsibility or concern when they lay back to get head.

I mean, after all, it's not like it's sex or anything...

Anyways, I think I wanted to become a sex guru at one point so I wrote this piece and this mini-article...

instructions for your body.
I want to rub my hands across the soft cream of your body. I want to make indentures into your stomach and watch the white spot linger and go. I will watch you drowsily roll over towards me, open your eyes briefly, and smile. I could watch you smile forever. I could hold you here just as long. Entwine my arms around yours, underneath yours like a complicated puzzle. I will wrap my body into yours, matching jigsaw for jigsaw, as I curl and scoot closer to your. The sound of your mumbled, have-dozed how are you brings me home. The feeling of flesh and bone. The gentleness of a lover. Kiss gently the soft skinned cheek, trailing my lips over your neck and onto the top of your spine. Slowly run my hand across the bone down your naked back, clad only in blanket and cold air. You shiver and move closer to my warmth. The minor heat of your body does not fill me, but your presence does. I move my hand down your peach soft legs. Your scent of baby newness and budding leaves reach my nostrils and I take it in. What are you doing. A half heard and half understood question; I lean in to run my lips against yours, open now. They are dry like mine. I feel you smile, and I lick your upper lip in response. You are too much. Does it matter who says it? We both feel it as I reach around to hold on. I inhale your exhaled breath. You are ticklish down where your body meets your legs, so I caress that spot. I want you closer. You jerk and giggle a little. We are matched skin for skin but still I want you closer. Still I want you more. I play briefly in the patch of hair below your belly button. You press closer still, tighter, nearer, further into my embrace. Hands rubbing hands, fingers pressing into flesh, lips running over shoulders and necks. I will not let you sleep until I have had my fill of your body, of your breath, of your being. More than an exchange of lust, it is an exchange of desire and love. I know that tomorrow I will climb dazed from your bed. I know that tomorrow I will have to leave this. But, for now, a tender feeling and perfect moment.


This was written a while ago, but I still think it's sexy as hell. Someone described it as a piece that "takes your breath away." (It is copyrighted, btw, in that you have no right to republish it or claim it as your own. Just tell me if you want to post it somewhere). I use this as a lead in to our first topic:

"How to Say Hello to a New Partner"
This is one of those touchy subjects. Regardless of how you meet the person, or how long you two have been together, the act of taking off clothes and starting to get down to business is a question at that. What is appropriate to say? What is appropriate to do? How much of your kinkiness do you want to display? What do you tell the person about their.. ahem-ness? These are difficult questions, so I can only speak from the experience that I have... and that's men.

1. It is very appropriate to comment on a man's body and what you like about it. It is a compliment to find, amongst 150 imperfections that every person sees in themselves, someone who finds a piece of you they adore. Think about it. You probably think your belly is to big, or the hair is misplaced all over your body, or you forgot to shave right, or any number of other minor things that we fret over on a daily basis. I know it seems strange, but men have similar insecurities about themselves naked as women, whether they admit to it or not. Finding things that you adore about their body -- whether it's their shoulders, or their legs, or that little area right below the belly button that on muscled men is in the shape of a V -- is a great way of saying "I am looking at you, and I like what I see. I have no problems looking at you naked, or being naked with you."

2. On the flip side, it is entirely inappropriate to comment on anything regarding the size of his penis. If it is extra small, don't even mention it. If it is extra large, don't even mention it (I hesitated about this one because I've made this comment before -- but it leads to egos and difficulty with making further comments). Unless it literally the largest penis you have ever seen or ever will see, then don't talk about its size. Men's penis size is probably one of the biggest insecurities we have, by calling attention to it you reinforce a whole set of norms and stereotypes. Saying that it's "the perfect size for me" is appropriate if asked by your male partner so long as you don't qualify it (don't backtrack on the rule and say "I like them a little smaller" or "I was afraid it was going to break me in half!") Just use it as you would any other and enjoy it.

