"The meteroric rise of the workshop of Abraham Roentgen (1711-1793) and his son David (1743-1807) blazed across eighteenth century continental Europe." source: The Met Museum
Here are some extravagantly ornate, yet extremely functional examples of the Roentgens' amazing creations.
I smiled while fantasizing about the conversations, cocktails, and competition I would have around this table. Who is up for a game of Spades?
It's all very go go gadget. I wonder what secrets were kept in the hidden compartments.
Just an exquisite piece. There is a place for everything. It must have been divine to tend to daily tasks, both business and pleasure, on this piece of furniture. Gag on the desk's final transformation and function which helped its owner put everything in perspective.
My Julius' story took place back in 1984. I was taken to the tavern by a handsome man named Tolson. We stopped there for what would be my first Bloody Mary. We then went to his place for what would be my first time having sex with a man!
Tolson was very sweet to me, and I was so excited about finally acting on these feelings I had for men. I remember going home feeling liberated and empowered.
Princess Rei Rei and I enjoyed our time at a table in the back sharing some fries, while I ate one of their cheeseburgers. Julius' takes pride in their burgers.
We went on to talk about tenacity and wondered what else made us want more in life, despite the obstacles that where in our way.
We both agreed that what made a big difference in our lives was we excelled in school during our elementary years. We were able to acquire the fundamentals in the three Rs. These skills then gave us access to experiences that helped us grow, thereby, expanding our options that we could pursue regarding career and life.
I would also add that we developed a sense of pride in being ourselves, because we came of age within a fierce GLBT community that taught us to be out, loud, and proud.
And, this pride and community was slowly built by fearless men and women, that came together in places like Julius'.
Here are some of the highlights from the past few weeks:
I had to tell two eighth-graders to stop throwing snowballs. It resulted in one of them calling me a cabron to my back. One of my fourth-grades ratted him out. I then called the principal and we approached the student. Let's just say this kid has major issues, and at one point he got angry for getting caught and got all banji and started punching his palms. It could have gotten ugly.
Last week, while cleaning up my room after my class party, I gave a group of fourth-grade girls the last few bags of Doritos snack-size bags, as they passed my room. It was a random act of generosity. Today, one of the girls saw me coming in and she yelled, "You gave me a bag of Doritos! You rock!" I laughed and smiled most of the morning.
Yesterday, one of my students told me he and his sister need coats for the winter weather, but their mother doesn't have the money to buy them. They have both been wearing hoodies during these chilly weeks. My amazing school keeps a supply of coats for students in this predicament. I got both students this morning, took them to the storage room and they walked away smiling with their new coats, gloves and hats.
I am seeing progress with comprehension in my reading groups when I preload comprehension questions, so that the students read with purpose, while emphasizing "pause and reflect" while we read together.
I have made some choices with my coins this month that has left me in a financial bind! I need to stop being lazy and focus on my bottom line. There was no need for me to be so broke that it choked. I am forgiving myself, applying the lesson learned and moving forward.
you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to
"How did nachos, one of the hardest dishes in the
American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable?"
"Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?
I gagged while reading this review. I thought Guy had a respect for food
that has integrity; even if it is a pulled-pork sandwich. He seems to celebrate
good-quality food on his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Well, the place has a gift shop and is in the right location for the
tourists that think Red Lobster and Applebee's is fine dining. It will make
some cute coin for about a year and close up shop.
The darling Junior over at Juice With Junior just turned 30! He posted some little words of wisdom that he will use in moving forward. Check it out by clicking here. And, pass on some of your wisdom.
However, before you do, read what I passed on to him:
Happy Birthday Hooker!!!
Let this 44 year old pass this on to you:
1. It's the shit that you don't worry about that will hit you, so don't waste too much time worrying.
2. You have 10 years left to complain about your parents. In the words of John Waters "complaining about your parents in your 40s makes you look like an asshole."
3. Start to become a connoisseur of things, rather than a consumer.
4. You will find 20 somethings to be rather silly but hot.
5. Identify one or two people in your life that are true friends (even if a family member) and cultivate that relationship.
