Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"I'M GOING TO THE FEMALE SUPER BOWL" (MISS TEXAS 2007)




My Pointless Live Blogging of the Totally Irrelevant Miss America Pageant from Las Vegas Nevada!!!!

So I am channel surfing tonight and I stumble cross the once iconic Miss America Pageant on CMT (CMT as in Country Music Television I think). Remember when this was an annual event the entire family gathered around and watched together? Remember how each member of the family would fill out paper ballots and vote for their favorites using the same weighted point scoring system as used by the judges for evening gown, talent, swimsuit and interview competitions? Remember how you got the final 5 correct almost every year except when that poor Carolyn Sapp (Miss Hawaii) won in 1992? Remember when this all still mattered?

Please do not confuse the Miss America SCHOLARSHIP competition with that booze soaked, skank fest Miss USA pageant. The Miss America program exists to "provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community." The Miss USA pageant exists to provide future wives for Donald Trump or clients for the Betty Ford Clinic.

This is a scholarship competition dammit. The Miss America pageant is the "largest provider of scholarships to young women in the world and made available $45 million in 2006." So take that Bill and Melinda Gates and your stinkin' multi-billion dollar Foundation--maybe if you made those poor countries dress up in bathing suits and tap dance for their medicines people would give a rat's ass!

8:10 pm As I join the the broadcast the "Parade of States" or whatever they call it now had already started. Dimpled Mario Lopez is the host. In the past each contestant would dress in a costume representing her state which often generated a spate across Dixie of slutty Scarlett O'Haras and the occasional unfortunate naughty Eskimo from Alaska. Now they are dressed as though they are going to a sexy cocktail party or Bill Clinton's funeral. They are already well into the "M" states ("Miss Montana") so I miss most of the perennial Miss America powers from the big haired Southern states and all those earnest girls from "I" states with no chance in hell of winning.

8:16 Mario announces the final 10.

Miss Georgia (Big haired brunette)

Miss Pennsylvania (Big haired brunette from Beaver, PA, get it?)

Miss Mississippi (Big haired brunette and said something about an uncle with Downs syndrome-not sure if this was her platform issue or she was playing to the crowd considering this is "LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS!")

Miss Oklahoma (Big haired blond and said something about the diverse state of Oklahoma although the 100% of the crowd screaming for her appeared 100% white. Maybe by "diverse" she meant blonds versus brunettes)

Miss Texas (Big haired brunette, first "African American Miss Texas" and yes she really did say "I'm going to the Female Super Bowl." Camera pans to her mother, "Starr Jones" who apparently has kicked off her Payless shoes long enough to jump up and down and jiggle with excitement.

Miss Alabama (Uh, oh... all the coastal Southern states are getting in, maybe this is some odd "faith based" initiative of the Bush administration to provide Federal relief to big haired victims of Katrina and other hurricanes of 2005.)

Miss Utah (Big Mormon hair)

Miss Hawaii (Big Hawaiian hair with a flower in it in case we forgot where she is from. Her talent per the website is "Tahitian" which I'm not sure how being from another country is a "talent" and how you could become Miss America if you aren't, well American? )

Miss Washington (Big haired blond)

Miss California (Big haired blond)

In that Miss Louisiana was totally ignored, this proves my Katrina theory that only gulf states receiving hurricane disaster relief aid from the Federal government made the finals.

The Judges

Chris "I'm Straight" Matthews (High volume host of MSNBCs "Hardball".
Chris was there to make idiotic straight guy comments like "To appear in your bathing suit takes guts. And guys like guts. And guys like girls in bathing suits." )

Michael Feinstein (pianist/singer/cosmetic surgery aficianado and possibly Miss America 1965)

Debbie Allen (the Allen sister who says "GUrrrl" a lot. Not the one who is the permanent Mrs Bill Cosby on TV)

Susan Powell (Infomercial hostess and Miss America 1981)

Cliche Caustic British Guy (Some judge from "America's Next Top Model")

Swimsuit Competition

8:37 pm I lean close to the screen to look for evidence of cellulite or signs of recent cosmetic surgery but apparently this is displayed best with HDTV or when the show is on a real network like NBC. I think they are all wearing stripper tights that my friend Bob once tried to explain to me but I failed to comprehend the concept or understand how he was so disturbingly knowledgeable of this topic.

