daily preciousness

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm in love.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever... or at least until the next one comes out. But the new iMac is simply beautiful. I think it's time to save a little money so I can get one!

spic and span

I'm not the type to get on my hands and knees, rag in hand, to scour the floor. No, you can leave that to fairytale characters and domestic servants. If anything, I'm the one who is sipping on a glass of perfectly chilled chard, feet dangling from the divan, reading the New Yorker, pointing out spots that the servant has missed. I am the evil step sister. I am the one who reminds you that you really ought to rinse twice after mopping the floor with that particular cleaner.

But not today. This was the day you could have found me wiping my brow, dirt under my fingernails, cleaning the place from top to bottom, with the fervor and expediency of a guest worker whose my visa was up for renewal.

I was cleaning the floor and sideboards of my old room. Oh, Vacuum, how truly you doth suck! Oh orange-scented cleaner, how appealing! My room was cleaner than when I arrived.

So I just hope that I get the deposit back that I deserve, after that whole 2 hours of grime-to-prime improvement.

And I sit, waiting, tapping my feet.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Have you got your kiff on yet? If not, it's time to get all kifflom-izated up in here. It's life-changing! Here's just a sample:

1. The world is 157 years old - FACT!

2. Dinosaurs are a lie that people believe because they are weak - FACT!

3. You are happy, you just don’t know it - FACT!

Deep, stuff, huh? Well, it changed my life. I know it can change yours.

Remember: The Epsilon Program does not exist in just one time or place.

Friday, August 27, 2004

brain candy

Get your free association here. Submit a little text and an image and you're good to go.

This link is wasting my time so beeeee-utifully today. (:


Funniest conversation I overheard about Charley – between a 73-year-old, Dolores, with a candycane tank top and tootsie roll brown shorts and Barbara, her 60-ish neighbor.

"Down the road, the Methodist church lost all its pews. They're scattered like matchsticks on a smoker's floor."

"Hmp. 'Sthat right?"

"Yep. The pastor's missing, too."

"Did he blow away?"

"Naw. He's too big to blow away. But I'll be a Baptist on Sunday."

"Oh, good. We'll see you there, with cookies and lemonade."

"Well, I'll miss the grape juice. We usually have grape juice, you know."

"I 'spect the grape juice blew away, too. Along with the pews."


Wednesday, August 18, 2004


"You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake...
This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."

Maybe Chuck Palahniuk was wrong. Maybe the whole snowflake thing was off, somehow. That's his thought on snowflakes (and humanity) above.

But you know what? Chuck was right about fighting.

How fun it can be to fight. What a joy it is, to go into battle!

By that, I mean play fight, of course. My buddy, Brett, is a perfect foil for me when it comes to this. Not only is he smart and tough, but he's got a really fun attitude that I feed off of. It really only takes, like, two drinks in me before I start to have the "make a scene" juices flowing. If Brett is there, we jump to it. It just happens naturally...

One of us starts an argument and we're in each other's faces, just goin' after it! Screaming, faces just centimeters apart, goin' all Jerry Springer meets Will & Grace. It's a scene. People in the conversational periphery are either shocked, embarrassed, turned on or some combination of all three.

What a delight it is! What an unabashed delight it is to participate in culture jamming with him.

The art of destroying social convention and disrupting the calm energy of public places... that's what I'm about! Unnerving others is one of the few joys of being a public servant. Too bad I can't really do it at work like I used to. But now I have a very healthy outlet for this: socializing with Brett. He's great for ganging up with and unnerving folks in the general vicinity. It's so much fun to watch them squirm as we get all Vanilla Ice ghetto on each other.

Brett is also such a student of human nature and behavior that I always learn something when I'm around him. He genuinely loves what he does -- because he never stops observing people and trying to figure out what makes them tick. Our boy Brett usually keeps it real by pointing out that each of us -- each and every one of us -- is merely a product of his own environment and is therefore special and beautiful. Even people I disagree with. Even people I cannot stand. Even the people that I loathe! That's what I call very subjective objectivity. Oh -- wait. Is that "objective subjectivity?" I don't know. I'm too drunk. Anyway, he points out that everyone's deserving of compassion and the search for understanding. Both points worth remembering!

Whenever he does this, whenever he reminds me that my sense of compassion requires a complete Queer Eye for the Selfish Guy makeover, he reminds me of the Palahniuk quote. You know the one...
You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake..."

- from Fight Club.