6. Take bold steps in your work life to get to another level.
7. Keep a bottle of Witch Hazel in the fridge, and wipe your face with it using cotton balls.
8. No more highly-processed carbs. Whole grain all the way.
9. Don't eat anymore mammals.
10. When in doubt, check it out.
11. Read more.
12. Get rid of any remnants of a colonial mentality.
13. People will show you who they are and believe it. (I got that from Marcos waaaaay before Oprah said it!)
14. Accept you are a bit crazy, sane people are not paying attention to the world around them.
15. Get through a shitty day as best as you can, get some sleep. What a difference a day makes.
I gagged the other day when I was chatting with Princess Rei Rei. I found out that my little, 6'3", sistah from da Bronx had seen very little, if any, classic movies that queens of a certain age, hold near and dear to their hearts. I done fucked up.
The thing is Princess Rei Rei and I have a reciprocal relationship that is firmly grounded in always learning from each other. I am the big sistah at 40-something, and Rei Rei is the little sistah at 30-something. How is it possible I never told her about the films listed below?
These classic films have the holy trinity of all classic films, a fierce script, brilliant performances, and intelligent direction. Can I get an amen?
Princess Rei Rei has been given viewing orders.
All About Eve
It all started off innocently. Then it became bumpy.
Rosalind Russell was a divine woman. She ate the role of Mame Dennis with such relish, that she left me wanting to have an Auntie Mame in my life.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The ultimate performances of Liz and Dick, gave me the ultimate mind fuck. This film will never leave your system.
So, looks like stripping medals, honors, or titles is the thing to do these days. Lance Armstrong punked out against his fight with USADA, that accused him of doping in order to win his Tour de France titles. The result being he is stripped of those racing titles. I am of the firm belief that if I am innocent of something, I would fight until my last day. I am not surprise about Lance's actions. He knows what he did, along with many others in his sport during that time. I guess Lance stayed true to himself by punking out. Ya recall when he dropped singer Sheryl Crow soon after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, I just read that John Galliano was stripped of his Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. This is another blow to Galliano, after he made the big mistake of spewing anti-Semitic remarks, while getting shit-faced at a bar. Johnnie also got the boot at Dior and his own namesake label. The moral of the story is cheaters never win, and God don't like ugly.
I had a very interesting summer. I taught in a program that services children with multiple and/or severe disabilities. Most of my students, ages 7-15, were non-verbal and are at a Pre-K level in terms of academics.
It was very challenging and required me to be creative at finding ways to reach each child.
I was humbled when after a full-days work a student would suddenly produce results at that moment, however, the next day that child would have no recall and I was starting from square one.
Often, a big smile would spread across my face when the students with autism were able to produce work that revealed they are learning and aware of the world around them. It was also very special when they would make eye contact with me. I felt they were acknowledging me.
A family member had asked me, "Why are these kids in school?" I responded by saying, "They deserve an education. We never know what content will click in these children's brains or their potential if we don't try."
I also talked about the fact the kids responded to the affection and attention we gave them, and it made them very happy. And, that in working with them I learned to give of myself to others on another level.
So, next week I return to work,and my K-4 students. I am looking forward to seeing them again. I miss them.
Ron Palillo passed away today. When I was a little kid I digged watching him as Arnold Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter. I secretly identifed with him because he was nerdy and "not like the other boys," which is how I would describe myself back in those days,
Back in 1947, Rita Hayworth did a little song and dance number in the film Down To Earth, that explored an alternative to the one man, one woman marriage. All parties truly were thinking about their own needs.
Most people rarely get married because of the sanctity of the institution of marriage. I believe our temporary earth-bound spirits get married because of a combination of reasons, like:
wanting a second mother or daddy
Oh, and of course there is love. Ahh, love. Nature and nurture gave us the ultimate mind fuck.
The marriage ritual usually attached to this practice gives us the hope that the promise is sacred, therefore, a source of protection, affirmation, and feeling you have a life-long beloved.
That is the job of rituals. Rituals make our spirit's attempts of being protected by the divine seem possible in our very terrestrial experience.
Which is why I appreciate rituals. Many of us feel the need to reconnect our divine part within us, to the divine outside of us. I also believe there is power in rituals.
