28 October 2009

Autumn in action, part deux

(Le premier Autumn in action)

(Click to enlarge, particularly the widest shots.)

Not quite what I had in mind as using a point & shoot tied my hands, but you get the gist. Maybe next year I'll set up a proper shoot.

A year ago on TTaT: Your free clicks help donate mammograms, really

27 October 2009


A dark grey though the sun had not yet set, misting lightly, cold. I parked by the air pump and telephone away from the gas pumps. I walked across to the gas station's mini mart; there was a short line inside.

The cashier handed the man with a trucker's cap some scratch off tickets. He picked up his snack pack and headed out.

The woman waiting ahead of me held tickets that looked lottery related as well. She handed one to the cashier and he scratched of the bottom and punched some numbers in.

"Twenty-five for the scratch-off ticket," he said.

Way to go, I thought to myself. At Christmas, my stocking stuffer scratch-offs only yield one or two bucks, often less than the cost of the ticket, if anything. Ten dollars is my scratch-off best, I think.

The middle-aged woman with the scratch-off winnings then listed off what she wanted, and I thought I misheard her.

"That'll be $35," the cashier said.

I hadn't misheard. She put her entire winnings plus 35 dollars into $20 scratch-off tickets. I didn't even know they had ones that expensive. That's crazy!

I couldn't judge too harshly though because I was there to put five bucks into the mega lottery, in which I had far less chance of winning anything.

A year ago on TTaT: 4:53 by the tracks

25 October 2009

Name this song, take 2

So, that song from Skins that I posted lyrics from before hoping someone might recognize it? Any ideas?

If you recognize the song or the artist, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Three years ago on TTaT: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Yacht Rock

24 October 2009

Facebook, what was I thinking?

So another classmate from high school has sent me a friend request. I know, it's my fault: I signed up and friended 1 person from my graduating class. Even though I have no networks listed, it put me in orbit of her other friends from high school. Sigh.

The first high school friend request I got was fairly easy to ignore. She was pretty much a compulsive liar all through high school and never let me sit shotgun in our mutual friend's two-door Prelude even though I was much taller than she was. Perhaps she's changed but the conservative and religious views on her FB profile did not trip any kindred spirit bells.

This time it's not someone I knew much at all. He was nice enough. I'd friend him but I fear if I did I'd be opening more doors to a past I've long moved on from. He does have our high school listed as a network. For kicks, I looked at who else came up and was surprised by the number of people who made me think: who the hell is that?

My graduating class was, after all, only 51 people. But then I remembered there were some new kids and exchange students during high school and by then, if they weren't in honors classes I wasn't likely to see them much.

The other surprise: some of the best looking people back then, really not so much now. I admit my vanity felt a boost. Two notable exceptions: two people who I thought were genuine then have changed very little and still look great today.

Ooh, the 3rd surprise was a student who was only there for a year or two during middle school. I turned down an offer to hang out with her and never got another. I still remember that phone call. I didn't want to go out of racism whose origin I still do not comprehend. SH was Korean, but she'd been adopted as a baby and grew up in the States. My parents couldn't have cared less about racial differences. I don't remember my friends and classmates saying anything that would've swayed me, but we did live in a small, almost completely white town. Despite being new, often a curse at our tiny school, SH went on to be popular in the short time she was around; I was more alone than I'd ever been. It wasn't direct cause and effect, but it felt karmic.

I never did apologize as it would have meant admitting I was being racist. To be clear, I wasn't walking around saying or even thinking derogatory things about people based on their race/ethnicities; I've always been naturally P.C. in that regard. I can only guess my action came from a fear of the unfamiliar coupled with growing social ineptitude. It's a thing I look back on with regret. I never expected we'd cross paths again. Though I like to set things right when I can, apologizing now might do more harm than good depending on how she recalls that phone call, if at all. Even if she had assumed I was racist back then, she was over it back then, bubbly and friendly to all (myself included at school) and surrounded by better people than I.