All wore tiny bikinis except Miss Utah. She wore a one piece with scarf tied jauntily around her waist as though she was embarking on a Carnival cruise to Cancun. Maybe this was due to Mormon modesty? Either that or she was having a poorly timed visit from her "monthly friend."

Evening Gowns

8:50 pm These all looked about the same--kinda sparkly and regal yet sexy; something a drag queen would wear to a State Dinner at the White House during the Reagan administration.

Miss Pennsylvania's gown had a slit cut up so high in her dress that at certain camera angles, you could see both London and France. Both Miss Alabama and Mississippi had donated one sleeve of their gowns to Katrina relief organizations.

Miss Hawaii was greeted by total stunned silence from the audience since she had removed the flower from her hair and was thus unrecognizable and perhaps "Tahitian".

Miss Washington, bless her heart, was a bit confused and wore her talent competition costume for an authentic Flamenco dance number.

The remaining contestants looked nice and might have been wearing the same gown.

Miss Congeniality

8:58 pm The finalists were the Misses Alabama, South Carolina and one of the Dakotas. Somehow the audience at home also voted for this although the mechanics and logic of that escaped me. The winner was Miss Alabama who since she is already in the final 10 probably eliminates any remaining chances of actually winning.

The Final Five

9:01 pm The Katrina Quadruplets (Misses Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Texas) and Miss Oklahoma (a major Katrina evacuee relocation state by the way) all make it. I first learn that Miss Texas's first name is Shilah thus eliminating her chance at winning.

Talent

9:16 pm Misses Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama all sing songs I had never heard before or will ever again about not giving up, reaching for your goals, the miracles of modern contraceptives, etc. One sings this in Italian (or maybe Tahitian). Miss Oklahoma is eerily joined by a chorus of unseen back-up singers or perhaps this was the offstage "congenial" Miss Alabama assisting.

Miss Georgia performed the world's slowest tap dance or perhaps she was miming someone tap dancing. Miss Mississippi played the piano while wearing this huge red ball gown that later revealed Chris "I'm Straight" Matthews, the increasingly "congenial" Miss Alabama and a family of Katrina evacuees hiding beneath it.

Judges Interviews

For the first time ever, excerpts from the all important judging interviews were played throughout the show. Highlights include:

Chris Matthews braying "Why did Faulkner hate to use commas?" to some poor dear caught in the headlights contestant. Either that or he yelled "Why did Faulkner hate to use condoms? In either case America was spared from hearing the answer.

Miss Georgia after being asked who in the world is the most powerful woman, said "Oprah. Despite all the slack they are giving her about that school in Africa and the slack she is getting for disliking rap music she does such good work. "

Now the natural followup question would be, "Honey don't you mean flack instead of slack?"

Instead Chris "I'm Straight" Matthews asked, "Are those real?" No seriously he asked "Well how come she doesn't have a boyfriend."

Miss Georgia "She does have a boyfriend, Steadman."
Chris "Is she still with him?"
Miss Georgia "Duh!"

Okay I made up the "Duh" but the above exchange did take place.

Miss Oklahoma when asked one thing she could change about herself, she said "I would like to grow three inches " thus endearing herself to every gay man who has ever posted a profile on ManHunt.

The Final Three

9:38 pm Miss Georgia, Miss Oklahoma and Miss Texas

When Miss Texas's name was announced, the cameras once again panned the crowd showing "Starr Jones" jumping up and down. Either Miss Texas was the only contestant whose mother was in the audience or the producers took the gamble that the only black woman in the audience was somehow related to her.

The Important Final Question:

9:42 pm

Miss Georgia

Debbie "I'm Not Mrs. Cosby" Allen "If you became president what would be the first thing you would do?"

Miss Georgia "The first thing I would do is invite Miss America to dinner (well rehearsed pause for laughter)... We would discuss eduction and the "No Child Left Behind" program and ... (the rest was said so fast I really couldn't follow it but it had something to do with her controversial platform of providing education for children.)

