Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shoot the Hipsters

I went to the bookstore yesterday, and the Hawaiian version of Santa Baby drove me out of the store before I could buy anything. Later, my coffee shop assaulted me with their latest Hipsters' Martini Lounge Christmas

I used to like this kind of music. No more. It's been done. Played out. It's over. I don't want to hear one more single cutesy remake of any Holiday Song. I know I've been guilty of this in the past - I have a shelf full of everything from Christmas on the Bayou to Techno-Noel to It's Snowing in Harlem. No more. I apologize to those I've hurt with this kaka in the past, and I promise to make amends. This year will be different. Give me Beethoven or give me death.

Apart from the music, I'm actually a bit ahead of the game. I got all my shopping done in Mexico. I'll make cookies or something for the gang at work. Apart from that, I'll cook for the surf gang in Pupukea, and I need to stock my bar ahead of Hau's party. And that, I think, will be it. It's going to be a low stress Christmas ... provided I don't have to listen to any more crap music.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I left the party for the airport approximately 22 hours ago, and I just got home now. It all seems a bit surreal now in retrospect. The last event - an outdoor White Party on the Rio Cuale - was excellent. Alastair and I were the last ones in our villa left standing and the only ones who made it. It's too bad - this was by far the best official event of the week. Fred was there, and Corrine and her girlfriend, so there were more hawaiians than I thought (i.e. five instead of three). We left at 4am while the party was in full swing. I hated to leave. I always hate to leave.

And for the record: I drank the water, regularly, and I feel fine.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Last Dance

The sun is going down on my last day in México. I don´t want to leave yet.

Latin Fever has been a good event. We´ve only been jumping in and out of it - I never did follow the standard Circuit this week. The standard procedure, for most, was to rent an umbrella and chair on the beach, socialize all day, head to Blue Chairs for sunset cocktails, head to one of the numerous t-dances, eat or take a disco nap, then head to the clubs around midnight.

We made it to two of the dances, and I did chill with the boys on the beach for an hour yesterday. Otherwise my days have been much more random. I like that this wasn´t an insanely structured weekend like Gay Days, and that it was smaller and more intimate than the mega-events like Sydney and Montréal. And it gets bonus points for being a mostly Mexican event with a strong California showing. Ron, Fred, and I are the only ones from Hawai´i that I know of, and I´m equally sure that Sean and Alastair are the only ones representing Australia.

I still wouldn´t put it as a mandatory stop though ... unlike Montréal or Sydney there were none of those pure cathartic moments on the dance floor that keep me coming back. But then again, it was local dj´s - we didn´t have a Manny Lehman or Abel to bring things up to another level. So it was a great party, and I´d come back if the timing was right ... but there are so many places to see in the world that this might really be my last night in Puerto Vallarta.

I´m still moving slow from last night. It was messy, if good, fun. Michael L and Rogelio had gone to bed before the rest of us were even dressed to go out. We made it to the club around 1am, the same one as Thursday, and hit the bar then the dance floor. We lost Ron after an hour or so. I lost the rest of them around 3. The last I saw of Alastair he was clinging to a Roman column and flogging himslef with a lightstick, hoping that someone ... anyone ... would understand without prompting that he was acting out the Second Sorrowful Mystery. Later I heard a convoluted story on how he and Sean had gotten split while trying to find a salsa club while speaking only French.

So it was that kind of night. I ended up with a group of guys from Chiapas. I held back from asking how the Revolution was going, and so we all stayed on good terms.

For all that, I woke up feeling awfully perky. I cooked breakfast for the house, did laundry, packed my bags, did all my Christmas shopping, and balanced the House accounts all before noon. I wish I could be this productive in Honolulu.

And now it´s time for another disco nap. Tonight is the White Party on the Rio Cuale. It´s the main event, but I´ll have to restrain myself somewhat. - my plane leaves at 7am. It was the best I could find. I´ve got my bags packed and my clothes layed out for the next twelve hours. I´ll leave the party at 4am, do a quick shower and change, and be on my way. This is par for the course - I´ve lost count of how many times I´ve left the disco directly for the airport. It´s never a pretty site, but I can´t imagine I´ll change my ways anytime soon. It´s all too much fun.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Latin Fever

I left the house this morning and everyone was in a good mood. I'm still a touch amazed that we reached this point, but it sure feels good. We even managed to pull of a great Thanksgiving, though it was all quite against our will. The holiday seemed to have it's own momentum that trumped the best opposition we could muster.

We had originally planned on having a cook for breakfasts and dinners. No one showed up Tuesday night, but that was fine. Wednesday morning I jumped the gun and cooked. We decided we didn't need a cook afterall ... and then Guillermo showed up with bags full of food. And he was a very cute Guillermo, I should add.

We decided that maybe we could hire him to at least do a big Thanksgiving meal. At the time it seemed like a good idea. Wednesday's dinner was painful, and that was when things exploded. Some members of the party announced that they had been through enough disfunctional family dinners in their lifetimes and they didn't need to do another with a group of people who weren't even family. End of argument. Thanksgiving was cancelled. Guillermo could keep the money. He could leave the food in the fridge and we'd eat whenever each one of us got home.

Thursday night came. I wanted to at least stick around until he showed up, at least as a token gesture. Ron, Mike, and Rogelio were also all lingering. Soon it was 7:30 pm, and there was still no sign of Guillermo. We started making plans to head out. There was a pool party at the Cora, after all. It was a party with a reputation, and it was time to start making ours.

Then Guillermo showed up. With his mother. They dive into the kitchen and take over. Shoots. I didn´t know how to tell them that Thanksgiving was cancelled - I had no skills to handle this. Apparently no one else did either. We put off our plans, figuring dinner couldn't take much more than an hour.

Ninety minutes later we sat down for the first course of chicken enchiladas. It sounds plain, but I loved the way Guillermo's mother cooked them. She dipped the tortillas in red sauce so they were wet, but beyond that the enchiladas weren't drowing in sauce like they are state-side. She topped them with sliced red onion, julienned tomatoes, creme fraiche, a bit of chopped lettuce, and parmesan cheese. They were great, and I am totally copying when I get home.

We were quite full, but we hadn't even gotten to the rice and fish and vegetable courses. Then we heard the latch on the door open ... and the the Australians were finally here! I was so happy to see them. Alastair's a great friend, for sure, but even beyond that we have the same rhythms when we travel. My fellow American's were all going to bed at midnight every night - well before the clubs even get going. I had no one to dance with all week. Life is so rough.