So... what to do about friend requests from old acquaintances on Facebook? I can glut my account with people I don't know well or try to keep it lean so I don't have to filter so much. Yes, I'm feeling some irony hovering in the background. I am not a social beast, least not FB-style social. How do you approach friend requests?

A year ago on TTaT: Trick-or-Treating, at the mall?

19 October 2009

Beautiful People

40. Beautiful People: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints by Simon Doonan (4.5/5)

Made me laugh out loud often. Often crazy situations viewed with humor and a light touch. Stories from throughout the author's life, happily skipping from one age to another and back (the author does like to skip after all).

Floor pillows, mentally ill relatives, "plaid bondage trousers," window dressing, and cool parents to a gay kid born in 1952: what more could you want?

If you've seen & liked the BBC show, Beautiful People*, based on the book--and if you haven't you should--you'll definitely enjoy it. If you liked "Running With Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs, I bet you'll really enjoy this.

*Airs on LOGO, hilarious, true to the book's essence though reframed to be more contemporary. So psyched to discover there will be a 2nd season!

A year ago on TTaT: Curvy Clock & Counter-clock Lock

18 October 2009

From my bedroom window

rainbow colored hot air balloon
red hot air balloon
With temperatures only in the 40s yesterday, it must've been cold up there. The rainbow colored hot air balloon was so close it looked like it was going to land just over the hill.

Two years ago on TTaT: Where am I?

16 October 2009

38. Grave Peril

38. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (4/5)

Book 3 of The Dresden Files, another entertaining entry into the urban fantasy series about Harry Dresden, a wizard in present-day Chicago. Though reading the 1st two books provides additional depth, author Jim Butcher fills in the pertinent details so one could read this novel by itself.

Action-packed, quite a bit of humor, a little romance, plenty of darkness, vampires, ghosts, even Harry's fairie godmother wants in on the action. Harry's in a mess of trouble, again.

A quick, enjoyable read.

A year ago on TTaT: If you don't understand...

14 October 2009

11 October 2009

Out and Proud, kiddos

Just yesterday, I was thinking, "Is she looking at me or is she looking at me?" Since she was a vendor at an art fair in an LGBTQ-friendly town, it was up for grabs. Moments like those remind me that my gaydar sucks, but also that I don't get much opportunity to calibrate it. Though I live in a liberal state, there's not a single gay bar in the county where I live.

A private person by nature, I've long thought what business is it of the public at large to know that I'm bi? If you're unaffected by it, why should I be beholden to tell you? Here's the thing though: my heart gladdens to see a strip of rainbow on the back of a windshield, a same-sex couple holding hands, or any clearly out person going about his or her life without being harassed. Seeing Pride symbols, out LGBTQ people, and supportive straight folk makes me feel safer about being myself in public.

Have I been transforming myself into a hetero stereotype to feel safe in public? No, but I have been conscious of what I say, who I say it to, and who might be within earshot. Outlawing gay marriage may seem a simple, discrete action to many who support it, but when people are comfortable denying others' rights, I'm concerned that my value in their eyes is lessened. And despite the progress made in gay rights since Stonewall, I worry that what comes next is a backslide to greater discrimination and violence, sanctioned or not.

So, what to do before the world becomes a gay-friendly utopia? Be proud and be out. Be seen, not as an unknowable entity, a group of letters to ignore; but as an individual with hopes, dreams, and goals just like everyone else. Vote. Be heard.

Happy National Coming Out Day! And cheers to everyone marching in DC!

National Equality March, October 10 and 11, 2009

National Equality March, October 10 and 11, 2009... nationalequalitymarch.com

A year ago on TTaT: Dudes on pointe

08 October 2009

Autumn space

They cut 'em down, the trees of perhaps my earliest memory: driving to the new house for the first time, turning down a lane with a canopy of red and gold leaves, only peeps of blue sky to be seen.

But even that's not quite right. We moved to that house in August, well before the leaves would've turned.