Miss Oklahoma

Susan Powell "Despite all the progress women have made, women still make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. As Miss America, how would you change that?"

Miss Oklahoma "As Miss America I would be the best role model possible, and by being a good role model people would see that Miss America is a good role model for all women in America. "

Susan Powell: "WTF?"

Miss Texas

Chris Matthews: "Do you have confidence in America and if so why?"

Miss Texas: "I have confidence in America because education is available to every child and I had to pull myself up my my bootstraps and education is available for all and an entitlement to every American child.

Chris Matthews: "Are those real?"

The Winner

9:55 pm

2nd Runnerup: Miss Georgia

1st Runner up: Miss Texas

Winner: Miss Oklahoma



Saturday, January 27, 2007

My (Now Irrelevant) AIM Conversation with Pastor Davies!

I was on AIM tonight and noticed that our favorite Bear for Jesus, Pastor Davies , whose brilliant performance art has been debated on Joe.My.God and other blogs this week, was online. Despite my adamant declaration that his 15 minutes of fame was over I decided to give him five more minutes for my ones of readers, especially since he has been remarkably quiet today. I tried to glean some additonal information from him but obviously I'm not a very good detective or he is just like most other guys on AOL and I am not cute enough to be bothered with.

Update: It appears his secret identity as been discovered by a JMG reader and he is actor Joey Oglesby. Good show Joey!!! Thanks for the fun this week!

TallGuyDC06 [6:18 PM]: hey how are you?

PastorDavies [6:18 PM]: Saddened

TallGuyDC06 [6:19 PM]: why? your videos are awesome!

PastorDavies [6:19 PM]: They've destroyed our MySpace profile. But we made the video available on our homepage. You can download the HD version there. Help spread the word, thank you so much.

TallGuyDC06 [6:19 PM]: any more coming out?

PastorDavies [6:19 PM]: Yes

PastorDavies [6:20 PM]: the CHOPS program is almost finished.

TallGuyDC06 [6:20 PM]: is there a paypal account where people can donate to your work?

PastorDavies [6:20 PM]: We're looking into charities that we'd rather you donate to.

TallGuyDC06 [6:21 PM]: oh thats a good idea

TallGuyDC06 [6:21 PM]: what does the S in CHOPS stand for?

TallGuyDC06 [6:23 PM]: If I know someone who could use the CHOPs program, do I send you his information to enroll? How does someone sign up?

TallGuyDC06 [6:23 PM]: (PastorDavies is currently not signed on)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

On Such a Winter's Day (with Bathtub Dancers)

In honor of our first DC snow and to memorialize the passing of Denny Doherty, (the cuter, bear cub guy in the group) I decided to post from YouTube a clip of the 60s group "Mamas and Papas" singing the beautiful 'California Dreaming'.

Take 3 minutes to view this video people! You are not that busy at work! It is worth the time just to catch the "bathtub" dancers pop up and start rocking out. This dancing totally explains the Vietnam war and Watergate and the need for later generations to develop certain "party favors." Geez, give these girls (now grandmothers or dead) a bump or something.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Porn Stars and I Are for the Environment!





















Like you, most porn stars and other ordinary Americans, I attended a house party and watched Al Gore's scary documentary "Inconvenient Truth."


Okay, that's a lie since I prefer not to leave my house unless its the type of party where there is really good food or one where the host is known for not doing a good job hiding the good liquor, pharmaceuticals, or past tax returns.


And really I am just including porn stars here since apparently visitors to blogs do not linger unless you have pictures of porn stars or are gossiping about other bloggers. Or at least that seems to be the case for the ones of speed readers of my blog.


But I did watch Gore give his PowerPoint presentation on Oprah one day and it scared the beejeebus out of me.


One of the 10 things he suggested you do is replace your light bulbs with those spiral light bulb
thingys. This will eliminate 150 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. I'm not sure how it does that but if it was said on OPRAH, you know its true.



These light bulbs last 9 years and per the package, will save me $184 over 9 years. Based upon the inflation rate and my natural acumen for investments, this means I will lose about $5000 per bulb but each bulb will eliminate 150 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year! Oprah and Al said so!