But now my boys were here! Dinner was delayed while we regrouped. We finally did finish, and made it to the Cora around 10:30 pm. It was too late ... the party had peaked hours earlier and what was surely fabulous and decadent at eight pm was tired, old, and borderline senescent at 10pm.

We trudged our way home. The Americans went to bed (I'm currently in a bit of denial about my own nationality), and the rest of us hit the clubs. And ... it worked. The men were beyond hot and quite friendly - the angry crackheads stayed in the North! - the music has hard and pumping with just the right amount of vocals to keep you moving, and we danced until 4am.
That was enough for me, at least for one night. I saw a few shell-shocked veterans of the night stumbling home at noon, so there must have been quite an after-party. I'll save that one for tonight.

So damn if it didn't all come together in the end after all.

First Mexico Photos

These photos came out in a pretty random order. This is just a sampling of the past week; I'll get the full set on photobucket when I get back:

Ron and Guillermo on Thanksgiving Night
Don Quijote and Sancho Panza

The path into Yelapa The main road in Yelapa

Boys on the beach at Blue Chairs in Vallarta
Dancer in Yelapa

A bay Ron and I stumbled upon during our hike.

Rogelio and Angel

Yelapa River

Los caballeros
Un otro caballero Zoom in for a pic of the coati, or tejon. I've learned that they aren't as dangerous as we were told - they're really just "playful and inquisitive." So apparently we weren't almost attacked after all. Our palapa in Yelapa
Modern Art

Jose Clement Orozco: Hombre de Fuego (Man of Fire)
Yelapa Puebla
Courtyard at the Hospice The Cathedral of the Virgin of Zapopan

Guadalajara's Cathedral at night

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Another Night of the Iguana

Grab a drink. This´ll be a long one.

I knew it was going to be an interesting dynamic when we started putting together this villa. It was a pretty diverse group of people, but everyone was cool (I thought), and I was looking forward to seeing how the group came together.

It didn´t. Everyone isn´t even here yet and things have exploded. Last night we had our Night of the Iguana, only without the method acting and clever dialogue. It was ugly.

I´m doing alright now. Ron and I woke up early, took a bus to Boca de Tomatlan, and hiked from there along the coast to Las Animas. It was a beautiful hike - we passed through one fishing village, skirted some remote settlements, crossed secluded and empty beaches, and then entered into some kind of enchanted fairy forest. It started with the butterflies - there were dozens of varieties flitting about us constantly, in colors and designs I´ve never seen further north. There was a surreal lace-winged insect that seemed more CGI than real - it´s wings beat much too, as if it was willingly defying the laws of physics. It approached us, scanned each of our faces, then flitted off.

And then the monsters charged. I heard shuffling in the woods and sensed some rapid movement. I motionned Ron to slow down, and we crouched low to see what was out there. I saw a dark shape leap over a rock and disappear into the underbrush. For a second my only thought was: jaguar. We´re dead. Then two more things jumped over the rocks and started descending the ravine in front of us. They were big and black, with bear-like snouts, largeoon-like tails, and squat wolverine like bodies. I would´ve actually thought that they were wolverines if we were any further north.

So yeah, I was scared. They seemed to be charging straight at us. One leapt into a tree in front of us, I snapped a picture and then decided that I´d rather have a weapon in my hand. Then they saw us. There was a face off for a few seconds, and then off they went. I laughed at myself for being so scared of what was probably a gently herbivore, but later we were told that they were tejan (I think), and muy malo. They attack, and are very dangerous.

We ended the hike at a bay with palapas set up on the beach. We had a couple beers (a michilara - with lime juice, ice, and salt), and I ordered a plate of sea snail empenadas. It was a great day, and just what we both needed after the night before.

I was getting some major diva behavior from Hollis from the moment we got off the boat Tuesday, and it continued to escalate throughout the day. Things were getting tense, and Ron gamely tried to mediate over dinner. He gave it a good shot. The problem was, we were vaguely talking about ´coming together as a household´and ´resolving the tensions at the table´without really naming what the source of the tension was. Meanwhile, Rogelio was drunk off his ass and passed out by the pool & Hollis was refusing to speak to anyone, preferring instead to glower and make faces. Best I could figure was we were fifteen minutes late for dinner. I wasn't about to take it from someone who was 2 1/2 hours late for our hike (which, as a result, never happened).

So I finally called him out. He´s in training to be a Chelsea Boy, and is following a rigid regime to bulk up and trim down. He´s got a set schedule on when to hit the gym and when to run and when to drink each of the dozen powders he brought with him, and enough diet rules to drive a chef crazy. My trip was beginning to revolve around his training regimen, and he would get bitchy if anything got in his way. And we had all been walking on eggshells around him, and I just couldn't do it anymore.

I had enough tequila in me that I was more blunt than smooth. For the record, it takes four copas of añejo. And I told him, You´re the source of the tension. You are the one we are talking about. On my part: I´m tired of everything being all about Hollis and what Hollis wants. This is a group. The other guys at the table backed me up. On his part: You all are sluts and ... and ... and tequla drinkers! I was a good boy, and didn´t point out the obvious fact that it was quite normal to drink tequila in México, nor that they were mighty fine tequilas at that.

Things went downhill from there anyway, and then went straight from the bottom of the hill and on into the gutter when G. woke up from his coma and joined the fray. The boy was a mess, all ooh girl what did you say? and ooh girl you was wrong you was so wrong and he´d segué from that to dropping his pants and asking who was going to fuck his freshly naired ass. Almodovar couldn´t have scripted a stranger scene.

I couldn´t get anyone to go out dancing with me after all that - Alastair and Sean are still safely in Guadalajara.

I woke up this morning and Hollis had packed most of his things and moved out. He left his toiletries and protein powder behind, so he couldn´t have gone far. Part of me wonders if he didn´t take a boat back to Yelapa. As we were leaving he told everyone not to be surprised if he came back. I almost wonder if he didn´t trigger the fight to force his hand.

My memories of Yelapa are always going to be bittersweet. It was far nicer than I thought it would be. But even while we were there I suspected that Hollis and I wouldn´t be travelling together again - I just didn´t realize that it was also the tail end of our friendship. And this is the tail end, because I keep the divas in my life at arm´s length.

I had found information on Yelapa while cruising the net and looking for a town to fill my Y Tu Mama También fantasies. Yelapa looked like the place - a remote indigenous fishing village on the Cabo Corriente. A handful of hippies had lived there since the early 1970´s, electricity had only come a few years ago, and the only access was by boat.

