Tag Archives: lgbt

Lame Adventure 303: Am I Hallucinating?

The short answer to that question is, “That’s always a possibility.” I was sitting at my desk at work effectively feigning consciousness when I looked up at the shelf over my computer and saw a rainbow.

Looking up under the rainbow.

I thought:

Me (thinking):  Holy crap!  What’s this about?

If Judy Garland started singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow on the iPod in my mind I would have accepted the possibility that I was likely suffering a flashback from some chemical I may have ingested in my past.  I highly doubted that the English Breakfast tea I was sipping at that moment after polishing off a cup of Life cereal in skim milk would have triggered any visions other than my constant craving for a bagel.

Cinnamon raisin bitch goddess.

Since there is supposed to be a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, I was prompted to look behind my desk to see what was there.  Curious, I peeked behind my monitor, half expecting an encounter with the Lucky Charms leprechaun.  Rather than finding a vessel overflowing with riches or a silo full of noxiously sweet cereal, I only saw a sobering sight; a piece of cement floor tile in the foreground and bright sunshine bouncing off a CD behind it.

Reality bites.

The CD was the source reflecting rainbow colors on the shelf above.  That brought my day tripping to an abrupt end, until I recalled a popular song from my youth sung by my fellow traveler, Lesley Gore.  It features sunshine, rainbows eventual tooth decay and can probably lead to alcoholism if heard often enough.

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Lame Adventure 291: Bird Brained

A few weeks ago, my buddy, Coco, complained to me about an owl cooing outside her apartment building in lower Manhattan.  Apparently, this bird’s late night/early morning warbling routine has been impairing her ability to get a restful night’s sleep.

Me:  I don’t think that’s an owl.  It’s probably a mourning dove.

Coco:  Whatever it is I wish it would shut the hell up.  It’s driving me crazy!

How I became such an authority on owls vs. mourning doves is that ten years ago I briefly dated a tree-hugger named Mindy.  Whenever I think of this lass I’m reminded of an orifice (not the ear canal).  Read on … She confided to me that she despised the corporate world so much she wanted to craft her own feminine hygiene products for personal use.  My usual witty repartee eluded me at that moment possibly because the vast majority of women I’ve dated have wanted to shoot films, write books, act in plays, etc.  Being in the presence of an aspiring tampon maker was a first (note: there has yet to be a second).  Our union ended with a thud during pillow talk when she revealed she’d rather see someone that works at the UN.

Me (wounded):  Oh.  So you’ve met someone that works at the UN?

Mindy:  No, but I’d like to.

During an earlier less spirit-deflating visit I complained to Mindy about what I thought was an owl cooing outside my window.

Me:  Do you hear that?

Mindy:  That’s a mourning dove.

Who knew?  Not me.

A decade later I’m at work, sitting at my desk, discussing a design project with my friend and colleague, (not) Under Ling (anymore).  Eager to seize the reins on a new challenge, she suggests that she’ll make several mockups of this idea that we’ll present to our boss, Elsbeth.

Me:  Excellent!

Then, the neighborhood mourning dove flies onto our windowsill. Havoc ensues.  (not) Under Ling (anymore) knows that I have been obsessed with getting a good picture of this creature to share with Coco.  I have even suggested to my colleague:

Me:  For all we know this could be the actual bird that’s always waking Coco!

One of the many hats (not) Under Ling (anymore) wears is that she’s the company photographer.  She shoots pictures with this very intimidating digital Canon camera that is called something like the Behemoth.

Canon Behemoth.

It weighs about the same as the Liberty Bell.

We both spring into action.  (not) Under Ling (anymore) wielding the Behemoth, hops onto the counter as if her Converse sneaker soles have sprouted springs.  She patiently crouches at the window like a member of the paparazzi waiting to capture the perfect “gotcha!” shot of this critter.

"Gotcha!" shot of (not) Under Ling (anymore) perched at the window.

So close and yet so far "gotcha!" shot. "If only Elsbeth would have let me buy a zoom lens for this camera..."

Yet, our bird is fidgety.  It flies from sill to sill, and only perches momentarily.  I fire off a quick shot with my PowerShot.

Can birds get liver spots?

We follow it as best we can, narrowly avoiding colliding into each other when we are certain that it has moved onto the windowsill in Our Leader’s office.  Elsbeth is oblivious to the Two Stooges frantically scampering outside her office door.  After the bird disappears from our view we resume focusing our attention on our assignment.  Then, in an excited voice, (not) Under Ling (anymore) announces:

(not) Under Ling (anymore): The bird’s back!

My heart races.  She grabs the camera and is now perched at a window in the back of our office waiting to fire away.  I commend my friend for taking this interesting shot in white silhouette.

Cool shot!