My problem is, well how can I say this, these bulbs are fugly. I mean in a lamp they are okay, they are hidden by the shade unless you host parties where guests get drunk and put lampshades on their heads. However, I put some in the overhead recessed lighting and they just look really awful. Someone needs to invent a recessed lighting cover to hide these things. You can count me in for 50% of the royalties since it is my idea.


The light bulbs also put out a harsh white light. Really harsh. If Wal-Mart had a discount operating room, it would be bathed in this light. This morning when I looked at myself in the mirror my skin looked sallow, I had crow's feet, my eyes appeared bloodshot, I looked over 40 and the odd shadows it cast gave me the appearance of a pot belly.

On the positive side I am eliminating 150 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year per bulb. Oprah and Al said so. Oh and so did that porn star!

I feel good about this. Really.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MAL Recovery! Men! Brunch!

This post has been updated for MAL 2008 here.


















The infamous Mid Atlantic Leather(MAL) weekend has come and gone. MAL is that special time of year when thousands of gay men and 11 women converge on Washington DC to visit museums, enjoy fine dining and stand in the coat check line at the Eagle.


All I can say is I am still very tired. Along with the pressure of all my birthday celebrations (mostly trying to remember how old I told people I was LAST year) there were parties to attend, slings to be slung, cigars to be smoked, visitors to be scowled at, a beer belly to be sucked in and a vendor mart to be shopped.


Of course most of this I didn't do since that would require me to leave my house during a particularly agoraphobic time of the year. However I was able to self medicate myself and make a few forays to the Washington Plaza after checking several times that my oven wasn't left on and wouldn't burn down the house. My major insight into MAL is that this event is the OCD Daddy of Leather events. This is a great party put on by the hard working Centaurs, fun with sexy men and porn stars, but safely predictable and similar to prior years in that my house did not burn down while I was there.

Those who attend MAL seem to fall into the the following groups:


The First Timers




The First Timers tend to be from small towns without leather bars or have that combo leather/cowboy/drag/lesbian bar that is ubiquitous in rural America. The First Timers buy the entire MAL "package" and spend their weekend enthusiastically being bused to leather brunches, attending lectures such as "Leather Symbolism in the L'Enfant Design of Washington DC" and "Incorporating S&M Into Your Project Runway Parties." The highlight of the trip to MAL includes going to the Tysons Galleria Mall in Virginia to the "Sew Your Own Leather Chaps" store.

First timers arrive at the DC Eagle at 9:00 pm, are drunk by 10:00 pm and passed out at the hotel by 11:00 pm. Due to their strict adherence to "the schedule" First Timers are rarely seen by anyone besides other First Timers, the bus driver and the waiters at Annies. The one exception to this is the person on the dance floor at the Reaction Dance who spilled his drink on you. That was a First Timer but fortunately he left hours before last call thus missing the arrival of your more sketchy local friends who might be confused and frightened at the specter of partyers using alcohol at a club.

First Timers are up early on Monday to make the long trip back home. Despite spending hundreds of dollars on leather they rarely wear it again except when riding in the back of a pickup truck covered with balloons in the local Gay Pride parade.

A few first timers return to become Fetish Veterans...


The Fetish Veterans




The Fetish Veterans spend their year planning for MAL or surgically recovering from it. They book their rooms for the next year at the the Washington Plaza as they check out. Fetish Veteran chat rooms vibrate with activity all year as they swap blueprints for newer and bigger sexual mousetraps.

Fetish Veterans arrive each year in trucks towing large U Haul trailers filled with sexual toys purchased at Home Depot, the Sports Authority, PetSmart, or medical equipment supply firms. Duct tape and World War II Surplus items also seem to be highly desired tools of the play. Fetish Veterans, like First Timers, are rarely seen during the weekend except by other Fetish Veterans, the waiters at Annies, and a few local emergency room doctors.


Fetish Veterans all request a late check-out, on Thursday. Or sometime in February.