Many members of the GLBT want the word marriage attached to their ritual, as well as, the legal rights attached to it.
Keep up the good fight. In the meantime, say to the outside world:
I am married.
This is my wife.
This is my husband.
This is my family.
These are our children.
If people questions it, you come for them and explain what you have committed yourself to is no different from their commitment.
Oh, and if they throw in God or the Bible in their argument, well, just say the conversation is over, because you are certain there are several parts of the bible they have not really followed to the letter.
I was married for 20 years to Marcos Colon. We had an amazing journey together. He was handsome and had the best laugh. We taught each other so much, and were true allies in this world.
Marcos passed on in 2010. In our time we had the highs and lows, were broke and paid, and turned on and turned off. How lucky was I in my attempt at marriage? I had the full experience.
After he passed Marcos let me know he is fine, and that what comes after this earth-bound experience is pure love. Ahh love! I am open to being in love again. Oye! Marcos, if our perrito Gino doesn't approve of him he gets le boot.
With all this said, if you are lucky may your journey of being married have more ups then downs, last a long time, and give you experiences that foster your spirit's divine evolution.
So, Chick-fil-a's CEO let his homophobic slip show and everyone has been in a tizzy over the past few weeks. He's don't like the idea of gay folks attaching the word marriage to their life-long commitments to love each other.
All I can say is as a tax paying, law abiding, citizen of this country, I want full participation and not an ounce of discrimination when it comes to my pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Don't fuck with my constitutional rights; bitches.
Oh and by the way, if we dugged deeper, we would find that most corporations both big and small have spread their money and influence in ways we would not like.
Think about the businesses that are exploiting workers, polluting the planet, and nickel and dime-ing us for points.
To keep you good people from getting overwhelmed, let's keep the focus on Chick-fil-a
A couple of days ago Renee, a fierce blogging auntie, squealed in a post for the bags my thumb is pointing to. I gagged because what I was just looking at online, was right in front of me in real life.
I just happen to come across these cartoony bags in a cute little shop at Grand Central, that sells all sorts of knick-knacks and bric-a-brac.
Renee, head on over to NYC for a weekend and return home with the bag of your choice. You deserve it mama.
So, here are my thoughts so far on the 2012 Olympics:
The opening ceremonies had it best bits when they went for humour and showcased the history of great pop music from the other side of the pond. I had a good laugh when the Queen dived out of a helicopter and Mr. Bean joined the orchestra.
The least successful moments occured when it got ham-ish and overstuffed, for example Kenneth's speech from The Tempest moment. I also got sad when I saw all those volunteers removing acres of turf in order to have the Industrial Revolution moment fill the air with sulphur. Umm, and the boy meets girl mini-novela was a brick load of unnecessary.
I am excited that the U.S. men's gymnastic team has two Latino papi chulos representing. One is, John Orozco, a Boricua from the Bronx, and the other is a tall, dark and handsome, Daynell Leyva, a Cuban-Americano.
Oh, and there is a little stick of dynamite in Latina, Marlen Esparza, who is competing in the first women's boxing competition. Wepa!!
With all his gold and glory did Michael Phelps really need to spend the last four years of his life preparing for yet another Olympics? Doesn't he have other dreams or ambitions? I am sure he pulled enough coins from endorsements prior to his bong incident, that would have enabled him to pursue a new purpose in life.
Well hallelujah for the muslim women athletes breaking new ground. Get it ladies! I truly hope you inspire an entire generation of girls back home.
I'll be watching with eagerness, cheering the underdogs, waiting to be inspired by the personal stories, and believing the next three weeks will cultivate our collective humanity.
My first pride parade was instrumental in helping me begin the process of shedding the self-hate that dimmed my light. I know a few teens out there are going to have the same experience.
Our community in not a monolithic group, yet the media will portray the same images of drag queens, dykes on bikes, and the boys giving body while wearing a Speedo. I love them all; however, the repetition of these images really limits the mainstream public's view of the GLBT community.
DADT has been repealed and a solider can be out of the closet in the military. I find it interesting this finally happened during a time when the military has been struggling to meet their recruitment numbers.
