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Cleburne Texas

sunflowers on the way into town
the marbles I made
milo grain field
Cleburne state park

On the way to the dry county of Johnson, Texas, at 10:30 AM ("dry" as in not- only- has- it- not- rained- for- 38- days - but- now- I- can't- even- sit- by- the- enchanting- Comfort-Inn- pool- with- a- nice- cold- one), I drove by the nightclub "Chance". It advertised "Happy Hour"...from 10AM to 8PM...don't think I didn't consider getting "happy". It had a very desperate, pleading, (accurate) "last chance" look...

At a local chain restaurant, after checking the beer list, I ordered a Bass. The (very young-looking) waitress looked at me funny (er) she was about to say "well, we do have salmon..." I repeated "Bass", pointing at the beer list. One....two...three..."oh, okay. Can I see your Unicard?" "What's a Unicard?" "Cleburne is in a dry county, so you have to sign up for a Unicard to drink." How hypocritical! Drinking is immoral, so it is illegal...unless, of course, you can make money doing it...which makes it moral, as long as the government knows how many cocktails you order...and as long as you drive to a restaurant to enjoy those cocktails and drive home drunk!

I know, I know, alcohol is bad and banning it is for everyone's own good, but if they really wanted to do something for the benefit of the average Joe around here, they ought to ban stuff like donuts or high fructose corn syrup...

In this fine dining establishment, full-on three-quarters of the men kept their baseball caps while eating. I'm guessing the other 1/4 had hair.

How hot is it? In the manufacturing plant where I'm working (making marbles), they pass out sponges attached to rubber bands. Workers wear these on their foreheads---not a hankerchief, not a headband, but a frickin' sponge. I have yet to see someone wring one out, but ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

Then there was the day they said we didn't have to wear hard hats anymore---Yippee!!!---because while working above the furnace, they might melt to our heads---ewwwwwwwwwwwww

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Telling stories

The Atlanta Film Festival opened this past Friday and it was a kick in the rubber parts to go to the after party and get to meet the enormously talented and engaging director duo, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, who created the heart and mind-expanding (and fesitval opening) film "Quinceanero".

Of course it was a blast! I don't see how Richard and Wash could possibly NOT be a filmmakers - we discussed topics ranging from how the limited places we played as children defined the huge way we explored the world as adults to living in Manhattan housesit-to-housesit to bearded ladies to Atlanta's Blondie and her infamous beercan-crushing breasts to Swinging Richard's and what the boys there might crush with their 'talents'.

The Getty, the Varsity, 'Grief' & Alexis Arquette, Katrina, egg donors, Civil War monuments - none of it directly film-related, but all of it vitally expressive.

For 2 hours, we laughed & drank & talked - we were artists & artists are people who have stories they are compelled to tell - whether it be in film or wedding photos or dance or over cocktails.

We went our separate ways at 2 AM, them off to NYC to pitch their next project and me home with my head full of stories both told and not. I felt an urgency to keep sharing... stories about my autistic nephew, about living in Paris and Mexico, about backpacking in Oregon, about why being gay matters... and why it doesn't.

Go see Wash and Robert's movie, Quinceanera, and then go home, find your story, and find a way to tell it.


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Where the f#@k am I, Toto?

I'm working out of town this week...waaaaaaay out of town.

Within 5 minutes of walking into this plant in rural Texas (south of Ft. Worth), the guy they call "Liberal" was giving me the safety tour of the plant along with an explantion of his nickname. He looks at me and explains "the guys here in Texas call me 'Liberal' cuz I don't like Bush. I'm not for them queers and faggots getting married and all, but they are only 2% of the population and Congress has got a lot more important things to be doing. They give me shit for saying as much, but I've eaten more pussy than they've ever seen in their entire lives."

Like I'm not already cringing enough, we then stop in the middle of the plant and he just looks at me for a response. What the hell was I supposed to say?

"um...I'm a vegetarian."

My weekend at the Atlanta Film Festival, seeing the play "The Last Sunday in June", and watching the broadcast of the Tony Awards have not adequately prepared me for working in this state.

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In the local newpaper...

Last week, the local paper elicited opinions about what Atlantans thought would happen to Underground Atlanta, now that nightclubs are starting to pull out (and the rest of it is a rapidly regrading and unattractive mall).

I went one step further and wrote my solution to the problem in a letter to the editor that was published in Saturday's paper:

"The formula for the Georgia Aquarium seems to work, and folks flock to Lake Lanier on the weekends. So when it comes to Underground Atlanta, why not go with something that Atlantans already want?

Flood Underground and reopen it as the next, great Atlanta water attraction --- Underwater Atlanta. Go boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking on your lunch hour right downtown!"

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Garden - Before and After

Wow! What a difference three weeks make!

We planted our little crack ho community garden on May20th, and now we have harvested our first basil, there are tomatoes starting to flesh out, the pole beans planted from seed are about 4 inches high, and the crookneck squash and peppers are about to flower. Yippee!

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Hey W - Let's make a deal

We both want something. In a way, we both want the same thing.

You want to take the focus off Americans dying in Iraq by using valuable time in Congress to debate a gay marriage amendment. I want to take the focus off Americans dying in Iraq by STOPPING AMERICANS DYING IN IRAQ.

Washington seems to be all about lobbying, so let's make a deal!

Right now, I will stop pursuing the legalization of gay marriage IF you will RIGHT NOW - right this very second - pull American troops out of Iraq.


It seems like a win-win for you!

I'll be giving up equal rights in the eyes of the law, and you'll be giving up...oh, yeah, what exactly would you be giving up by pulling out of Iraq?

Come on, W., give us what we both want - more men back home!

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Cohabitation Celebration

These Old Houses


Yesterday, S. finally closed on the sale of his townhouse, although these pics are from moving S. out of his place 2 weeks ago! Don't ask why it took 17 days of rescheduling to close...well, don't ask ME, but S. might have a teeny, tiny opinion about which mortgage broker NOT to use. Much thanks to Ma, Pa, and the beer gang for helping!

After moving out of S.'s old place (and enjoying a much deserved "cohabitation libation"), we went to preview the new place that D. wants to move into (G. and S. weren't quite as excited). Ahhh...transition.

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Peachtree jr.

The world's largest 10K, for ages 13 and up, is on Peachtree Road in Atlanta every July 4th.

The world's cutest 2K, for ages 7 through 12, was in Piedmont Park this past weekend. S got to lead the stretching exercises beforehand (he's the one who doesn't - quite - look 12...)

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