The Sash Queens



The Sash Queens proudly wear the symbols of their triumphs from hotly contested manly beauty pageants around the world. They are seen by everyone and are seemingly everywhere. At least half of the men in Homo DC (9th St to 17th St) seem to be sashily dressed as the Gay Mayor Of the Lollipop Guild and all seem to be searching for the same ribbon cutting opening ceremony at Whole Foods or the Crew Club. All of these Leather celebrities in one spot: Mr. Eagle 2006, Mr. Leather Ramrod 2005, Mr World Top 2000, Ohio Leather Boi 1999, Mr. Rinse and Spit 2002, Ms. Continental Divide 1998, etc. Its like the Golden Globes in that you never really heard of the the winners until the envelope is opened but you pretend to be impressed with of his or her body of work and feel obligated to politely genuflect when in their sashed presence.

I am concerned that there does not seem to be a governing body like the FDA or a moral authority like Donald Trump to validate the actual provenance of these titles. Is it really possible that all of these folks are legitimate leather pageant winners?

Is this like the Special Olympics and everyone is a winner? I am very tempted to have a sash made with some generic title like "Mr Tri-State Leather 2003" since apparently Sash Queens only sleep with other Sash Queens. Or at least they don't sleep with me. Get me my Beadazzler! "Mr Leather OCD 2007" here I come!


The Locals

Many locals spend the weekend in smug self-congratulation on their choice of such a fun place to live. This pink cloud lasts for three days and then they return to complaining about DC, the rudeness of the men, housing prices, traffic and how much fun and attitude free DC men are when you run into them in cities such as NYC or Ft Lauderdale.

Most locals get the "package"a couple of times before realizing that they can save money by just sluttily hanging out in the lobby of the Washington Plaza and purchasing tickets to the one or two things they wish to attend such as the Reaction Dance or Blowoff.

At some point during the night, Plaza security prevents anyone from going upstairs without having a room key or being with someone with a room key. Locals know to find a suddenly highly desirable drunk First Timer and flirt with him enough to get upstairs. As soon as he passes out in his room clutching the remote control, you can roam around freely looking for Fetish Veteran parties, Sash swap meets, or Ice machine room orgies.

The greatest tragedy is when a local meets another local at the hotel. This may work out if one of the locals lives within a few blocks of the hotel. However, in that this is someone you will eventually meet in Ft Lauderdale, I would hold out for finding a drunk First Timer.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Birthday? Me? With Leather!




Yes that is my baby picture. I hate it each year when some overly caffeinated power mad office party organizer solicits pictures for the dreaded "Guess the Co-Worker's Baby Picture Contest." I always win (or lose) since everyone immediately guesses mine. My co-workers pictures all seem to be in color and posed with Barney, various Teletubbies, Chuckie Cheese, or Starr Jones. I seem to to have the only baby picture originally drawn with charcoal on the wall of a cave somewhere in Southern Indiana.


So if baby pictures are appearing here, in the great blog tradition, it must be MY BIRTHDAY!


Once again it is Mid Atlantic Leather weekend (MAL) weekend here and the MLK holiday which is always conveniently close to MY BIRTHDAY. Normally I prefer that not much of a fuss be made over it. I'm one of those recovering Methodists who think elaborate birthday celebrations should end about the time you get your first set of car keys from Jesus. It's not that I fear getting older; you couldn't pay me enough to be in my 20s again. I just think that birthday parties (especially with presents) for adults are silly. Sorry. But please feel free to send me cash if you feel obligated.


Cards are fine, small dinners or lunches are great, and 2:00 am booty calls are awesome (call my cell before ringing my doorbell and if you don't remember the exact address ask the cab driver). Two good friends sent me this very creative and sweet rhyming letter this year explaining how with all the activities going on this weekend, they would like to prepare a home cooked meal of my choosing next weekend.

Perfect!

This is not to say that I'm not working the MY BIRTHDAY angle during MAL, endlessly sending out Instant Messages to strangers saying something subtle like "Hey hope you are having a good time at MAL. It is MY BIRTHDAY! What is your room number?"


I'll have to provide further updates on the success of the MY BIRTHDAY marketing campaign but right now I am tired. And I feel just a little bit old.


Happy Birthday to me! Thanks Herb Sr and Pug for doing "it" at least once. (I figure my older sister has got to be adopted by the way but that's an entry for another day).


MAL 2007






Friday, January 12, 2007

Apologies in Advance! Home Renovation Stories and Pictures to Follow!