We compromised on spending two nights there - he wanted more time in Yelapa, I wanted more time in Guadalajara. In the end I was glad we spent the extra night in Yelapa. Although it´s officially in an indigenous area, people speak Spanish and don´t recall any tribal roots. Some people think that Yelapa was most likely settled by poor people who escaped to the remote areas during the hacienda days.

We stayed in a thatched roof palapa a few yards up from a small cove. The owner, Isabel, had moved out there thirty years ago. There are a small handful of Canadians and Yanks who moved down here over the past couple decades. I almost want to call them hippies, but they seem much more humble and down to earth than the arrogant space-cadet hippies I´m used to.

From Isabelas it was a fifteen minute walk along a dirt and stone path to the puebla. The path then wound in and around people´s houses until you came to the river. The village continued upriver, while if you crossed it there were a number of thatched huts set up along a large beach to cater to day trippers from Vallarta.

There are hundreds of places like this in the world - these gentle villages with one foot in the modern world and one in the old. I really enjoyed our time there. One day we rented horses and rode upriver in search of a waterfall. People offered to guide us, but we chose to head into the jungle solo. Somos caballeros, we told them. We´re cowboys. We can ride solo. Which in translation sounds like quite an exagerration, if not an outright lie. For me, all it meant was I´ve read Don Quijote twice, and I have a hat. For Hollis, it meant I had a pony when I was a boy, and I also have a hat.

Other yanks warned us that we´d get lost, but we did alright. It was a beautiful ride, and the falls were great.

When Ron and I got off the bus in Boca this morning a lot of the men from Yelapa were in town. They recognized me, and one gave us a lift across the river in his boat. It´s a good place, and I´m glad I have good memories of it. And so I really do hope Hollis is there right now. It´ll be better for him, and better for us.

Here´s one of the pics from our photo shoot at the falls. You look amazing, buddy. You´re training has paid off. Hope it was all worth the price.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


The café I´m at doesn´t have a USB port, so the pics will have to wait. I haven´t taken a whole lot anyways - Hollis has taken thousands & I´ll just link to his.

Saturday was our last night in Guadalajara, and I wanted to go to Sacromonte. It´s a restaurant in the northwest of the city that has become internationally known for Nueva Cocina, or creating modern and avant-garde food based on the traditional Mexican cuisine. The food in Guadalajara was average at best. We had some good meals, but even more mediocre ones. I was surprised, as I remember the food from the capitol as being among the best of any city I´ve been to.

The tequila, now ... the tequila has been amazing. A four dollar glass is smoky and smooth and complex, and far better than even the hundred dollar bottles that they export to the States. The Jaliscans have been holding out on us.

I was excited about Sacromonte, and Hollis, Ron, & I (still no word from the Aussies)headed out there at 8pm. It´s housed in a villa of a former matador, and we knew right away that we had moved away from the world of rice and beans - the waiters were formally dressed, the music was Mexican without one hint of mariachi, and the art on the walls was real art.

And the food was sublime. I´ll give you a play by play; the chef deserves it. Loosen your belts a bit, ´cause you might put on a few pounds just reading this:


Quesadillas Cybeles
- I´d read about this dish before coming. It´s a rose-petal and white cheese quesadilla covered in a strawberry salsa. They were shaped like sausages, and I´m not sure how they were cooked. I´m pretty sure the tortilla was masa, but it didn´t taste fried or grilled. The strawberry sauce was tart and rich - there was no sugar in it beyond what the strawberries brought. The cheese was hot and gooey, while the rose petals added a nice crunch and a hard to pin down flavor. It was absolutely awesome.

Queso - I forget the name of this dish. It was simple, and yet also perfect. The chef took a large plate of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, drizzled them in olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar, covered them in white cheese (goat cheese, I think), and broiled it until the cheese melted over the dish and turned brown on top. The tomatoes were still crispy, not stewed, but the cheese was hot and creamy. Think of a caprese if you took a torch to it. This is perhaps the one dish that I could manage at home.

Tartare - I´m not sure how this was a tartare. It was a terrine of rice and huitlacoche, topped with an avocado cream, and rimmed with a dozen very fresh shrimp. It tasted like there might have been roquefort in there, but that earthiness might have been from using fresh huitlacoche, which I´ve never had before. The dish was good - it was very umami, and I´d bet the Japanese would love it - but not a homerun.


Hollis and Ron passed on soups (wimps) but I blessed myself first and then ordered the Crema de Chicharrones. Buck up, amigos, because you read that right ... it was Cream of Pork Crackling Soup. The chef has earned a privileged place in either heaven or hell for this dish, but I´m not sure which. Possibly both. I gave Ron a taste and he had nightmares about it that night. It was that good, and that horribly evil. The waiter put two pieces of chicharrones in my bowl, a slice of cucmber (poor thing didn´t have a chance), and a drizzle of fresh crema. Then he brought out a pot from the kitchen and labelled the soup in with a smile. And oh damn was it good. The texture was somewhere between cream of potato soup and polenta. Each bite was pure flavor, and I wish I had words to describe it. It might be the single richest thing I have ever eaten.

Main Courses

Hollis went for a Duck Breast in Burnt Rose Petal Sauce. Ron had Bass in an Almond Sauce. Both were quite good. Para mí, I went for Chiles en Nogada. I saw the dish in Frida Kahlo´s book, and it was one of her signature dishes. I tried to make it at home once and it didn´t quite come out. Now I have a model to work from, and I aim to get it down - this dish knocked it out of the park, and it´s actually one I have half a chance at getting right. It´s a poblano chile stuffed with picadillo, roasted, covered in a walnut cream sauce, and then sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. It was pretty and delicious. The picadillo was thick and meaty, more of a stuffing than the ground up picadillos I´m used to. The sauce was divine, and the pomegranate just put it all over the edge. It was the kind of dish that just makes you happy.


I was too full to appreciate the desserts, but the boys ordered a creme brulee, which was fine, and a serving of homemade maize ice cream wrapped in a tortilla. It was interesting. I´d put it up there with green tea ice cream - it was great with the meal, but I don´t know that it´s a stand alone dish.

Well. After all that, a bottle of Chilean cabernet, and two snifters of Pebla Vejo tequila I was beat. We grabbed a taxi, dropped Ron off, and then headed back to the hotel. I wasn´t ready for bed - I had really wanted to make a night of it - but I was having a hard time moving. Then, around 11pm, the phone rang. Sean and Alastair had finally made it to town. I threw on my leather pants and boots (like I said, I wanted to make a night of it), and went out dancing with them until 4am. All in all, it was a perfect Saturday. And Sunday.