I wonder how many parade participants and viewers ended up later that night at a Tina-laced-barebacking-gangbang. Cock rings and Viagra went flying off the shelves.
I can see how many twenty-somethings think of HIV as a chronic condition that is managed with meds. These yungins didn't witness the devastation of the pandemic during the late 80s and early 90s.
During the Black and Hispanic history months, the school district I work in encourages teachers to create lessons plans highlighting the history and contributions of people from these communities. In June, for Gay Pride Month encouraging the acknowledgement of the GLBT histories and contribution is non-existent.
Bisexuals are real. I know a few of these folks quite intimately.
After the euphoria of the days events are over, I pray that many members of our community will walk away motivated to continue the good fight, not only against homophobia, but also the racism, classism, sexism, body-fascism, ageism, and all the other "-isms" that fester within our community.
I had a Hey, Arnold episode posted to give my take on "pride." In the episode the kids coach opens up about his feelings and coaches the boys in a synchronized swimming competition. The number had a cowboy motif, and I thought it was all very gay positive and a be yourself moment.
However, in light of Sanduzky's verdict being announced and his horrible history of being a predator, while coach, I decided to take it down. It seemed in poor taste, and I felt people may not get where I was coming from when I originally posted the clip.
So, that explains the change and stay tuned for my thoughts on pride month.
Did you know that I come from a military family? My father served in Korea. Two of my uncles fought in Vietnam. My brother is a former-Marine.
Some of these men in my family have moved on and healed, while a couple of them were never able to fully shed the trauma.
All of them came back to poverty, slums, racism, and very little support in terms of employment. This sad excuse of a welcome back is still being offered to many enlisted men and women today, that return from conflict over oil, resources and strategic military placement.
Wars are mostly fought over goodies, only a few are fought for a noble cause like freedom. Moreover, often the most disenfranchised and poor are on the front lines, protecting the interest of the rich-elite.
What you need to understand about me and Donna Summer, is that her voice and the music she sang to, got me through a very dysfunctional and abusive childhood.
She always brought sexy and exciting music into my world that enabled me to let my imagination take off.
I remember the first time I heard “Love To Love You Baby,” I got so swept up in her voice in the music. It was a new day for me. I must have been 7 or 8 years old.
The grown folks were talking as the song played. The topic was whether or not her moaning was recorded while she was actually having sex.
Wow! I loved it even more. She was dangerous in my eyes at the moment, and I mean it in a good way.
At first they were all doubtful, but then when Donna really got into it, she convinced the room that she actually was getting it on.
My appreciation for Donna was very sincere. I was a 10 year-old gayling that had posters of Donna on my bedroom walls. I would look at her dressed in sexy glittery gowns, and fantasized I was right along side her.
I of course imagined we were both best of friends and living it up at the nightclubs DJ Paco talked about on WKTU.
Thank you, Donna Summer, for your amazing voice and for being a part of an amazing time in music history.
Even when you got all church about gays, I gave you a pass, because I knew you eventually would come to your senses.
It is your turn at metamorphosis. Marcos, along with hundreds of your fans, is going to be on the other side to guide you through the first few layers.
All will be revealed and you will understand how you were a divine part of it.
Today I had a PPT meeting with a single-parent that is having major challenges with her three children.
At one point my heart sank as I looked at her face, which to me, conveyed totally exhaustion and regrets for many of the choices she has made in her life.
At one point her three-year old clenched his fist and gestured as if he was going to punch her, after she had reprimand him for crawling under the conference table. Everyone in the room told that child, "No!"
She really is trying her best to make things better. She has support services in place for her and her sons.
I plan on continuing to encourage her to remain consistent in showing up for these services, and hope this support makes a difference in their lives.
I also hope that she finds a new and improved version of herself. May she find a different way of being and thrive in her life.
May she cast to the side the belief that someone that suffers on this plane will get her rewards in the next life. Get yours now mamita!
I am so frustrated right about now. I copy the code for Steampad, so that I can share mp3 files. I placed the mp3 file into the post, it didn't work. Then I placed a link to the file, but it is not running the mp3! Can someone please tell a bitch what he is doing wrong. Help!