I'm sorry, I don't want this to turn into one of those home renovation blogs. I'm not sure what the point of my blog is but "Gee How Awful it Is to Try to Renovate an Olde Wreck of House in a Now Trendy Neighborhood" is not the theme I am aiming for. Plus its hard to work in funny OCD stories about asking everyone in your group therapy session to raise their feet so you can precisely straighten the Oriental rug if your blog is limited to home renovation.

I usually lie when I tell people how long I have lived in my house. If I say five years (or less) they naturally sympathize and understand what a challenge it is to renovate a house in such a short period of time. And besides I have been so busy with my full time job at the Big Humanitarian Non-Profit when not reading to inner city children or drinking at the Eagle.

The truth is I have been here over 10 years. Okay, maybe more. Inexcusable. The gray industrial carpet, the (death) spiral staircase to the 3rd floor and the tract lighting all scream "I Heart the 80s." The kitchen is so outdated you expect to see Alice pushing Mrs. Brady's head into the oven at any moment.

I have done some home improvement over the years but it has been limited to painting and the occasional eviction of a boyfriend.

So this year I decided to remodel my 2nd floor bathroom. Okay, I didn't do the work--but thanks to Case Design and Remodeling, Chevy Chase Glass, American Standard, Behr Paint, American Olean Tile, Lowes, Home Depot, Smoots Lumber, Nostalgic Warehouse Hardware, Valium, Skye Vodka, Painter Bear and most importantly, my E*Trade Home Equity Line of Credit, the job is now done.



It was a hassle while the work was being done and at one point I had three toilets (I'm great at buying but bad at returning) and one bathtub stored in my living room not to mention drywall, tile, a sink, several non-English speaking workers and somewhere in all of that, my bewildered pooches Lucy and Lizzie. However I can't say enough good things about the excellent job Case Design did in doing the remodeling. They were very professional and came in close to budget and on time.

The old bathroom was poorly laid out and had some unfortunate features, such as the shower that leaked into the dining room beneath it and the window that had rotted out letting in cold breezes in the winter. Despite the rather large size of the space (for DC) the tub, toilet, and sink were all crowded onto one wall, probably for some turn of the century ablution purposes I don't want to think about. There was also a stand alone shower unit on the opposite wall that blocked the view as you entered the bathroom that you had to squeeze by when entering the room.

I guess if I had the forethought to take "before" pictures this description would make a lot more sense. Oh well, take my word for it, it was a mess. I know me messes. I've been to WOOF a few times.

Choosing the design was not easy. I do not have the "design gene" and I spent hours at Home Expo in Fairfax staring at tile choices. It was rather like being at the DC Eagle on a crowded Saturday night, lots of attractive choices but none that you felt you could take home and live with for any length of time.

As part of my my contract with Case Design I was assigned a designer. Somehow I got assigned the only young straight male University of Georgia grad bathroom designer in DC. It was like having a slacker frat boy visit when we had design meetings. He was very helpful and responsive but at any moment I expected him to pull out the beer bong. "Dude, your sink faucet set has to match your shower faucet." (Who knew???)

We finally punted and decided on a classic black and white bathroom design. The remodeled bathroom retains its original foot print although I believe the space is more wisely used now.

Alas, it will never be featured on the Logan Circle house tour. No Italian marble, the only steam shower occurs if you run the hot water for a long time and there is definitely no chandelier hanging over the non-existent soaking tub containing the frolicking muscle cubs of my dreams. Just a simple retro look--roomy and perhaps somewhat cold. A reflection of my personality, who knows? Or maybe I am just cheap. Oh and definitely no (visible) beer bongs.

The first picture below is the view of the shower/tub unit from the doorway. I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures. Between my lack of digital camera skills and the steel gray/blue paint job, the pictures have an odd color cast to them. There may also be some resolution issues but I can't find my glasses tonight.




The sink/dressing area. This is where the stand alone shower once stood. The sink is 36 inches tall, definitely Herb-sized.