The sun is going down now, and I want to catch the sunset at Blue Chairs. I´ve been told that everyone will be there, and I hate to miss a party. I´ll finish up tomorrow morning with info on our adventures in Yelapa, our first day in Puerto Vallarta, and news on whatever trouble I get into tonight. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Yeah, I´ve been a bad blogger. I set this thing up to write when I travel, and then ignore the poor thing when I do hit the road.

And even this is just gonna be a quick hello world, I´m in Guadalajara safe and sound.

This is a fun city. We´ve pretty much stuck to the Historic Centro. His hasn´t been gentrified and cleaned up like the historic districts and old towns further north - this is the real in your face México. It´s brick streets and adobe buildings, endless plazas and non-stop traffic & people everywhere and at all times. The whole district is dominated by the massive 16th Century Cathedral - you can see the spires and domes from almost every street and alley.

And there are almost no tourists. Or at least, no gringo tourists - thehotels are full of other Latin Americans and Mexicans visiting the city.

And no tourists means no English. I´ve had to struggle through with Spanish, and even though I studied hard it´s a battle - and people are suffering. There´s no other way.

Thursday I went for a wander. I wanted to get some leather boots, & I wanted a good pair that would last for a couple decades. I was worried that they would be hard to find ... but people here like to shop. There´s a lot of Italian fashion stores near the main plazas, and show stores everywhere. Literally - there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of them within walking distance of my hotel. I think these guys have a bit of a fetish going on.

Thursday night met up with Ron and we went dancing at Caudillo´s. It skewed young, but it was a fun crowd. Friday morning we met again for breakfast and a road trip. I had chicharones, which amounted to chunks of pork fat sauteed til it was melting in a ranchero sauce. Hard to believe that when I was young I refused to eat any of this stuff - I had fully absorbed the teachings of America´s food fascists. No more. This dish was damn good, and I´ll be having it again.

Friday afternoon we took a bus to see the Virgin of Zapopan. It´s basically a small blue statue of Mary that the priests bring out to ward off pestilence and disaster, shrined in another massive cathedral. It was all so pagan. I don´t think the Aztec and Huichol religion died out at all. It feels more like they said, ok we´ll call our gods Mary and Jesus if it´ll make you happy & then they just kept on with the old ways.

Hollis arrived sometime that afternoon and went promptly to the gym. We all met up for a wander through the Plaza des Mariachis and for dinner, but couldn´t find anywhere good to eat. This isn´t like Mexico City where every cantina has amazing food. You have to hunt for it here. That night Hollis was a good boy and went to bed. I went out for a drink with Ron ... which turned into another night of tequila, cerveza, and dancing.

This morning I was hoping to hike into one of the canyons ... but I cannot organize gay men if my life depended on it. Ron caved, and Hollis took a long run. Hollis and I ended up visiting the Hospicio Cabañas, which is one of the largest colonial buildings in the world. The main dome is covered in stunning murals by Orozco. The rest of the complex consisted of dozens of courtyards and small rooms, each dedicated to a different modern Spanish artist. It was stunning.

Hollis went to the gym, I took a visit to Guadalajara baja (as one guy put it), and now we´re all set to meet up to dine at Sacromonte ... which is said to be the second best restaurant in México.

Tomorrow Hollis and I take the early bus to the coast, and then a boat to Yelapa. We´ll be completely cut off from the outside world until Tuesday, when we take a boat into Puerto Vallarta and meet up with the main gaing. SO no pics until then, sorry. Ron is staying here, Nino caved, and we haven´t seen any sign of Alastair or Sean yet.

Hasta Luego, chicos!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Shark Attack

How am I supposed to work when things like this keep coming into our office? Yesterday the front office was monitoring the progress of a young humpback whale that was being mauled by up to 25 tiger sharks off the coast of Hawai`i County.

Our main concern were the tour boats that were dropping people into the water to watch the feeding frenzy. We don't always attract the brightest tourists.


We're getting reports from all over the state that the waters in the harbors are turbulent. It's not one big wave, but more of a turbulent ebbing and flowing. Some people say that the waves are washing through their yards, and some that the waves have washed over Kamehameha Highway.

Note that it is 11am, and that the all-clear was given at 9am. As in, the Pacific Disaster Center says there was no tsunami. My office? Says there is one going on right now.

¡Hola Sergio!

Well this was unexpected.

I leave for M
éxico tonight. The plan is:

Thurs, Fri, Sat: Guadalajara, the City of Roses

Sun, Mon: Yelapa, a small village of Nahuatl Indians and Canadian hippies on the Bay of Banderas. Hollis and I have rented a palapa on the beach. You can only get there by boat. Apparently Sergio will be joining us. How fun!

Tues-Sun: Puerto Vallarta for Latin Fever. It looks like it might be a bit wet.

Oh, and Hawai`i just got hit by a tsunami - five feet in some places. Or any anti-tsunami - the sea level dropped five feet at Hale`iwa, and then went back up. It's still going on. We've been monitoring at work, and the seas are still jiggly. The records show sea levels bouncing up and down, but I'm not sure what you can actually see on the ground. The tsunami is still less than high tide maximums, so we think ... think .... that that is why we haven't seen flooding.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mixology Monday: Bitters

A Dash of Bitters is hosting this month's Mixology Monday, and the theme is - of course - bitters.

I've done a lot of drinking tonight - and all for your edification, my friends. This was a fun topic. I decided to play around with two classic drinks: the Manhattan, and the Old-Fashioned. I wanted to see if using different kinds of bitters affected the taste. I always turn to Drink Boy on how to mix the classics, so let's start with his mana`o:

The Manhattan:
  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass

The Old-Fashioned:
  • 1/2 orange slice
  • 1 cube sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
  • Muddle orange, sugar, bitters together until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Fill glass with ice, then add the whiskey. Garnish with a marachino cherry, and perhaps an additional orange slice.

And now here's what I had to work with: Jim Beam rye, Cinzano sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, three kinds of Fee Brothers' bitters [orange, peach, and mint], gomme syrup*, a Ka`u orange, and black cherries in brandy.

*If anyone is serious about their mixing, read up on gomme syrup on the Cocktail Chronicles. It's close to a sugar syrup, but has a bit more viscosity to it & can make a drink taste a bit more full. I found food-grade gum arabic on Amazon, and now I'm a convert.