(not) Under Ling (anymore) insists it reminds her more of this mythical (?) creature.

Loch Ness monster image from Wikipedia.

Later that evening, I email Coco a link to a 24 second video of a mourning dive cooing with the subject heading, “Does this sound like your owl?”

Coco’s response: Yes! Maybe my owl is really one of those bastards.

Maybe it’s even the one perched outside our window?

"This feels so good on the tail feathers, it makes me want to coo even louder!

7:32 am update email from Coco: That dick bird is still cooing…..argh!  It doesn’t quit!

Lame Adventure 214: Wedding(s) Crasher

The brides.

Today is a lovely 91 degree day in the city – hot but not humid, and a perfect day to get same-sex married in one of the two pop-up chapels near Columbus Circle at the Merchant’s Gate entrance to Central Park.  The area seemed equally divided with well wishing onlookers as well as police and wedding staff.

Well wishing onlookers.

The crowd was behaved although one onlooker’s father, a grumpy tourist who was more hungry for his lunch than storybook-New-York-City-style-romance, continually groused to his wedding-loving-daughter:

Grumpy Dad:  C’mon, we’ve watched enough of this!  Let’s get lunch!

Wedding-Loving-Daughter:  You get lunch.  I wanna watch!

Grumpy Dad:  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Wedding-Loving-Daughter was adorable, and a thought occurred to me:

Me:  People meet at weddings all the time.  Give her your Lame Adventures card.

Then a second thought occurred to me:

Me: She’s at least thirty years younger than you.  You’re older than her dad.  And, hello, you’re not a cougar!

I kept my card and returned my focus to the festivities.

This event offered free weddings including officiating, photography, champagne, witnesses, and of most importance to every New Yorker, cupcakes, to 24 first come, first serve couples that responded to the Pop-Up Chapel web site.  The weddings are co-sponsored by an on-line wedding planning site called the Knot.  The number 24 was selected because June 24th was the date that the bill was passed to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.

The two chapels were selected from 56 design entries.  Two of the stipulations were that these chapels had the capacity to be constructed within two hours on the morning of the event, and they measure no more than eight by eight feet.  The winners were Kiss by Z-A Studio and a cube of rainbow ribbons by the design firm ICRAVE.  What I liked most about Kiss, aside from the simple elegance of the design, was that when separated, the two pieces could not stand alone.  Gee, if I was the sappy type, I might have popped a tear when I wrote that.

Here are some pictures of the two chapels of love Gotham City-style and some of the loving couples.  Click on this loving couples to link to learn a little about fourteen of the couples that were wed today.  They’ve been together between three and thirty-seven years or according to my abacus, an average of eleven years.

Sign and Keeper of the Sign

The Knot's staff.

ICRAVE's rainbow ribbons chapel.

Jay & John, together almost 37 years, exchanging vows.

Z-A Studio's empty Kiss waiting for next couple.

Deb & Jazell (in traditional dress), together five years after meeting over a cantaloupe, exchanging vows.

Congratulations!

Deb and Jazell mingling post-nuptials.

Next couple preparing to exchange vows.

Cameracrew recording ceremony.

Exchanging I do's.

Post-kiss under Kiss (missed kiss due to snail slow shutter speed).

Just married Tom & Scott after almost 30 years together.

Lame Adventure 202: We Love New York!

Empire State Building glowing with same-sex marriage pride.

Milton and I were in the East Village attending an excellent off-Broadway play called Unnatural Acts currently on the boards at one of our favorite theaters, Classic Stage Company, when the historic vote for marriage equality was taking place in the New York State Senate.  This play, based on the true story about a group of persecuted gay male college students attending Harvard in 1920, is a disturbing episode that Harvard kept secret for over eighty years.  As tough as it was to watch at moments, and the food coma I suffered thanks to the Pad Thai washed down with a Passion Fruit Mojito I had for dinner didn’t help, after seeing this tragedy we reflected on how far this country has come in its attitude about homosexuality 91 years later.  Certainly, what happened tonight in Albany was remarkable.  Neither Milton nor I ever dreamed that same-sex marriage would be legal in our lifetime, but three years ago, we never imagined this country would ever elect an African American president, or that we’d ever find Osama bin Laden.  We continue to feel wonderful about being wrong.

Eagle-eyed Lame Adventure contributor, Coco, while stiletto-pounding the pavement in her lower Manhattan neighborhood earlier this week, snapped these photos in the windows of a Levi’s store in anticipation of this historic vote.

She ain't heavy she's my spouse.

Hat off, arm in arm!

Possibly, I’m prejudiced but the just married boys strike me as a bit shy with their backs turned when paired with the jubilant in your face butch/femme girls.  Coco opined that the girl-on-girl display was much more fun.