So, Oprah's OWN network has lost 150 million dollars, and her O magazine had a drop of 25.1% in ad sales. She has recently said that if she knew it was going to be this hard, she would have done something else. I am sure she will get the opportunity to do something else real soon.
I knew OWN wasn't going to fly when she launched shows featuring Ryan and Tatum O'Neil, as well as, Sarah Ferguson aka Fergie, complaining about their lives, while regular folk are struggling to make ends meet. Moreover, who is checking for these people?
My advice is milk that Be-the-best-you-change-your-life tour thingy for what it is worth. You'll get to do what you do best. Sit and pontificate to a large gathering of folks. As for the magazine, move it to an online experience. Your soccer moms are Facebooking like crazy and tending to their online lives.
Just now, on my way to the store, a police officer in a squad car stopped me twice. I had flashbacks to my days as a B-Boy.
My former life as a B-Boy totally influences my reaction to being stopped by a cop. I'll share more on that experience later.
The police officer asked me if my name was Howard. I said, "No, my name is Allan." He then drove away. I was on the phone with my mother. I kept walking.
A few steps later, the cop actually pulled along side me and asked to see my ID. I gave it to him, he looked it over, gave it back and drove away.
I felt angry, concerned, and frustrated all at the same time.
Was he really looking for a Howard? If there is a Howard, do I fit his description? Or, was I being profiled?
What if he was profiling me and found me suspicious, what would have happened next? Once I got home my mind went to Trayvon Martin.
I am not Trayvon. I was not stopped by a vigilante with a concealed weapon. I reached the age of 44 and made my way back home. So, why does Trayvon come to my mind?
During the early 80s in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I was a b-boy. I was down with the crew Brooklyn Vandalizing Dudes aka BVD. I looked a lot like the homeboy with the red turtleneck.
I always had my Adidas laced up to match the Le Tigre shirt I was wearing that day. This was the look that adults said made you look like a titere, a hoodlum.
I would laugh at that impression. I knew I wasn't a hoodlum. I just had to rock a look that made me fit in. I liked my clothes and how I looked.
The older folks were whack and didn't get it. The titere look presented to the outside world, back then, was about fitting in with my peers and survival. It was there hang-up, not mine.
The rules for young homeboys like myself were you always walked around not looking like a punk. You also knew what blocks you had to avoid because other crews "ran" that block.
You never showed fear, and even faked the funk to give the impression you were hard. It was required you had some sorta swagger.
Another important rule is when the cops pulled you over, because you always "fit the description" of someone they were looking for, you kept it cool. In those days the 83rd Precinct was corrupt and would play rough.
So, when I would get stopped, by the cops, a cold feeling would wash over me. I knew to take my hands out my coat pocket, stand straight, and answer all questions. Once the encounter was all over I felt powerless and insulted.
I was a good kid, despite my 40s and blunts. I would promise myself that next time, I would give the cops a hard time. Yet, I never acted on that desire, and just submitted to the experience.
I was wise enough to know by prolonging the encounter, it would lead to some heavy experience. I made peace with submitting because it meant survival.
I wonder if Trayvon was pissed that here was a non-cop harassing him, when he encountered Zimmerman. I wonder if he thought, Shit! Now, I have to take this bullshit from someone that isn't a cop.
I wonder if Zimmerman's fear was met by Trayvon's frustration. I would of had the same reaction of being messed with that Trayvon experienced. I would have been totally in the right to feel that way.
Fuck you Zimmerman! You are not a cop. And, the real authorities told you don't follow Trayvon.
I would love to ask Trayvon if he shared my experiences. I would love to ask Trayvon if he ever felt angry, concerned, and frustrated all at the same time, as he moved among his world. I would love to hear what he would say, and how us grown folks can learn from him.
Sadly, we won't get those lessons from his mouth. He was stopped by a vigilante with a concealed weapon. A vigilante that worked from fear and a sense of powerlessness that made him want to give, what he considered suspicious looking, people a hard time.
It is still possible for Trayvon to speak to us, and for us to learn some lessons. I write this in the hope that Trayvon's short-cut-life gives us lessons that will keep us moving forward to a humanity that works for solutions of what ails us, based on love, rather than fear and prejudice.