(Aside: And of course, by quoting this, I mean that you must read the book which will kick your ass in ten directions and then make you realize how beautiful life is when you embrace a completely urban, hyper-nihilistic post-consumer worldview.)

The funny thing is that Brett makes me believe, if only for the briefest of moments, that it could be true. Maybe we are snowflakes.

I can hear harps playing quietly in the background as this silent revelation revolves around the drain of my mind and then eventually flows in. Yes. it is possible.

His compassion for others and genuine love of people makes me suspect that maybe, just maybe, we are special, beautiful and unique snowflakes. Maybe that unique set of circumstances that creates a special snowflake that is unlike every other one is like the path that we all take to being unique individuals.

OMG. Just imagine if he's right: The poetry of chaos theory informs each breath we take with a hurricane of meaning and consequence.

For example, take the butterfly effect. It's more than just a movie.... A butterfly wing in Nepal creates an atmosphere of open-mindedness in Logan Circle, Washington, DC and, simultaneously sparks a dark, cold, homophobic cloud of hate in the suburbs of Mexico City. (Fascinating. Even when I'm BUI -- blogging under the influence.)

I'm glad to have such enlightened souls in my life. Especially now that Henry's so far away. Let's face it: I need reminders of genuine sweetness and light. It's not like I get that much of it at home. (I'm lucky when roommates David and Howie share coffee creamer, much less remind me of the eightfold path!)

I am fortunate to have Brett in my life. And I'm glad to have conversation, drinks, dinner, or just shared movie popcorn, with him. Thanks, Brett, for being in my life. My life is ending (and beginning again) one moment at a time. But while I'm here, dude, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of those snowflakes.

Cheers to you, Brett!

Note: profound apologies to Chuck Palahniuk for this entry.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

changing the locks

Note: The following excerpt is adapted from my "personal philosophy of life" paper that I wrote for a class. Um, yeah, I got an "A." You mean you have to ask?

One of my favorite storytellers, Joseph Campbell, explains it one way. I explain it this way.

The lonely young prince set forth secretly. From his father's palace, he escaped on the princely steed Folf'eena. Her coat was chai brown with a foam of white mane on top.

He stared up at the lotus pond sky. The flowers bloomed brightly above him. He passed through the gate of Laughter and Forgetting.

Past the fragrant lilac, past the achingly purple thornberry bush, he passed the playful yapping of Kor'ki, his pup.

He rode through the night, down the dirt path, flanked by four times sixty thousand torches whose warm glow kissed him, even as the cool night air crept cold fingerly through cloth and coat. Fingertips grew numb at the bridle. His feet perched without feeling in the stirrups.

The only sensation left in him was a thought. A thought made physical: "Words written backwards on a grain of sand." He could feel the words-on-sand at his feet, in his hands and in his hair.

Like angels in Teheran or Nixon in China, they spoke to him of possibility. Limitless possibility.

And possibility welled up in his stomach. It warmed him. It spread to every last square inch of his skin.

With an inner grin, he hurdled the majestic river Mai'sip'ai, though it was eleven hundred and twenty-eight cubits wide. Slipping silently over its surface, he resembled a kingfisher in flight.

Landing on the other side, he stopped his steed and jumped off. He drew his sword. Its ringing sound silenced the cicada song.

Then, with a single stroke, he sheared his own royal locks – whereupon the remaining hair, two finger-breadths in length, curled to the right and lay close to his head. The hair fell to the ground. Where each strand hit, a golden flower bloomed.

He whispered hoarsely, more to himself than anyone else, "That is, I believe, what they call 'changing the locks.'"

And onward he galloped into the great possibility of his own undiscovered country.

(With sincere apologies to Buddha, Milan Kundera, Richard Nixon, Single Gun Theory and Joseph Campbell...)

coffee mug

Note: Entry written after this life experience.

My nephew had to do a report on Stonewall Jackson using a puppet. The little shit made a sock puppet with a detachable arm, 'cause Jackson lost his arm in battle or something.

So get this: he delivers his report in character, as Stonewall Jackson. At the very climax of the story, when Jackson loses his limb, my nephew yanks off the puppet's arm with a violent flourish. Red ribbons and red glitter pour out of the open wound. Reminds me of a Japanese Noh performance, with a scarlet ribbon standing in for spilled blood.

But the teacher only gave him a C-, despite the fact that the puppet was bleeding glitter! I mean, how many times in your life do you see something -- anything -- bleed glitter?

