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01 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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A Bon Voyage and Lynch Mob Party is planned for the night before I leave.  Someone offered the brilliant idea of providing an open microphone for people to tell Sister Betty stories.  I shall arrange to have squelch switch at my fingertips.  If you have not received an eVite and want to attend, let me know.

Leaving my itty bitty, gritty, shitty hometown to join the Navy, I flew across the country and landed in Orlando, Florida.  I didn't get to see much of Orlando on the bus from the airport.  Through the grimy windows it wasn't so impressive and I never did catch sight of Mouseland before I reached boot camp. 

As my gaggle of high school graduates and dropouts marched across the compound to our new barracks, we happened by a large red pole adorned with an odd box and a tall, red light.  I asked what this was.  After some shouting, the instructor told me it was a fire box.  A small switch in the center summoned the fire department.  I was perplexed by these odd boxes.  As mobile homes can burn to their axles in under five minutes, back home calling the fire department was largely to ensure the tires didn't create too much toxic smoke.  When a fire crew arrived, all that was left was a housewife in a thin dress smoking unfiltered Camels. 

San Francisco has similar devices and I'm curious if they still work.  Throughout the city, red boxes with worn switches rest on street corners and light poles.  Maybe before I leave I'll pull a switch to see what happens.  Maybe not.  The firefighters in San Francisco look more like partially rehabilitated ex-cons than the supermodel Pompiers in Paris.

02 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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The Grand Finale of Ba-da-Bingo is tomorrow night:  a mambo band, jugglers, circus performers, and a minor supply crisis I hoped is solved before curtain call.  I was so busy today I forgot to eat.  At half past eight I am thinking about my first meal, which would either be dinner or breakfast, depending on whether you evaluate the matter by sequence or timing.

07 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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This flying Ronald Reagan's body from coast to coast and back again is a bit tiresome. 

For goodness sake, the man has an airport, an office building and an aircraft carrier named for him.  All these things were named before he croaked - most other presidents have to be in the ground decades or centuries before we name something in their honor. Do we really need to incur the expense of transporting his carcass around the country?  I know, I know:  Ronald Reagan was the greatest, wonderfulest, bestest president ever.  It still seems a bit extreme. 

Ronald checked out long ago.  His fine, sharp, witty brain became riddled with holes and ratty, tattered synapses more than a decade back.  Old age is rarely pretty when stained by drool and leaky catheters.  When the funeral home asked Ronnie, Jr. if the family wanted a casket, Nancy screamed:  "Just say no!"

If you go to pay respect to the former Commander in Chief, all you will see is a fine example of American craftsmanship and solid mahogany.  (Unless, of course, the casket was made by outsourced labor in Taiwan.)  You have to trust the Gipper is in there.  Only a Terrorist or Enemy Of Freedom would lift the lid to check.  If you really wanted to pay respects to Dutch, wouldn't it have been better to do it while he was still alive?  (Which is why I encourage folks to send me cash now, rather than waste money on flowers for some future memorial service I will attend only as ashes.)

Ronnie wanted common folk to be able to pay respect after he died.  (He thought this generous; I think it narcissistic).  Rather than cart his embalmed corpse from one ocean to the next, I recommend we dangle him below a helicopter in the manner of Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita.  Sponsored by Jelly Belly and wrapped in 3M Advertising Film like a public transit bus, the helicopter would fly over major metropolitan areas, permitting large portions of the population to gaze skyward at the passing of our gosh-darn greatest hero.

08 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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I bought an iPod today. 

I refuse to take sides in the Apple/PC debate.  People seem to be fiercely loyal to one brand or the other.  I suspect it doesn't matter as long as your pornography downloads are quick and the screen is easy to clean.

My new Honda came equipped with an MP3 player port located eight inches to the right of the CD player.  I thought this useless until I attempted to produce a copy of my entire CD collection to keep in the car.  Defeated, I surrendered to Apple's gleaming solution: My entire music collection, neatly arranged, contained in a device no larger than a box of cigarettes. 

Most importantly, I could purchase this new device at Apple's new store, which is a hip gay bar with better lighting and no alcohol.  Handsome, young, gay men with hair gel and good shoes comprise the sales staff.  Hunky boys with bicycle messenger bags caress the floor models and furtively glance around the room.  Voyeurs gather near the digital cameras, taking images of men ascending the clear, glass steps.  A few women linger near the printer display, clearly fag hags.  Apple is hip, like Diesel or Abercrombie & Fitch.  It isn't about the merchandise, it is about who is wearing the merchandise.

Standing at the cashier, I see a salesman eyeing my shoes.  I wore good shoes today; I knew I was going to Apple.  He glances up and sees me looking.  We lock eyes for exactly the right length of time and he turns away.  The cashier asks if I want anything else.  Yes, I do.  But today, I'll just leave with my nifty new device, taking it home to ensure the downloads are quick and the screen is easy to clean.

09 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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I am a Big Fag. 

This was confirmed today as I calmly loaded both Nancy Sinatra's These Boots are Made for Walking and Melissa Manchester's Don't Cry Out Loud into my iPod.