The fun thing about working with old houses is you end up with some unusual quirks. Yes I could probably gut my 1900 town house and make it look like a sleek 14th St "loft" with concrete floors with 15 layers of hand applied stain, bamboo counters and titanium cabinets and I would become popular and develop abs and drink at Halo nightly and be featured in Metro Weekly and have people write nice things about me on Craig's List as the ONLY man in town over 40 who can buy his clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch. Blech! Or I could hang myself.

Notice in the picture below the box-like thingy in the ceiling. At one point the sink was in that corner and there was about a foot wide bump out from the wall to conceal the pipes to the third floor master bath. After a little bit of work (thanks Case Design) we reclaimed most of this space except for about a foot of space in the ceiling. So I have a strange box like architectural folly in my ceiling. I love it! Next year at Christmas I am totally going to wrap it.






The bathroom still isn't quite finished. I would like to hang a nice black and white photo on the wall over the toilet. Something like from this guy http://www.winterbottom.com/

It's almost my birthday...so come on. Someone help a poor guy out!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Resolutions!!!!




237? And this is after quitting drinking??? At 6'3" this could work. It just needs to be distributed bettter.

I guess I really enjoyed Christmas of 2006...and 2005. And 2004 was a classic.

I think a beer belly is hot on other guys--just not on me.


Sigh...back to WSC!

Monday, January 8, 2007

The January Tree


Will someone help me take down my tree?

I love Christmas and enjoy decorating the tree. I can sit there for hours at night, gazing at the lights. Taking down the tree is something else; it is a painful, sad chore especially when you do it alone.

I think this is going to be another year of solo tree de-trimming, dammit. Once again Santa forgot to leave that special cub under the tree.

My father, Herb Sr has solved this problem by keeping his tree up year round in his house in Kentucky. He spends most of the year now in his Florida house and therefore doesn't have to stare at the sad, dusty ornamentless tree in the corner of the great room. He doesn't bother to decorate it at Christmas any more, he just turns on the lights. The lights that still work that is.

He thinks his tree is beautiful!

I think my tree is beautiful.

But it is time to be taken down now that MidAtlantic Leather weekend is approaching. I think it ruins the MAL leather daddy/cub mood when I drag someone home and they coo, "Oooo, are those Radkos?"

Volunteers?





Sunday, January 7, 2007

Does This Gavel Make My Ass Look Big?


Hmmm...well congrats to the Democrats! And a big shout out to Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House.
Well the first 100 hours plan is ok...who can be against raising minimum wage, lobbying reform, etc.
But weren't the Republicans kicked to the curb over the war in Iraq?
The plan, please?

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Two Dog Night at Best




With near record high temperature of 73 for January, Washingtonians enjoyed another pleasant winter's day. Don't worry about global warming--embrace it!



I believe our last snow was in February of 2006 and the pictures below are of that storm.




Out My Front Door 2006







T ST NW



My snow beagle mutts (Lizzie and Lucy) enjoy their pictures being taken on T St NW. All later made snow angels.

OCD rule: Dog walking is best done clockwise. Ignore this rule and your house will burn down.

Click on pictures to enlarge...but you know that already, right?








Friday, January 5, 2007

I Am Not Your Whole Foods Bitch!





I love Whole Foods. I can't afford to shop there all the time but I like going there occasionally for cheese and meats.

As anyone with mild OCD knows, when in a grocery store you shop counter clockwise as God intended; otherwise your house might burn down. You must also go up and down each aisle you pass just in case something new has been added to the aisle. This also insures that your house doesn't burn down while you are away.

This week while I was shopping, at each intersection of the parallel aisles with the center aisle, I kept running into a rather tall, thin gentleman.

Each time I would smile, nod, make eye contact, say excuse me and give an embarrassed shrug and let him move forward. I'm from the Midwest dammit. We are a polite people. We aren't pushy. We sing in Barbershop Quartets.

After this happened for the 4th time I became mildly annoyed. Could he return the eye contact? Could he possibly admit the problem was that he was rushing down the center aisle and not paying attention? Does he not know or care about the counter clockwise rule?

I had one more run in with him in the organic pet food section. He gave me a sneer and a brief bit of eye contact. I believe he thinks he won.

Well good luck to you you typical Type A DC ass. Enjoy your heart attack before age 40.