3. Do not go immediately into anything. Allow sometime undressing, touching, feeling, and fondling. Men: your reward (if your partner is female) will be a much more easily satisfied woman, plus comments on how much fun you were to all of her friends. Women: your reward (if your partner is male) will be a man who can actually please you. Foreplay is not a golf term -- it actually has a biological function (lubricating and exciting both sexes) that should not be ignored this early on. Too many people complain about their partners, the first time they have sex, just get done so quickly. Well, guess what, it's because you're both nervous. When in doubt, pull it out. There are an infinite number of other things you can do to build up to the moment that you may enjoy. Orgasms last 1 second to a minute (average, although the latter is rare); it's all that stuff that leads up to it that makes it good.

4. Take the opportunity to get to know your partner's body, find their "spots," and take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to have someone in your arms -- naked or otherwise.

5. Undressing is neither a race nor a full-on contact sport. Now, agreed, there are some situations where it's hot and heavy and wild and you just have to rip into each other, but that's not the most common experience for anyone (dare you to prove me wrong). Take your time, reach underneath clothing, enjoy the slow addition of more skin against skin. There is no requirement for you to stand in front of each other and undress. Undressing each other is really sexy and is a great way of slowing down the act and increasing foreplay. In porn, a lot of people find the part where they are taking their clothes off (or their clothes are being taken off) the hottest part, even beyond the actual act. Make this your hottest part.

6. Know your limits and stick to them. Period. If you have to, tell your partner what you want to do and what you don't want to do. Always, always talk about what you're doing (not necessarily in that dirty sort of way), but definitely in an open and honest manner. Communication, eye contact, and a subtle word or phrase can be arousing as well.

7. Feel free to laugh at each other. So you thought wearing that hot little number you got from the lingerie store would be sexy, but it turns out to be just over the top. Have a good laugh. Laughter is exercise and helps build relationships (when was the last time you build a friendship off of tears and quiet). Make it ok for your partner to laugh at you and make it ok for you to laugh at your partner. This will make the whole experience more enjoyable and will downplay that awkwardness.

8. Always understand that both of you (in most cases) are nervous and a little shy. Neither of you have been with each other and you don't know what to expect. No two people will be the same. If you have a few awkward moments, just let it go and find a way to make a joke to lighten the mood. If he comes off as a player, he probably still has the same insecurities as everyone else.

9. Never be afraid to try something new -- you should be trying something new in your life every day, but experiment and see where it leads. If it is kinda weird and doesn't feel good, or makes one or both of you uncomfortable, stop doing it and try something else. Again, communicate.

10. Finally: there is no law that says that once you start you can't stop. If you aren't feeling it, or you want to wait, do that. Don't feel like this is a requirement just because you're both naked and grinding, or because you're both 3/4 undressed. Just say it's not quite right and go back to heavy petting, if that's what you've been doing and that's what you feel comfortable doing. Again, maybe you just needed a few more minutes to prep yourself, or maybe you really aren't ready and you want to step off for a little while.

I guess there is one more thing but it's the basis for everything: go with the flow, relax, and make sure you are comfortable where you are and with what you're doing.

When saying hello to a new sexual partner, there's a lot of stuff that comes up inside of us -- and it's not just part of his body that's coming up. We're talking emotions, memories, psychological baggage, and any number of other things. It's important that when (if) you get to this point, that it's enjoyable and you're not in over your head.

So, take a deep breath, smile, and have a wonderful afternoon.

GENERAL STUFF: Drunk texting...

God, I posted this on the old blog and boy does it ring true every weekend...


Ok, so I have like 300 other things that are far more important than this, but I've recently discovered I'm a drunk texter... and I drunk text a LOT. So, um. Right... any additions??? LOL (stolen from Dan "so Delicious"). And I always always remind you: phone calls and text messages after midnight NEVER end up well. (AND PS -- sorry to all those I drunken text messaged last night. I deleted half way through the night due to storage issues, but I think this included Joey, Rob, Topher, my parents, Nonta, and many many many others...)