I've been enjoying my Fee's bitters, thinking that they added a fun exotic touch to my drinks - unlike the plain Jane Angostura bitters. But I had never really sat down and compared the drinks side by side.

I started with a Old-Fashioned [or rather, two mini-Old Fashioneds]. I made one drink with Angostura Bitters, and one with Fee Brothers orange bitters. I also added a splash of gomme. I was tending bar at a house party and the [retired] Admiral of the Pacific Fleet taught me to always add a touch of sugar to bourbon and rye. I said yessir and took it to heart.

I thought the Fee bitters would complement the orange in the drink ... but it didn't at all. An old-fashioned with orange bitters was fine, and better than anything I can get at any bar I can afford ... but it was just a drink. Nada mas. The Angostura bitters, however, added a depth to the whiskey that the other bitters lacked. Winner, hands down: Angostura.

I moved on to the Manhattan, making one [or one half] with Angostura, and one with peach bitters. I also added a splash of gomme syrup, And ... see above ... I got the same results. The Fees' bitters were fine, no complaints, but it was the Angostura that really made this a man's drink. Winner of round two: Angostura.

What a surprise. Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason.

Bonus Round: Fees' Mint Bitters versus the last of my Jim Beam.

Google them and you'll come across plenty of posts telling you to just back off from the mint bitters. But honestly ... I kind of like them. A shot of Jim Beam, a couple dashes of mint bitters, and a teaspoon of sugar and babes, I am back in Atlanta. It works for me.

Next Up: On December 11 Brenda at The Spirit World hosts Drinks for a Festive Occasion.

Cyber Eye: Pretty on the outside, Tragic on the inside

I finally posted indoor "before" pics on Photobucket.

There's something about seeing things through the cold clear eye of the camera lens that forces you to say, yeah, I need help.

weekLet's start with the fun outside stuff. I moved the driftwood from the sidewalk and put it near the koi pond, by the steps, and then decorated it with the bromeliads and tillsandia I'd rescued last from the wreath. I really like how this worked out.

I also set the lauwa`i free. I made a rock wall to keep in the dirt, then dumped it out and spread the ferns around. They'd have escaped anyway, and now they're closer to the ground and I can still see my fishies.

The sage wasn't happy in the duck pot, so I put him back in the ground and gave the duck a tillsandia. I put this and the rabbit pots up behind the wood barrels.

OK, then it was time to look inside. The complete set of pics is at photobucket. Here's a sampler, G. Let me know if you need close-ups or measurements of anything

Going clockwise: Entry into the heart of darkness, a lonely bed, a functional kitchen, a shrine in the bathroom, and Cafe MC.

Yes, I know how wrong some of this is

Grinds: No-Knead Bread

I saw this in Mark Bittman's column in the New York Times, and it sounded too good to pass up. I've never been able to cook bread. At the Del we used to divide ourselves up into cooks and bakers. If you were good at one we all knew you would be mediocre at the other. If someone interviewed that they were great cooks and bakers we wouldn't hire them, because they would inevitably be mediocre at both. And I could could cook fine, but baking was too exacting and linear for me to be truly good at it.

[off topic] That's the beauty of workers' collectives - you get to make up your own rules. I've been practicing my Spanish by reading articles on El verano de la anarquía (I couldn't handle anymore of María tiene dos hijos or Diego sale mañana por la noche) & I'm seriously starting to think that anarchism might be a way to counter the excesses of capitalism. I loved working in the collectives back in Michigan, but never realized that they had a revolutionary history. [/ot]

But now Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery has come up with a way for those of us who can't follow a recipe to make good, crispy, European style boule. He uses lots of water and a long - 180-24 hours! - fermantation time to get, according to The Minimalist, professional level results.

I'm willing to give it a go. I've got my first batch resting now.

No-Knead Bread

Published: November 8, 2006
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Neighborhood Board Number 5

I hereby submit my minutes for the November 9, 2006 meeting of the Honolulu Neighborhood Board Number 5. With commentary.

And everything in quote marks is verbatim - I took notes. Copious notes. These are the minutes that might not make it into the official record.

I knew I was in trouble early on when the nice woman approached me with the schedule for community meetings on light rail. "I hope you can attend," she said. Of course, I told her. I love rail. I'd love to part of the design team for a Honolulu system. But before I could get that last part out she was patting me on the shoulder and saying "Good, good. We need to stop this thing."

I thought about telling her that my whole point in coming to the meeting was to help push rail through. I figured I'd wait until that agenda item came up before I made waves.

Unfortunately it was the last item, and I had to sit through the entire frakkin' meeting first. Our board leans to the elderly side, and by leans to I mean you'd be forgiven if you thought that you'd stumbled upon bingo night at the Happy Happy Rest Home. It moved slow

If I really were taking notes I'd be in trouble, as the speakers were pointed away from the audience, and the few that I could hear spoke in a somnambulant mumble. I missed 80% of what was said. Half of what I did catch consisted of "can you speak up" and "speak into the microphone! Tell her to speak into the microphone!"

The ten percent I did catch consisted of "Graffiti will take over if we don't stop it now!" [The cops promised to apprehend the singular teenager they believe is tagging stop signs]; "The homeless are still sleeping in their cars on Monserrat!" [the cops promised to talk to the two homeless individuals]; and "Civil defense failed completely during the last emergency." It took me awhile to remember what the emergency was. Apparently the Board Secretary, Burt Narita [yeah, I'll be naming names] was upset that Civil Defense doesn't have a coordinated plan to do elevator rescues after earthquakes [the fireman rep pointed out that we don't have many highrises in our neighborhood].

George Waialaealae jumped on Civil Defense too. He doesn't like the state's tsunami warning system. It didn't go off after the earthquake [perhaps, I thought, because there was no tsunami]. He'd like the City to consider notifying people by telephone of any impending tsunami.
And I'm dying. I don't want to be on this Board anymore. There's no vision. It's just old farts nagging city officials about parking and elevators and bad teenagers. How can I start a revolution with this? I don't even know how I'd shake this bunch up. And the little devil inside me wakes up and sees an opening, and I've got the sudden urge to get up and stir it up, to replace their whining with some solid oration, to replace we need unlimited parking with some The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute.

But wait! Burt Narita is speaking clearly all of a sudden! And he's talking about the 9-11 commission, and needing a new vision, and I'm thinking: this is good! It's not high rhetoric, but it's better than anything I've heard yet.

But it turns out he's talking about elevators again.