I was picking him up from school the day it happened. When he was telling me about it, he got this catch in his voice, just like Peg used to when we were little. (It always sounded like she had a frog in her throat.)

When I heard that it, I stopped him right there, put down my coffee and hugged him.

I stifled a grin to see him just break down like that; he's such his father's son -- that over-achiever -- but luckily without the whole "lying alcoholic two-timing asshole" thing. But anyway, then he starts to sputter incoherently about how he worked for five hours on the puppet and his mouth starts that half-yawn shape that precedes a big cry. And then, by the time he's wrapped in a tight hug, the tears come.

And I'm rolling my eyes at the waterworks. This hella sensitive little shit is crying about a puppet of Stonewall Jackson. Just like he cried about a caterpillar's loss of self as it transformed into butterfly. ("Aunt Janey, won't it miss having all those legs?") Just like he cried when the cherry blossoms fell in the spring. Just like he cried at just about anything. And Peg -- hyper-sensitive Peg -- refuses to toughen him up.

So I walk him home, rubbing his back. Stop cryin', I say. Stop it! You better stop it, 'cause you sound like a little fruit. And you don't want to be a little fruit, do ya? Well, that shut him up fast. Kid doesn't know much, but he knows enough not to sound like a damned fairy.

I was so busy yelling that I forgot all about my coffee. I went back later and it was gone. Probably one of those hobos that smell like Colt 44 took it. Wonder if they'll notice the lingering taste of java with their malt liquor?

KInki living

"It'll be great," I assured him. The guy was about to be a dearly departed. His name was Jon. An avid hiker, mountain climber and outdoorsman, he was about to leave for Japan to live there for a year.

He told me he was headed for the Kinki area, where I used to be stationed. "You will love Kinki living," I told him, with just a hint of a sly grin. "Seriously... there's so much culture there! You're just a few hours away from Kyoto and Nara. You can go mountain climbing and hiking there!"

Little did I know that some of the beautiful forested mountains of Nara would soon be turning into brown slush and careening down the slopes like a pack of brocolli skiers! Hope Jon wasn't planning on climbing up this mountain anytime soon.

It was still a great reception. I love to feel like the wise, confident and nurturing type around these soon-to-be world travelers. Optimism is so infectious. And they really have a bright light in their eyes, heart and spirit. I remember being that feeling quite well. I miss those days.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


First Lori Hacking dies with that terribly unfortunate name of hers.

Then my site gets hacked.

And then I'm stuck with a big test to study for (for grad school admissions).

All in all, this has been a really rough week. So I decided to escape from it all with a science project. Tell me what you think about it.


Monday, August 02, 2004


I just happened to go to my old site this morning. What is this "HALT - MODULE CORE HEMORRHAGE" message all about? I checked the code, found it there, erased it and then it popped up again. I can't get rid of it.

It's like Geocites is hacked, but I couldn't find any other geocities site with that weird message.

I Googled "module core hemorrhage" to find out wtf it was and found another site: www.ilovebees.com that has the same thing. Turns out that site is owned by some old bee-keeping grandmother in CA. Same thing happened to her. It's the exact same message:


Control has been yielded to the

This medium is classified, and has a

PHASE 1 COMPLETE: Network throttling has eroded.

This medium will soon metastasize. Make your decisions accordingly.

The more I read it, the more ominous that sounds: "Make your decisions accordingly?" WTF does that mean?

Turns out the old lady who owns the site has a granddaughter who started a blog to figure out what is going on with it.

What is the dealio? And why are only two sites affected -- ilovebees and mine??


I'm going to e-mail Dana, the granddaughter who runs the blog, to if she can tell me what's going on!

And I'm going to tell her to stop sticking
her tongue out at her audience. It's undignified.

completely folked

Scott, Michelle and I get ready to have fun before the party.

Scott Lowell, Michelle Clunie, Todd "nothing sticks better" Elmer and I all tumble into this cavernous SUV. This thing was like a living room on wheels. We were headed to the fundraiser. Scott and Michelle are from Showtime's gay drama, Queer as Folk.

Thank God Todd's at the wheel of this behemoth FolksWagon, because I would have clipped cars on every turn, slammed into pedestrians and left our passengers ragged and distraught. Instead, I was just copilot, on the lookout for one-way streets. That I could handle. (Okay, maybe not so well; I nearly sent us careening down a one-way street into a Gran Marquis whose driver was more chagrined than shocked... but no one was injured.)

