Thursday, December 31, 2009

525,600 minutes

We are about to receive a new batch of 525,600 minutes. That is the number of minutes in a year.

2010 has already arrived in Sydney, Australia. I posted a question on Facebook to a friend of mine who lives Down Under and I asked him, "What does 2010 look like?" I haven't received a reply yet.


source: Getty Images


I'm meeting a friend for lunch and will be with friends tonight. And in there will be a couple of walks with The Calvinator and a run to the grocery store. That is how I will spend my last minutes of the 525,600 minutes that were given to me in 2009. What will you be doing?

Monday, December 28, 2009

One of my least favorite holidays of the year...

...is just a few days away. There has always been a build up to New Year's Eve that I have never understood. There have been a few years when I have said, "Bah humbug!" and stayed in and went to bed. There have been years when I have been at parties and left shortly after the stroke of midnight. I think the best time I have ever had was a black tie event put on Bayou City Boys Club at The Warwick. Everyone was dressed up, there was great music, and a wonderful midnight breakfast. Many people that I know were there. Another memorable year was the black-tie dinner in Wayne's backyard in a tent. It was a catered event and a small crowd. With the exception of those two years, I can't say anything else is memorable except for the year that I de-friended someone before the stroke of midnight.

And don't worry, I'll be at a party this NYE with some friends. Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper will have to party on without me in Times Square.

And now that 2009 is about over, how many of you were successful in keeping your resolutions? I stopped making resolutions because I could never keep them.

So yes, I'm in a funk because NYE is just a few days away. And why aren't there any peppy songs about NYE? Just askin'.



Friday, December 25, 2009

Darlene Love's 2009 Appearance on David Letterman

A big thank you and a Texas sized Merry Christmas to David Dust for letting me know this was out on YouTube!

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Darlene Love on David Letterman

I am sure it will be a matter of minutes before Darlene Love's performance on Letterman will be uploaded to YouTube. As is the Christmas tradition, Darlene closed out the show with a soulful version of Christmas Baby Please Come Home. I am now officially in the Christmas spirit.

Here are some photos I took from the telly.









Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Baby Please Come Home

I realized a few minutes ago that it has been several days since I have posted anything. It's been really busy here in H-town. There have been some highs and some lows over the past several days. And speaking of highs, I turned on the air conditioner last night while I was working in Santa's workshop.

And speaking of Santa, I met up with him a couple of weeks ago at a friend's party. Here we are hanging out in the backyard.



Tonight on David Letterman, Darlene Love will perform. Darlene's performance on Letterman is a Christmas tradition that shouldn't be missed. What a voice and passion! And just so you know, she will perform at the end of the show.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Speedo Run (part III)

OK. I'll admit it. I can't get enough of the 2009 Santa Speedo Run in Boston. I came across these photos from Reuters.




A Mobile Snow Globe

Ryan Korsgard, who is a neighbor, friend and reporter for KPRC Channel 2 did a cute story about a lady who has turned her car into a mobile snow globe. What a cute idea! I really like it when this type of a story is shown to the viewers. I am so tired of stories about Cheetah Tiger Woods.

The link to the story is here. The video link is found in the story.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jukebox Wednesday

OK. So I haven't done a song or anything on a Wednesday in awhile. Today I was looking at Towleroad and ran across this video. I love Lady Gaga and this made me giggle.

Santa Speedo Run (revisted)

I have found additional photos from Saturday's running of the 2009 Santa Speedo Run. Thanx to photographers David L Ryan and Megan Jicha at Boston.com. For more photos, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You Know You Have Arrived When...

...you get a mention on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Our new Mayor Annise Parker got a shout out from Jon. Go to the 6:00 mark.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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http://www.thedailyshow.com/
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Full Episodes
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Santa Speedo Run 2009

Patrick Lentz came through and has posted some photos from Boston's Santa Speedo Run 2009. To see his photos, click here.

Additionally, Bostonist.com has posted these photos by Christian Nachtrieb.



And if you want to see a video of those fun loving Bostonians and their friends, here ya go. One of these years, I will run this fun run.

Monday, December 14, 2009

When Obama Calls

Remember when DJ Junior Vasquez made the song When Madonna Calls? He used a a voice mail from her and mixed a song.

Well, our girl Annise Parker missed a call from President Obama congratulating her on being elected as Mayor of Houston. I wonder is she will mix a dance tune to it?

I think Annise is the only person I know who has ever received a call from a U.S. President!

The link to the story is here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Houston We Have A Winner!

Last night Annise Parker was elected Mayor of Houston! She makes history by becoming the first openly gay mayor of one of the 10 largest cities in the United States. Houston ranks #4 in terms of population. I was at the victory celebration last night and it was very moving.

The crowd was as diverse as the city of Houston. Kuddos to all of us who worked to get her elected. Kuddos to Roy Morales and Peter Brown who supported Annise. They ran against her and didn't make it to the run-off yesterday. Their support was definitely appreciated.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa Speedo Run

I'm posting from my Blackberry so I'm not sure what this will look like.

I just realized that today in Boston is the running of The Santa Speedo Run. Last year I posted some photos with some links. So if you want see them and because I don't know how to link on the Blackberry, look in my blog archives for December 2008 Looks like fun times in Beantown. And I can't wait to see photos from this year. With it being a bit chilly in the Northeast this weekend, I hope their isn't an over abundance of shrinkage. Just sayin'.

www.santaspeedorun.com for more info.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

the REAL homosexual agenda

Thanx to a reader at Towleroad.com for providing us with REAL Homosexual Agenda. It was posted in response to an email that was sent out asking voters to not vote for Annise Parker for Mayor of Houston because she will push The Homosexual Agenda.