When I passed by today, all but one maple along that first edge of the yard had been cut down. Wide, low stumps signaled their absence. "What the fuck were they thinking?" A walker was coming up the road across from me but I didn't care if she'd seen me talking to myself.

Those trees were always such an integral part of that space to me. It's been coming though. The old wood fence I used to climb to reach branches was taken down a couple years ago. The house paint's a bit different, the yard re-landscaped. The house next door torn down and replaced by a much larger, impressive red one this summer.

I just wanted to see that canopy of changing leaves again, to determine if my visual memory is accurate. It's probably just as well I can't check because now I can assume that it is.

The tragically unhip, now with more moose!

harvest moose and C reading a moose map
C between 2 moose
sitting by swirly moose
C and blue moose
C and Pirates of the Caribbean moose
Grinning C and moose

4 years ago on TTaT: Doh; It's like shopping, but much better...

07 October 2009

Katie and Emily: know the song from their episode?

Anyone watch the UK show Skins on BBC America? I love the opening song from last week's episode, season 3 episode 9: "Katie and Emily," but I don't know the title or artist.

The UK site for the show does have a music guide, but it turns out they changed all the songs for the American release. The BBCA Skins site has no music guide and no one in the forums knows what it is. My go-to song identifying method of searching bits of lyrics on google has also been fruitless.

I would call the song dance music or electronic. Female singer with female backup, fast paced lyrics. Starts with staccato guitar chords, then brings in the beat.

Lyrics as best I've been able to pick out, in order:
"I see your eyes are looking at me" (First line of song, may not be exact.)

"back to the beat"

"Ooh ah yeah.
Bring it to the dance floor."

Bridge: "I don't want romance with you."

"Ooh ah yeah.
Working all week,
gotta work it out,
let me show you what this party's all about."

"time and the place and the opportunity"

Do you know this song? I would link to video of the song in the episode, but the UK is strict about copyright infringement on YouTube, so none of the videos will play in the US. They might play elsewhere, but they might also have the UK soundtrack. I am not interested in the Lady GaGa song "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" from that version.

If you know the song or have any other search suggestions, please leave a comment. Thanks!

A year ago on TTaT: 10 Second Mystery

06 October 2009

Whip It

I saw the trailer for Whip It once several months ago, and I'd forgotten the particulars of story and casting revealed therein except that it was about women in roller derby and Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. Saw it this afternoon and bloody flippin' loved it. I would see it again in the theater. Well done, Drew, the cast, crew, and screenwriter Shauna Cross!

Roller derby is brutal in a way that makes me think I'd never do that, but I'd like to think that I could. I can see how the physicality of it--hitting and being able to take hits--would be empowering. At the very least, it made me want to put on some skates. Really too bad "The Rink" went out of business decades ago.

Whip It has an impressive cast, lots of great action, and a well told story. There were story pitfalls I feared were coming but they never did. Definitely worth checking out.

A year ago on TTaT: Coruscation

01 October 2009

Two for two

For the second year in a row, the person giving me a flu shot said, "You have really beautiful skin."

"Thank you!" It caught me off guard this time too since I focus on my facial flaws, gradually increasing with age. Granted, she was just looking at a small patch of my upper arm, but I'll take it. Here's to flu shot ladies!

Wendy the pharmacist went on to say, "You don't go out in the sun much, do you?"

"No, I'm pretty much a vampire."

"Well, that's good. It's better for you."

"Yeah, I tend to burn if I'm out for long."


Getting an appointment for a flu shot at a pharmacy was so much better than showing up to a flu shot clinic at a grocery store or community center (with or without an appointment--they ignore them most of the time anyway). Today took maybe ten minutes from "Hi, I've got a flu shot appointment" to being done, probably less, and that includes rebooting the computer so I could pay. No line, particularly no line of coughers and sneezers, and minimal waiting. FTW!

A year ago on TTaT: Name that mythological monster, Non partisan PSA: Don't Vote!