Todd remarked, So -- how crazy is this -- we're here campaigning for Kerry, trying to stop big bad Big Oil. And what are we driving around? Hello -- This giant mutha of an SUV! How funny is that? That's crazy child -- you know tha's true!

Scott, Michelle and Todd visit before the meet 'n' greet.

Getting ready for the evening's festivities, I was faced with a new bit of vocabulary. One of the lovely ladies in our crew was getting ready for the night out. She asked how her jeans looked: Do these make me look "camel toe"? I looked down at her feet, not knowing it was a code word for pants that are too tight. (Every now and then, I'm reminded with how clueless I am.)

Fast forward to the second floor of the Lizard Lounge. I am assisting the Scott and Michelle, who are schmoozing with the donor-atti. I'm introducing people, guarding against conversational monopolies.

But they hardly need my help at all -- they're working the crowd like seasoned professionals. It's only then that I realize that their years of theatre work provided them with the perfect training for Washington schmoozing scene.

L.A. and DC are like parallel worlds, Todd explained: When we were in L.A. for the campaign, we got the A-list treatment, like we were celebs, he said. They don't get folks from DC that much, so they're fawning all over us, he said. And over here, we're the same way. It's a bi-coastal curiosity thing – wondering how the other half lives!

Curiosity, indeed! The fans were thrilled to meet Scott and Michelle. They were enthusiastic without any unsavory pawing or fawning, I thought. They peppered us with autograph requests, compliments and interview style questions.

Fifty or so people crowded the second floor of the club. Beside the velvet rope, Todd's pal, the handsome Miko, stood guard.

"So, are you with the show?" asked Jim Brandon, D.C. councilmember and a dead-ringer for Peter Schickle, pickle magnate. "No," I sputtered. "I'm just volunteering for the fundraiser. I'm not connected with the show anymore than you are -- I'm just a fan!" "Well, you're a lucky one to hang out with Scott Lowell. He's a fox!" I grinned at the spritely sextogenarian and had to agree, he was a lot like that character.

"No, they don't tell us about the script for the next season – we don't know about it until we get it before the taping," Michelle explained to a lesbian softball power couple. "No, we have to stick to the script very closely. There's almost no improvising; they'll call us out if we do," she told the beaming secretary from NIHM.

"Imagine Bush winning in November," I tease.

The speeches were short and sweet. The format: Disbelief, fear, frustration and motivation. Theirs were a bit more funny and upbeat than usual. Before they even said a word, they warmed up the crowd by pretending to wear the low-hanging lights over the bar like George Jetson style hats.

Mostly, I was just worried that they would fall while climbing up to the "stage." We used the bar as our stage that evening. The little stepladder we used to get onto the bar had more wobbles than hobo happy hour.

I prayed silently, "Don't fall," as Michelle and Scott mounted the bar. I got a ringside seat on the first row to watch them go. First off, though, Todd and Jeff Trammel made great introductory speeches.

The ever-so-tanned Chris Heinz got up and gave a funny, self-deprecating speech that got a great reception from the crowd. An amply proportioned girl right next to me screamed, simultaneously licking her lips, "Mmmm! Now that's a big ol' helpin' of manliness rite thea' – you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, girls!" And I just had to smile in agreement. Scott and Michelle got their share of hooting and hollering, as well. I half-expected people to stuff some dollar bills down their shoes or pants while they were atop the bar. (I mean, who else gets on top of stages, really, besides strippers?)

After the event, we grabbed dinner at a swank Italian place down the street. Sittin' pretty, Ms. Kitty was grinning and thoroughly enjoying the company of Scott's understated charm. He told us about a script he's developing set in the silent film era. Michelle spoke of her surprise at being cast opposite her QAF co-star, Gale Harold, in a movie about the KKK. I do declare, her Southern accent was mighty impressive. She sounded like a real belle. Can't wait to see that one. Todd was ever so stressed out because the evening, which I thought was going quite well, had a few financial bumps that he hadn't expected. But I assured him that everybody in attendance had a great time and had just raved about it.

Joining us around the table was a younger guy. He was kind of quiet but seemed to be enjoying himself royally. Turns out he was an intern at Jeff Trammel's place and the president of his student body at his university. I felt like a total Geritol-oholic when I heard the phrase "Wow -- I was student body president when I was your age..." . God, I hate that feeling: the creeping crow's feet, the imminent approach of salt into my brown peppercorn hair, the invasion of When I was your age-isms into my conversation.