He also seems to have woken up the Chair, Wayne Gau, and Board member Linda Wong. I don't know who interrupted who, but suddenly he's telling her "you're out of line" and she's telling him right back "no, you're out of line!" She throws her shoulders back and he furrows his brow and they have a stare down. The old lady next to me starts giggling, and Wayne blinks and looks away.

Now Linda Wong has her hand raised and she's pumping it high, all Tracy Flick for Class President, but Wayne won't even look at her side of the room. He calls on Rick instead. Jay Harden starts to interrupt, but Wayne announces "Jay did not raise his hand." Jay ignores Wayne and passes his turn onto Linda.

Linda Wong finally gives her speech. Wayne continues to pointedly stare in the opposite direction, and I step outside for a slash. Sometimes democracy sucks.

When I get back the children have started behaving. A representative from Charles Djou's office gets up to speak, and all I can think is: good lord he has a fat ass. That thing was wider than the podium, and yet strangely flat - as if it used to stick out like a normal butt, but had been somehow pushed in and then ironed out. And since he was facing away from the audience all we could really see was this giant butt in brown corduroy, with a little head on top and two little legs sticking out the bottom.

His purpose tonight is to enlist our help in stopping rail. The Board starts peppering him with staged questions, and it's as false and badly acted as a late-night infomercial. Burt Narita and Lard Ass toss some statistics back and forth and try to make it sound casual. "Why, did you know that the City of Seattle had a 35% cost overrun!" "Why, I'd say that's a conservative estimate." Roxie Berlin jumps in to let us know that everyone she talks to thinks that rail is just mad, and asks Lard Ass "what can we as private citizens do to stop this madness?" The chair acknowledges Linda Wong, and suddenly the Board members are getting downright competitive in their desire to show Lard Ass just how indignant they all are.

Lard Ass is trying to get them to mobilize, because the final vote from the City Council must happen before Dec 31 and only Charles Djou stands against these forces of madness.

And I know I have to speak, to say something, even if I'm the only one. I need to stop this charade, and I need to at least get something down on record in favor of rail. I am so not going to be loved after this. I raise my hand, the Chair acknowledges that someone in the back of the room wants to speak, and I stand up.

I don't want to join Lard Ass at the microphone, but that's ok. I don't need a microphone - I know how to project. My high school Latin teacher loved to tell us the story of Demosthenes, who overcame a speech impediment to become the greatest orator in Classical Greece by going to the shore, filling his mouth with pebbles, and reciting classical speeches over the roar of the waves. I took the story to heart.

I believe that you can all hear me without a microphone. A few of the ladies are startled and almost jump out of their seats. Check. They can hear me. This is my first neighborhood board meeting - I get some indulgent smiles - and before I get to the issue, first, we need to talk about the acoustics in here. Where the hell did that come from? That wasn't part of my speech, but I realize that I've got the crowd on my side, so I go with it. They start rearranging things as I speak to provide better acoustics. Wow. Moving on ...

I'm a strong proponent of light rail - and there are gasps from the board. Two pale, hairy men on my left both lift their glasses to their eyes to get a better look at me. A lady in from turns around to let me know that I am a very naive man. "Very, very naive." I am an army of one. And I have a question for the City Council member. Lard Ass stops giggling and starts looking nervous. I am going to assume that light rail passes. Let's just assume for now that it passes. Poor Lard Ass looks like he wants to hide behind the podium. Bitch knows full well that rail has the votes to pass - the legislature, the city council, the mayor, the governor, our congressional reps and our senators are all behind it. This is just a charade, and he's just pandering to the lowest common denominator in order to get a few extra votes for his master.

But I don't say that. I ask a very polite question about public involvement in the design process, and he reluctantly admits that the public will be involved at all stages.

I pretty much ended the discussion with that. Next up: one of the pale hairy men turns out to be Cliff Slater, he of the American Dream Coalition [protecting freedom and mobility], and he is here with a power-point on how we can build double-decker freeways instead of rail. The council members all vote to extend the meeting time in order to watch the powerpoint, and I am outta there. I'm not an elected official and I don't have to sit and smile when the lunatic fringe gets up to speak.

I don't think I'm going back, but on my way to the parking lot Representative Calvin Say pats me on the back and thanks me for showing interest and I try to fight it off but I can't, and I end up beaming like a little boy. So I guess I'll be back. A pat on the back. I can't believe I'm that easy.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Week Ten Status Update

I just entered week ten of no smokes and no nicotine and no crutches. I think this is the longest I've made it since 2000 [two months], and maybe the third longest time ever. It feels real, like this time I've over it for good.

For the most part it's pretty easy now. I still have plenty of edgy days, but they aren't too bad. I've managed to shelter most of my friends from any emotional volatility. Certain members of the City Council haven't been so lucky - but if they weren't so friggin' stupid I probably wouldn't have read them like I did.

Welbutrin helps a lot. I'd by psycho without it. I'm always amazed at people who talk about how they smoked three packs a day and then, one day, quit and never looked back. It is not like that with me. I go through a full-on Trainspotting style withdrawal [well, wothout the dead babies crawling on the ceiling, but my god it's close].

So: ten weeks. I'm working out three times a week, biking every day, and maintaining at 200 pounds and 12% body fat. I haven't lost any friendships this time , and I haven't had any public tantrums or breakdowns this round. Not too bad at all.

Hot Off the Press

I really am working today, but I have an RSS feed on my homepage and this ... this is big enough to take a break. As of exactly two hours ago [ho - I'm scooping CNN! Dad would be proud!] -

Gay unions legal: Mexico City
10.11.2006. 09:07:09

Mexico City has approved homosexual civil unions, legalising gay partnerships for the first time in the world's second-largest Catholic nation.

The national capital's municipal assembly, controlled by left-wing legislators, backed legal gay union by a vote of 43-17 as hundreds of rival protesters demonstrated noisily outside the building.

The local congress in the northern border state of Coahuila, bordering Texas, began debating a similar law to legalise gay unions this week.

"These reforms are going to cause a snowball effect that no one will be able to stop," said David Sanchez of the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution, one of very few openly gay national congressmen.

The legislation in Mexico City and Coahuila is modelled on France's civil code and provides property, pension, inheritance and even co-parenting rights but stops short of allowing full marriage or adoption of children.