I'd feel sorry about you returning to your cold, empty 14th St fake "loft" but it has probably burned down by now.

Hugz!

Herb

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

My OCD Christmas


It's probably too late to be writing about Christmas, but I should report that once again I survived visiting relatives in Indiana and Kentucky.

Ever since my mother passed away, it has fallen upon me to cook the Christmas brunch. Yes the uncle gets to get up at 5:30 am on Christmas morning and cook for the some of the pickiest group of eaters ever assembled.

My vision of a Christmas brunch is something out of a Martha Stewart wet dream-- salmon eggs Benedict, duchess potatoes, brandied fruit, dry champagne, George Clooney and pre-dated stock options. Unfortunately the family demands that the brunch be prepared exactly as my Mother would have done it.
E-x-a-c-t-l-y.
Recipes from one of those Midwestern cookbooks where 90% of the recipes start with a can of cream of mushroom soup. No substitutions and no deletions. No smuggling of illegal aliens across the culinary border such as oregano or green bell pepper. If the dreaded onion is added in a dish (how is it possible that I am related to these people?) it must be minced until unrecognizable. The precision chopping I perform on the rosemary to hide in the potatoes practically calls for a magnifying glass attachment to the knife. And you can just forget adding garlic to anything.


The Menu:

  • Breakfast casserole (you know the one you start the day before with white bread as the base) made with milk, eggs, cheese, bacon and sausage

  • Cranberry Casserole (the topping is made with Quaker Oats Instant Cinnamon and Spice Cereal)

  • Ham (because we need to complete the Trinity of Pork)

  • Roasted potatoes

  • Green Bean casserole (yes THAT one)

  • Biscuits

  • Fruit salad (usually only touched by any visiting girl dates)

  • Butter

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Jelly

  • Soft Drinks (Dr Pepper is the Midwestern Red Bull, apparently)
  • Sanka
  • An assortment of Christmas cookies

Now I am just as mildly OCD as the next guy, and there is really nothing wrong with never setting the dryer timer at anything past 50 minutes (the house might burn down), or always turning the TV in the kitchen on regardless as to how long you are going to be in there (the house might burn down) or always carrying the green umbrella with you (the house might burn down). But I am starting to dread now the pressure each year of our OCD Christmas. What if I lost a recipe? What if I made a dicing miscalculation and the onions were found in the potatoes? Would I be the source of some future Christmas Movie of the Week "The Year Onions Ruined Our Christmas."

This year I did make a mistake with the breakfast casserole but one that I was able to eventually recover from. Smug in my knowledge that I had sneaked in a pinch of cumin and had the perfect cover story if discovered "That Jimmy Dean Sausage is just not the same ever since they fired Jimmy Dean!" I realized that something didn't look right as I was about to put the breakfast casserole in the refrigerator.

I had left out the two cups of milk. F***! It was Christmas eve and the stores were closed so I had to make it work. I poured the milk in but it just sat there looking very white like the rest of the state of Indiana and politely mocked me while refusing to mix with the layer of egg, bacon, sausage and cheese.

I got three bowls out. I dipped out the cheese and bacon from one end, the cheese and sausage from the other end, and the highly desired middle section of cheese, bacon, AND sausage.

Swishing the milk around with my fingers I was able to mix it with the eggs, rearranged the soggy white bread and poured the meat and cheese back to their respective sections.

Everyone said it was the best breakfast casserole ever. And no one even noticed the cumin. It was the best brunch ever because it was exactly like all the others before it.

Maybe my OCD Christmas wasn't that bad. I'm sure we will repeat it in 2007.

Martin Luther King, Broccoli, and Me


Once again it is almost my birthday--a significant one this year that I come close to sharing with Dr. King. It often falls on the Mid-Atlantic Leather (MAL) weekend here in DC which gives me endless opportunities to hit up leather clad strangers for free drinks.


This year has been unseasonably warm and I have broccoli ready for harvest in my Logan Circle front yard. So for my significant birthday this year I will have 13th ST free range organic, crack-free broccoli, high in vitamin C and soluble fiber. Thank you global warming for providing me for free compound glucoraphanin which leads to an anticancer compound sulforaphane. I guess at my age--I need it!