I found myself using just such –isms when I talked with this student. He was great, though, smiling and hanging on every word. I was glad that he joined us to the dessert and finale party afterwards.

The party was at a wonderful old mansion in Dupont. I'd been there before at a Dem fundraiser. Funny thing is that when I mentioned this to the owner, he said, Oh, yeah... that was before I bought the place. The last owners sold it to me with the agreement that I would hold at least two fundraisers a year here for the next five years – and I'm glad to do it. The house is great!

It is. It's a beautiful mansion with spacious rooms and elegant furniture. Oddly, I think some of the furniture stayed with the house, since I remember some of the pieces.

Anyway, I gorged on rich chocolate truffles, fresh strawberries and freshly whipped cream. Scott showed me just the right way to eat it, too – cream side down, so it hits your tongue just so. (He's a smart one, that Scott!) We stood and watched the first few scenes of the season finale together, before I found a seat and he walked around and mingled.

It was cool – he introduced us to how the scenes were shot, how they rode the bicycles in the bitter cold wind, how they could barely feel their fingers and toes in the icy winds... Not as glamorous as some might think, the acting biz!

I was disappointed that I couldn't dance with Michelle (who really seemed game) during the opening sequence. They'd changed it or maybe I just missed it while I was stuffing my face with expensive chocolates. It would've been nice to dance with her among the big-screen, rainbow-bright, silhouetted, hunky dancers.

Maybe next time.

Scott and I were both sleepy-eyed on the way to the airport. His brown eyes seemed just a little more adorably deeply set than usual. We chatted about his schedule and how much we both liked summers off. Yep, living the life of an actor or librarian has its advantages, we agreed.

We parted. He thanked us for "taking such good care" of them while they were here. That brought a big smile to my face.

On the way home, I was an HOV rule breaker and I felt so guilty and paranoid that I was started breaking out in a cold sweat when on the I-66 exit ramp I saw a police officer eyeing me suspiciously. I just looked the other way, turned up the NPR 'til it was blasting and channeled my inner Thelma and Louise. But it wasn't just them. I channeled my inner Cokie Roberts as well as my inner Michelle Clunie.

And I got through it just fine! No ticket -- I wasn't completely folked by the cop -- even though I had been that weekend from all the fun.

what a dump!

Farmer Accused of Dumping Manure on Gay Pride Parade to Plead Innocent

Greenbrier (AP) - A cattle farmer accused of dumping manure along the route of a gay pride parade in Conway says that he plans to plead innocent to a charge of misdemeanor harassment Monday.

35-year-old Wesley Bono of Greenbrier turned himself in when police issued a warrant for his arrest for the June incident.

He said that he plans to plead innocent because he was trying to make a point and express his right to protest. More than 6,000 pounds of manure was found the morning of the parade route. Bono said that the incident was not a hate crime or any
crime at all. If Bono is found guilty he faces community service or paying for clean up costs.

OK, even as a gay man, I had to laugh at this story.

Let's face it, folks, dumping poop is *always* funny. Even in Arkansas.

After I got a good laugh out of it, I had to shake my head in sad disbelief at the fact that somebody would spend all of that time and effort just to proclaim their ignorance.

I mean, let's face it: it's much easier to just jot down your philippic on a poster ("Queers are Morans!") or post it online ("Gay Sex is Ahorant!").

Maybe these are the best ways to express your vitriol.

Remember the old Marshall McLuhan line: "The medium is the message." If the religious right has to spell out its message in manure, then I think we can all gauge just how worthwhile and well thought-out the message is.

In the meantime, I will express my points not with manure, but with humor, reason, passion and the occasional love letter.

Oh – guess I should explain that last one.

"Love letter" is listed because I have a wonderful boyfriend who is an officer in the army, actively defending U.S. interests, despite the fact that his best interests are constantly under attack here at home. (The Federal Marriage Amendment and 6,000 pounds of manure come to mind!)

Frankly, I find it very odd that he's so loyal and patriotic to a country that continually treats him like so much manure! Guess Mr. Bono and I are just lucky to have such loyal gay patriots!

I guess the one silver lining here is this: The manure didn't really affect the Pride marchers or the audience rallying them that much. It only really resulted in a bunch of small town folks parking way far away from their church, then having to walk through the six thousand pounds of manure to get to church.

When they sat down, you know they all started giving each other that "What's that smell?" look....