Brokeback Revisited

09 Jan - I list all my reasons for refusing to see Brokeback Mountain

05 Feb - I'm still devastated the day after seeing the movie, and it will continue to haunt me for days after.

06 Feb - Alastair in Sydney comments:
  • Hmmm ... some of your "buds" down here in Sydney (we're your "mates", Mike, for crying out loud - "buds" are little sticks with cotton wool on each end that we use for cleaning our ears and applying our eye shadow) went to see Bareback Mountain the day after it opened. And, quite frankly, we were pretty much all underwhelmed and disappointed. I know that in different ways they were both under-resourced emotionally, educationally and financially but is California REALLY that far from Wyoming and Texas??? Didn't you just want to stand up in the cinema and burst into "Go West! Life is peaceful there ..."? And it might have helped if we'd understood even half of whatever it was Heath was mumbling. Anyway 4/10 ...
Well, mate - has Ted Haggard's story been getting press down there? Check out his letter below ... There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it all of my adult life ... and believe me that parts of America really are that far from the modern world.

I don't think this is a front on Haggard's part. Foley's excuses [the priest touched me and that's why I chase teenage boys] disgusted me. Greevey is playing queen of the Fire Island nightlife but in my book he's still a corrupt politician who violated the public trust. Haggard I actually feel for. His pain feels real.

I checked out the gay forums, and there is no sympathy. He's a cockroach and a hypocrite and the boys are having fun watching him go down. Rex Wockner does a blog on Bad Gays after the scandal hits, and Signorile interviews the rentboy on Haggard's favorite positions [ok, that was actually a pretty interesting interview].

But it wasn't that long ago that we were all [excepting the Sydney boys] empathizing with Heath Ledger's portrayal of a character exactly like Ted Haggard.

And seriously, this man needs the support of the gay community far more than any public figure I can think of. What this man faces will be brutal. His "spiritual restoration" has already begun. According to the Christian Post, there will be prayer, and perhaps the laying on of hands. There will be counseling and a confession. And there will be advice, confrontation and rebuke from "godly men" appointed to oversee the spiritual restoration of the Rev. Ted Haggard.

It will be hell.

And I know - we all know - that after all the prayers, laying on of hands, and confrontations - he'll still be gay. The question for me is, will he be gay and proud & strong enough to stand up to the other godly men, or will he end up gay and broken?

Gayle Haggard's letter to her congregation

Dear Women of New Life Church,

I am so sorry for the circumstances that have led me to write this letter to you today. I know your hearts are broken; mine is as well. Yet my hope rests steadfastly in the Lord who is forever faithful.

What I want you to know is that I love my husband, Ted Haggard, with all my heart. I am committed to him until death "do us part." We started this journey together and with the grace of God, we will finish together.

If I were standing before you today, I would not change one iota of what I have been teaching the women of our church. For those of you who have been concerned that my marriage was so perfect I could not possibly relate to the women who are facing great difficulties, know that this will never again be the case. My test has begun; watch me. I will try to prove myself faithful.

I love you all so much, especially you young women – you were my delight.

To all the church family of New Life Church – Ted and I are so proud of you. You are all we hoped you would be. In our minds, there is no greater church.

As you try to make sense of these past few days, know that Ted believes with all his heart and soul everything he has ever taught you, those things you are putting into practice. He is now the visible and public evidence that every man (woman and child) needs a Savior.

We are grateful for your prayers for our family.

I hold you forever in my heart,

Gayle Haggard

Ted Haggard's letter to his congregation

My Dear New Life Church Family,

I am so sorry. I am sorry for the disappointment, the betrayal, and the hurt. I am sorry for the horrible example I have set for you.

I have an overwhelming, all-consuming sadness in my heart for the pain that you and I and my family have experienced over the past few days. I am so sorry for the circumstances that have caused shame and embarrassment to all of you.

I asked that this note be read to you this morning so I could clarify my heart’s condition to you. The last four days have been so difficult for me, my family and all of you, and I have further confused the situation with some of the things I’ve said during interviews with reporters who would catch me coming or going from my home. But I alone am responsible for the confusion caused by my inconsistent statements. The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem.

I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it all of my adult life. For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.

Through the years, I’ve sought assistance in a variety of ways, with none of them proving to be effective in me. Then, because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint them.

The public person I was wasn’t a lie; it was just incomplete. When I stopped communicating about my problems, the darkness increased and finally dominated me. As a result, I did things that were contrary to everything I believe.

The accusations that have been leveled against me are not all true, but enough of them are true that I have been appropriately and lovingly removed from ministry. Our church’s overseers have required me to submit to the oversight of Dr. James Dobson, Pastor Jack Hayford, and Pastor Tommy Barnett. Those men will perform a thorough analysis of my mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical life. They will guide me through a program with the goal of healing and restoration for my life, my marriage, and my family.

I created this entire situation. The things I did opened the door for additional allegations. But I am responsible; I alone need to be disciplined and corrected. An example must be set.

It is important that you know how much I love and appreciate my wife, Gayle. What I did should never reflect in a negative way on her relationship with me. She has been and continues to be incredible. The problem was not with her, my children, or any of you. It was created 100% by me.

I have been permanently removed from the office of Senior Pastor of New Life Church. Until a new senior pastor is chosen, our Associate Senior Pastor, Ross Parsley, will assume all of the responsibilities of the office. On the day he accepted this new role, he and his wife, Aimee, had a new baby boy. A new life in the midst of this circumstance – I consider that confluence of events to be prophetic. Please commit to join with Pastor Ross and the others in the church leadership to make their service to you easy and without burden. They are fine leaders. You are blessed.

I appreciate your loving and forgiving nature, and I humbly ask you to do a few things:

1. Please stay faithful to God through service and giving.

2. Please forgive me. I am so embarrassed and ashamed. I caused this and I have no excuse. I am a sinner. I have fallen. I desperately need to be forgiven and healed.

3. Please forgive my accuser. He is revealing the deception and sensuality that was in my life. Those sins, and others, need to be dealt with harshly. So, forgive him and actually, thank God for him. I am trusting that his actions will make me, my wife and family, and ultimately all of you, stronger. He didn’t violate you; I did.

4. Please stay faithful to each other. Perform your functions well. Encourage each other and rejoice in God’s faithfulness. Our church body is a beautiful body, and like every family, our strength is tested and proven in the midst of adversity. Because of the negative publicity I’ve created with my foolishness, we can now demonstrate to the world how our sick and wounded can be healed, and how even disappointed and betrayed church bodies can prosper and rejoice.

Gayle and I need to be gone for a while. We will never return to a leadership role at New Life Church. In our hearts, we will always be members of this body. We love you as our family. I know this situation will put you to the test. I’m sorry I’ve created the test, but please rise to this challenge and demonstrate the incredible grace that is available to all of us.

Ted Haggard

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Coco makes the International News!