Friday evening, while Milton and I were taking a pre-play stroll down University Place, we momentarily took a break from bickering about his insistence that The Killing of Sister George is the best lesbian themed film ever, when we noticed these eye-catching Ralph Lauren Rugby store windows.

Beautiful brides.

Beautiful (but headless!) grooms.

We were so bothered by why the chaps were missing their heads, we went inside to ask what that was about.  The adorable clerk explained that in the haste to pull this window display together, Ralph’s Visual Management department did not have male mannequins with heads available, but soon, the guys will have their heads.  Milton told me that he’s going to keep an eye on those windows.

Lame Adventure 112: Orlando the Ultimate She-Man

Thursday night after work, Milton and I met at the Classic Stage Company, an off-Broadway theater to see Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of the Virginia Woolf novel, Orlando.  In my confused youth, the second I whiffed that Woolf had written a gender bending time-traveling semi-biographical story about and for Vita Sackville-West, a woman she had an affair with in the 1920s, fireworks exploded in my head.  My friends were drooling over David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, and Donny Osmond, a trinity of bland teen idols I found about as exciting as a TV test pattern.  What excited me was getting my sweaty little mitts on that book about a nobleman who transforms into a noblewoman.  The premise blew my adolescent mind.  Orlando was my first exposure to Woolf.  Since I was barely 13, I found the story completely bewildering.  Yet, I managed to read it in its entirety even though it essentially entered one eyeball and exited the other.

Early edition of the novel.

Years later, in 1992, filmmaker Sally Potter directed an accessible film version of Orlando featuring Tilda Swinton in the title role, and Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I.  Billy Zane played Orlando’s male love interest; this was when he had long flowing tresses and looked dashing.  Nearly twenty years later, what I most recall from the film was after Orlando changes genders from male to female, she looks straight at the camera and matter-of-factly states, “Same person, no difference at all.  Just a different sex.”  I loved that moment and have been a Tilda Swinton fan ever since.

Movie poster.

Sarah Ruhl’s spirited theatrical adaptation makes me want to give reading the novel another try, but more likely, Milton will rent the DVD of the film on Netflix and he’ll let me borrow it.  The play is packed with droll wit.  Director Rebecca Taichman has overseen a very inventive production.  Even though the set, designed by Allen Moyer, is minimalist with a giant mirror suspended over a large swatch of fake grass filling the stage, this use of artifice perfectly personifies nature as a shimmery sheet symbolizes snow and ice.  Another element that contributes to this production’s depth is Annie-B Parson’s flowing choreography.  The entire ensemble cast deserves a loud shout out.  Their energy is vital in bringing this story to vivid life.  Francesca Faridany is wonderful as ageless Orlando, in any gender.  At one point, she exited the stage to sit on the theater’s steps where she continued to interact with her fellow cast members from afar.

She sat next to me.

I thought, “This is surreal. Orlando is sitting next to me.”  My next thought was, “I so hope I don’t sneeze or cough right now.”  For once my body functions did not betray me.

David Greenspan, a man of many vocal inflections, is hilarious as Queen Elizabeth I and a cloying duchess who later returns as an equally cloying duke.  Tom Nelis is spot on as both a multiple hankie dropping jilted girlfriend and Marmaduke Bonthrop Shelmerdine, the man Orlando marries, as well as numerous other characters.  He can also belt out a song in grand opera style.  Howard Overshawn in one moment embodies a maidservant who vows to never remove her wedding ring and just as easily segues into the solicitous captain of a ship.  Fluid gender bending is everywhere in this play, with the sole exception of lovely Annika Boras’s Sasha, the ethereal ice skating Russian princess that breaks Orlando’s heart in his male youth.

Girls playing boys and boys playing queens.

At the play’s close, Orlando exuberantly declares, “I’m beginning to understand now!”

As does the audience.

Then, the actors took their bows to rapturous applause.  Once the cast left the stage, the audience made a stampede for the exit with such aggression, a guy who could have been the body double for Sasquatch stepped on my candy bar, giving me the impression that he and almost everyone else in the room had been trapped in a deep hole in Chile for 69 days, as opposed to two hours in Virginia Woolf’s Wonderland courtesy of Sarah Ruhl.

Closing Sunday October 17th.

Lame Adventure 65: Pride Baby!

Milton and I celebrated gay pride New York City-style this weekend by watching the LGBT Pride March from the sidelines on lower Fifth Avenue near West 16th Street.  As we played dueling digital cameras in the humid heat, we did not complain for it did not rain on our parade, something I feared might happen.  We also kept ourselves well hydrated.  I had my 20-ounce bottle of water and Milton guzzled an entire Poland Spring water truck personally before we shared a liter of refreshing mango (not served by Chris Kattan) sangria over dinner afterward.