A large population of gay men describe themselves as straight-acting or masculine.  The first implies a level of self-loathing I refuse to discuss.  The second implies a more subtle form of discrimination against certain men who, although often funny and charming, lack essential butch qualities.  If masculinity requires I forgo Nancy, Melissa and my Boy George albums, then find me a job as a stewardess and buy me a new moisturizer.

Although you might not believe it, Nancy and Melissa are two of the butchest singers around.  Nancy warbles:  "These boots are made for walking, that's what they're gunna do, one of these days these boots will walk all over you!"  Melissa implores:  "Don't cry out loud, keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings."  Isn't that pretty much what being masculine and straight acting are all about?

11 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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Happy Birthday Leigh!

I met Leigh several years ago after placing an ad for a seamstress to fashion my new habits. Leigh entered my apartment for our first meeting and the air stood still momentarily as if Jesus was returning after two thousand years but decided "What the hell, I'll wait for one more season of the Sopranos."  Her red lips drawn by a lewd cartoonist swept back in a broad smile carried forth on a frame sufficient to make any construction worker fall from his scaffolding.  Every bit of my being that held I was a big queer stirred and questioned the fundamental truth of this belief.

If I was not a certified, card carrying, FBI registered homosexual, my hopes of anything more than a measure, snip and stitch relationship were dashed by the man who followed Leigh through the door.  Handsome and foreign, with a vaguely- queer- but- it's- okay- because- he's- from- Europe name that sounded like Dav-EE-Day, he dropped onto my sofa as if he held keys to my apartment.  One leg swung over the sofa arm while the other dropped to the floor and a giant bulge protruded between - like a dessert in a bakery window you can admire but never speak of because everyone thinks you are dieting.  Had I harbored one heterosexual neuron it would have made no difference.  Dav-EE-day was Italian and Italian wins over white-trash-former-Arizonan on any continent.

Leigh and I became fast friends in the intervening years.  Her laugh makes the plaster on walls crack as architecture moves in perfect resonance frequency.  Leigh enters a room like a Nile Princess from Kalamazoo and you think the slightly worn Corningware dish she bears to be filled with myrrh or frankincense or some jello thing you've never heard of and know instantly will be the best thing you've ever tasted.  People lean toward her as if drawn by a certain gravity which I attribute to iron filings absorbed during her childhood on the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. 

I fancied Leigh moving with me to Maine and setting up house.  I would provide the sperm, she the egg and we would make tiny little mutated copies of ourselves.  Leigh would be the perfect mother, teaching our children to make green bean casserole, cookies with faces made of candy, and to spit without hitting anyone else.  I would design elaborate Halloween costumes, Leigh would sew them, and our offspring would be the only children in New England fitted to celebrate October 31st or Carnival or High Mass.

Alas, this is not to be.  I love Leigh like I have loved no other woman and pretty much as I have loved no other man, for which she should be thankful.  A therapist once told me what makes one gay or straight is not who we have sex with but who we fantasize waking up next to.  Try as I may, I know I would never fully understand where to place my hands so I could sleep the entire night without touching breasts. 

As much as Leigh might try, I don't think I'd ever believe her with a strap-on barking:  "You want this boy?!  Tell me how much you want it!"  We would both end up laughing ourselves silly and having to explain to the children why Mommy was screaming at Daddy.

I would marry Leigh without hesitation if even a single sperm I owned wanted to swim northward toward a fallopian tube.  A recently departed friend believed our souls return lifetime after lifetime, century upon century, always looking for those we loved before.  Perhaps this century the design department got the plumbing mixed up or perhaps I'm here to learn an entirely different lesson that has something to do with matching shoes and belts properly.  There is comfort thinking Leigh and I may have bumped booty in the past or might do so again in the future.

If I do get another go round, you can be sure I'll buy God a copy of the Sopranos on DVD if Dav-EE-Day gets my penis for the next lifetime while I get his.  Then, if we can both find each other on the planet in our reincarnated bodies (mine looking a cross between Robbie Williams and Vin Diesel, hers the same as now), both Leigh and I will really be happy.

12 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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Mixed thoughts:

My 6'7" frame seems to attract men who are best described as exceptionally short.  I enjoy furry little guys built like wrestlers.  I do prefer, however, someone who does not need my help to reach the lavatory sink.  I am considering a tattoo on my side that reads:  "You must be at least this tall for this ride."

David sent this quote:

"Short then is the time which every man lives, and small the nook of the earth where he lives; and short too the longest posthumous fame, and even this  only continued by a succession of poor human beings, who will very soon die, and who know not even themselves, much less him who died long ago." - The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Book 3:10

Seven days remain before I leave San Francisco

14 June 2004 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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My time is overbooked this week as I prepare to move this Friday.  I have insufficient time to pack; I have no time to write even mildly entertaining or interesting columns.

Road Trip 2004 begins on Friday.  Daily updates from the road delivered to your email box by clicking here.  Follow along online by clicking here.

Bon Voyage Party is Thursday night.  If you are on the invitation list and have not RSVP'd - tsk, tsk.  If you have not been invited but want to attend, let me know.

I now return to packing...

18 June 2004 until July 2 - (Comment)
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Sister Betty is on Road Trip 2004.  Daily updates from the road are here.


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