International Herald Tribune:

Hawaii elects highest-ranking openly transgender official in nation

HONOLULU: A Hawaii woman won a seat on the state Board of Education and, according to national advocacy groups, a place in history as the nation's highest-ranking transgender elected official.

Kim Coco Iwamoto, a 38-year-old attorney, did not tout her gender status in the campaign but has advocated for transgender youth and related issues. She came in third Tuesday in the competition for three seats on the 14-member board, which governs the islands' 285 public schools.

Iwamoto would be the highest-ranking openly transgender person elected in the United States, said Denis Dison, a spokesman for the Victory Fund, a Washington-based group that tracks lesbian, gay and transgender candidates and helps fund their campaigns.

Iwamoto, who was born on the island of Kauai and attended a Catholic boys school in Honolulu, did not immediately respond to requests for an interview.

Previously elected transgender candidates in the United States were primarily limited to local seats such as city alderman or council members, Dison said.

Iwamoto has a law degree from the University of New Mexico. She was featured in a handbook on transgender policy for her advocacy of special restroom facilities on the school's campus after she was harassed for using the women's bathroom.

And he still doesn't get it

OK, Rumsfeld is gone. Yippee - but the new bugger Bush is naming doesn't sound an ounce better. Here's a little history lesson for you all.

from the Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters

Chapter 16: Robert M. Gates

In the end, although Gates's actions suggested an officer who was more interested in shielding his institution from criticism and in shifting the blame to the NSC than in finding out the truth, there was insufficient evidence to charge Gates with a criminal endeavor to obstruct congressional investigations into the Hasenfus shootdown.

Gates and Casey's November 1986 Testimony

The events leading up to the preparation of false testimony by Director Casey in November 1986 -- preparations that Gates nominally oversaw -- are set forth in a separate chapter of this Report. There was insufficient evidence that Gates committed a crime as he participated in the preparation of Casey's testimony, or that he was aware of critical facts indicating that some of the statements by Casey and others were false.


Independent Counsel found insufficient evidence to warrant charging Robert Gates with a crime for his role in the Iran/contra affair. Like those of many other Iran/contra figures, the statements of Gates often seemed scripted and less than candid. Nevertheless, given the complex nature of the activities and Gates's apparent lack of direct participation, a jury could find the evidence left a reasonable doubt that Gates either obstructed official inquiries or that his two demonstrably incorrect statements were deliberate lies.

We don't need another politician more interested in shielding his institution from criticism and in shifting the blame ... than in finding out the truth .

So far there's radio silence in the mainstream media on this.

Let's help it get out there & into the mainstream consciousness.

And let's hope that Senator Pelosi rips them all a new one.


Well, I'm feeling better about things now.

Spent the night doing laundry, following the election, and watching Libertarias - a great movie about female anarchists during the Spanish Revolution. It fits my mood pretty well right now.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Santorum out, Democrats take House, and ...

I'm feeling a little bit better about America at the moment. I had to turn to the BBC for good coverage - the top US News on Google was Kirstie Alley's Bikini Bod Heading from Oprah to Ads.

I said a little bit better about America. Un poco. More states have passed gay-hating amendments to their constitutions. And I know that part of the Democrat's success comes from the Republican heartland being so shocked and disheartened to learn that they have queers in their ranks too. I shared a beer with Jeff M last night, who shot down every single reason I had for not packing up and heading to Europe. And I mean every last one.

I'll be glued to the news for the rest of the night. We don't need election day off. We need the day-after off so that certain addicts can catch up their sleep.


It's 6:30 pm. I haven't watched the tv, listened to the radio, or read news online since yesterday. I'm not ready to face the results of this election. There won't be any local surprises, and I'm resigned to living with Lingle, Akaka, and Hirono - but nationally ... I feel almost physically ill sometimes when I listen to the U.S. right wing. It's beyond disgust now. At this point in time the national Republican party has become morally reprehensible. I almost wish I believed in a Judgement Day, just so that I could watch them all burn.

Anyways, I'm about to log in and find out what's happening this election day. I have no faith, and I am scared about what the results will show. Either way, I think I'll need a drink. Innocence is going to end right after this next shot of bourbon ...

Cyber Eye: The Bromeliad Rescue Society

gary said...

great job bucko!

it all looks good and no biggie about the donkey can either leave it as is or there's plan B...

Plan B: instead of trying to work the hina hina in to plug the hole, try laying some really long strands on top of the whole thing and drape it over the donkey tail...see how the hina hina's hanging down/growing over the other side of the basket? not too want the donkey tail underneath to still get the light.

Hey buddy! For now ... I think I better leave these guys alone. They might not survive a Plan B from me.

the lauwa'i around the pond looks great. if they escape onto the ground, that's fine. at least it doesn't look like an above ground pool in san bernardino

And you know, I had to look up San Bernardino on Wikipedia to understand the connotations here.

the wreaths as they are? sorry, there is no way to work those into a tropical garden.

you know what we do? gently take all of the bromeliads off of the wreaths and put them to the side in groups...all the similar

ones together. take a picture of them for me.

Check. and ... those poor bromeliads. G, they did not look good. Only the ones that looked like mini-silverswords had any root structure at all. Most were dry and brittle and bravely hanging on. I even found a few carcasses mingled among the survivors.

I don't know if this is because they weren't watered [although the hina looked healthy and it came from the same yard] or because the twigs don't provide a healthy growing environment.

we'll try this: make one cut on each wreath, then see if you can twist the wreaths into two much smaller ones...sort of like twisting a two stranded circular braid...try to get em each about 12" to 15" across...i think if you got some wire or something you could tie the ends together somehow...tie em in the back so you won't see the wire.

The twigs are tough but not very pliant. I think I'd have to soak it awhile, or completely reweave them, to get one down to 12".

if you do that, we could probably fill each wreath full with the bromeliads that look sparce on them now and then i think they'd both fit onto the storage closet gate next to the orchid ladder, one over the other.

once you get em smaller, take a picture with them hanging on the storage gate so i can see if the scale is right, k?

then we'll tackle how to arrange the bromeliads on the wreaths. i guess you're gonna get your year round christmas decorations after all!


I haven't tried to reweave the wreaths yet, 'cause I'm not sure this is a nice thing to do to helpless little bromie-keiki. I'll reweave the wreaths if you still think there's a use, but I'm thinking the bromeliads will either need help surviving on the wreath, or a new home.

I've had this piece of driftwood out in the yard for awhile [let's see if they have these in San Bernardino] .. think it'll work as a home for the orphans?