The parade itself was an uplifting event.  Marriage, family, religious acceptance and equality were key themes.  We noticed many members of organized faiths marching.  In the forty years that this event has been taking place, it’s very moving to see the progress that has been made.  Milton and I both got lumps in our throats when we saw the contingency from the New York Police Department in their dress blues march past.  Forty-one years ago when the Stonewall riots ignited in Greenwich Village, the police bashed the patrons to the point of inciting revolt.  That was the pivotal event that started the pride movement that continues today, but who would have ever anticipated that a battalion of out gay and lesbian cops would march proudly in such a parade?  And they were followed by the out gay and lesbian firefighters.  What’s next out and proud Catholic priests and nuns?  Oops, better not go there.

The person standing next to me, an individual of indeterminate gender who I thought was female, but Milton swore he saw an Adam’s apple, doubled as a human vuvuzela forever blowing a piercing whistle to entice marchers to come her way.  Standing along side this exuberantly demonstrative parade-goer for three hours and forty-five minutes was a bit taxing for both of us.  The limited hearing in my impaired right ear is undoubtedly further decreased, but I pointed out to Milton that “Blow Tart” (our name for this person) was not the worst person in the world.  It was not like we were stuck standing next to Osama bin Laden and his dialysis machine.  Afterward, I asked Milton what he thought someone like Blow Tart did for a living.  He suggested in a droll tone, “Annoy people.  She’s great at her job.”

Posted below are some of our photographs and because we’re devils, a little video we shot of Blow Tart that we posted on YouTube.  This better illustrates why Milton’s knee-jerk response is “idiot” every time I mention this person.  Overall, it was a lovely parade, and we did have a great time.

Traditional parade start with Yikes! on Bikes.

Lovely Yike on her Bike.

Bride of Pride.

Grand Marshal Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard's mom.

Grand Marshal US Army Lieutenant Dan Choi, West Point graduate and gay rights activist trying to overturn Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Horse drawn Wells Fargo carriage.

Parade worker cleaning crap emitted from Wells Fargo carriage horse prompting Milton to say, "Don't shit on our parade!"

Marriage fairness fighters.

Delta wants LGBT dollars.

Banner says all.

Banner says all but some of us fall between these two poles.

Still on the topic of poles, don't try this at home unless your name is Madonna.

Does not look any easier from this angle, either.

The blood rushed to both our heads just watching this. The dancer is 27-year-old Marlo Fiskin. Her partner is pedaling the bike.

Our senator Chuck Schumer!

A perfect day for a parasol and fan. Why didn't we think of that?

Hebrew National Pride.

NYPD Pride.

NYC Firefighter Pride.

Moms and bambinos.

Beautiful Pride Tot.

Milton's "what the hell" shot of Mr. & Mr. Smith.

If you got it, parade it.

Milton's sweaty paw holding a parade button he caught.

AOL ice cream truck giving out no ice cream.

Fellow bloggers!

Nice day to stroll in your underwear.

Topless girls in hard hats. Meow!

Topless boys clinching.

Mister Pansy Pride.

Buff guy that somehow caught Milton's eye.

Buff guy and buff bud endorsing TD Bank -- move over Regis Philbin.

Asian Pride!

Asian Pride boy feeling good.

Is that you, Courtney Love?

Boys from Peru flaunting it.

Boys from Peru swishing by.

Boy from Peru showing off.

In the mood to wear a top hat.

Peacock.

Wow.

Who the fuck is this bitch with a whistle?

Whistle.

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner -- "Isn't it great to have a name like Weiner on gay pride day?"

They agree with Congressman Weiner!

New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

Banner says it all.

Under Construction.

Drag queen in need of a Red Bull.

Cleopatra's assistants.

Big Apple Corps Marching Band.

Big Apple Corps Marching Band marching.

Big Apple Corps Marching Band tuba players or as Milton said, "They even have tuba players in this parade!"

Just legalize it.

Okay.

Rich lash mascara!

Pump your fist for pride!

In the spirit of La Cage aux Folles ...

Working out on lower Fifth Avenue.

Daddy-Mommy dearest.

As long as everyone's consenting ...

We want to do LGBT banking!

The talented Mr. Whip Man.

Gay guys for shower curtains.

Go Magazine girls.

Sexy girls marching on spring shoes. Acme brand like Wile E. Coyote's?

A lone Cagelle?

Unreal literally and figuratively.

Another angle on the unreal.

Michelle Dupree, whoever that is.

Pro LGBT Episcopals.

New York Law School girls when they're not hitting the books.

The Randy Blue Boys - up and coming, pardon the pun, gay male porn film company.

Smiling Randy Blue Boy.

Marching Pride pooch taking a breather.

Green party members letting it all hang out.

Gay City News ending the march. Note doggie in driver's side window.