The Rules of Drunk Dialing

The Rules of Drunk Dialing - yes it's a repeat but it is good knowledge to keep in mind!!!

1. It is okay to call someone 27 times in one night. If you don't remember it, it didn't happen.

2. Only drunk dial when you are drunk. Everything else is false advertisement.

3. If you are going to drunk dial a family member, say something nice. Ex."Mom I'm in McDonald's and they're playing our song. I love you"

4. Dirty talk while drunk dialing is always preferred. Who doesn't want to hear your best raspy, phone sex voice at 3 A.M. asking to bend them over something?

5. Voicemails are always better. This way your friend can let their friends laugh at your expense for days, even weeks to come.

6. Drunk texting is alright... if you are prepared to read what you wrote the next day when you are sober.

7. It is definitely a good idea to call all of your exes and remind them that you were the best lover they've ever had and everything they know, they learned from you. This way you can sleep well at night.

8. You can also call this same ex and let him/her know, that you know, that he/she still loves you. Then say to him/her, "I would still love me too"!

9. If you are a frequent dialer, never get mad if someone dials you. Be happy they thought of you in this special time.

10. It is always a good idea to sing on someone's answering machine or voicemail.

11. Drunk dialing should be fun and light hearted or dirty and sex crazed... never angry.

12. Most likely you will never drunk dial your best friends. They are usually the ones taking your phone away and reminding you that "you have a problem".

13. If you deleted a number sober, it was probably for a good reason. Do not try to retrieve this number. Nothing good can come from it.

14. Always call someone you know. Finding random numbers in phone books is bad and usually leads to angry dialing.

15. If your cell phone dies, remember everything happens for a reason. Never borrow a friend's phone to do your dialing.

16. Drunk dialing to a foreign country is usually too costly to be a good idea. But if you really feel like if you don't call this person you'll just die, break rule 15 and use a friend's phone.

17. Drunk dialing may lead to drunken sex. Be prepared.

18. When dialing remember that "hanging out" at 3 A.M. usually doesn't involve cards... it's probably going to be more like cheap lube and handcuffs, so be prepared when you really do want to play X-box when you are drunk... "You want me to do what with your box? Play with it?"

19. Don't drunk dial in the pool, tub, or rainstorm. It only ends up with you blow drying your phone when you are far too drunk to be using electronics and you won't be able to drunk dial anymore that night.

20. Never, I repeat, never drunk dial your boss, preacher, grandpa, or friend's parents. If you are that hard up to call someone, there is an 800 number on Budweiser boxes. The person on the other line always sounds cute, plus I think they are used to drunk dialers!

Additions from my friend:

1. Drunk dialing while angry: I am a repeat offender when it comes to this one. The angry drunk dialer is NEVER well-received. Suggestion if you absolutely cannot control yourself from making this phone call due to excessive whiskey shots and anger management issues (me,me,me!), make sure the person you are calling is NOT someone you ever plan on speaking to again or seeing out in public. On the up side, you will say exactly what you are thinking and you will hit below the belt.

2. Drunk dialing your ex: I did this and woke up one morning with a fucking boyfriend. It didn't last...

3. Drunk dialing someone in another country: I have found that I speak Spanish WAY better when drunk. Drunk was the only way to go when calling my long lost love in Spain. I realized the next morning, however, that I am not sure I was really saying what I thought I was at the time. Stick to emails.

4. Retrieving deleted phone numbers: I am infamous for doing this. Even better, I will delete the number then miraculously remember the number after 10 is the only situation where alcohol actually IMPROVES memory. It only leads to bad things. Rember, you deleted that number for a reason.

5. Your friends take your phone away: Don't sneak around and steal the phone back. There's a reason the phone is not in your possession. It will only bring morning after remorse.