Here is what George published:

Silly Christians, this is the agenda:
The Homosexual Agenda
8:00 a.m. Wake up. Wonder where you are.

8:01 a.m. Realize you are lying on 100 percent cotton sheets of at least a 300 count, so don't panic; you're not slumming.

8:02 a.m. Realize you are actually in your own bed for a change. Wake stranger next to you and tell them you are late for work so won't be able to cook breakfast for them. Mutter "sorry" as you help him look for his far-flung underwear. You find out that you tore his boxers while ripping them off him last night, so you "loan" him a pair of boxer-briefs, but not the new ones because you never intend to see him again.

8:05 a.m. Tell the stranger, whose name eludes you, "It was fun. I'll give you a call," as you usher him out the door, avoiding his egregious morning-breath.

8:06 a.m. Crumple and dispose of the piece of paper with his telephone number on it when you get to the kitchen.

8:07 a.m. Make a high protein breakfast while watching the Today show. Wonder if the stories you've heard about Matt Lauer are true. Decide they must be.

8:30 a.m. Italian or domestic? Decide to go with three-button Italian and the only shirt that is clean.

8:45 a.m. Climb into red Z4 and try not to look too much like Barbie driving one of her accessories as you pull out of your underground parking. Revos or Armanis? Go with Revos.

9:35 a.m. Stroll into office.

9:36 a.m. Close door to office and call best friend and laugh about the guy who spent the night at your condo. Point out something annoying about best friend's boyfriend but quickly add "It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks, just as long as you love him."

10:15 a.m. Leave office, telling your secretary you are "meeting with a client." Pretend not to notice her insubordinate roll of her eyes (or the cloying "poem" she has tacked to her cubicle wall).

10:30 a.m. Hair appointment for lowlights and cut. Purchase of Aveda anti-humectant pomade.

11:30 a.m. Run into personal trainer at gym. Pester him about getting you Human Growth Hormone. Spend 30 minutes talking to friends on your cell phone while using Hammer Strength machines, preparing a mental-matrix of which circuit parties everyone is going to and which are now passe.

12:00pm Tan. Schedule back-waxing in time for Saturday party where you know you will end up shirtless.

12:30 p.m. Pay trainer for anabolic steroids and schedule a workout. Shower, taking ten minutes to knot your tie while you check-out your best friend's boyfriend undress with the calculation of someone used to wearing a t-back and having dollars stuffed in their crotch.

1:00 p.m. Meet someone for whom you only know his waist, chest and penis size from AOL M4M chat for lunch at a hot, new restaurant. Because the maƮtre d' recognizes you from a gay bar, you are whisked past the Christian heterosexual couples who have been waiting patiently for a table since 12:30.

2:30 p.m. "Dessert at your place." Find out, once again, people lie on AOL.

3:33 p.m. Assume complete control of the U.S., state, and local governments (in addition to other nations' governments); destroy all healthy Christian marriages; recruit all children grades Kindergarten through 12 into your amoral, filthy lifestyle; secure complete control of the media, starting with sitcoms; molest innocent children; give AIDS to as many people as you can; host a pornographic "art" exhibit at your local art museum; and turn people away from Jesus, causing them to burn forever in Hell.

4:10 p.m. Time permitting, bring about the general decline of Western Civilization and look like you are having way too much fun doing it.

4:30 p.m. Take a disco-nap to prevent facial wrinkles from the stress of world conquest and being so terribly witty.

6:00 p.m. Open a fabulous new bottle of Malbec.

6:47 P.M. Bake Ketamine for weekend. Test recipe.

7:00 P.M. Go to Abercrombie & Fitch and announce in a loud voice, "Over!"

7:40 P.M. Stop looking at the photographic displays at Abercrombie & Fitch and go to a cool store to begin shopping.

8:30 p.m. Light dinner with catty homosexual friends at a restaurant you will be "over" by the time it gets its first review in the local paper.

10:30 p.m. Cocktails at a debauched gay bar, trying to avoid alcoholic queens who can't navigate a crowd with a lit cigarette in one hand and a Stoli in a cheap plastic cup in the other. Make audible remark about how "trashy" people who still think smoking is acceptable are.

12:00 a.m. "Nightcap at your place." Find out that people lie in bars, too

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Houston: The Next San Francisco (Who knew?)

In the latest attack on Annise Parker and other candidates endorsed by the Houston GLBT Caucus, a person by the name of Dr. Rick Scarborough who is minister and a former Houstonian has sent out an email with The Homosexual Agenda.

In his email he states:

"If you DO NOT support the homosexual agenda and do not want Houston to become another San Francisco, then please consider voting for the following candidates..."

He then goes on to list his slate of candidates. The email continues with:

"If people who hold to traditional values neglect to vote in this election, the results will be far reaching. The above list of candidates is not perfect by any measure, but I strongly recommend them over the alternative. This election illustrates like few others why good men and women must stay engaged as concerned citizens.

'All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.' – Edmund Burke'"


I have lived in Houston since 1992 and have traveled to San Francisco more times than I can count. Trust me. Houston will NEVER become the next San Francisco. It's too hot here for all of the homos. Just sayin'. We will never be the Gay Mecca of the South.

I just can't believe people would spend their time sending out hate mail...especially during the Christmas Season.

If you would like to contribute to Annise's campaign, the links are to the left.

P.S. Here is The Homosexual Agenda that I never knew about. And just how did Rick Scarborough know about it? Just askin'.

The Homosexual Agenda

1. Legalize same sex marriage
2. Mandate public acceptance of the homosexual activities.
3. Teach homosexuality to school children, starting in kindergarten, as an acceptable, alternative lifestyle. This is known as multisexualism. This enables homosexuals to recruit children to their lifestyle.
4. Lower or remove age of consent laws leading to relaxation of laws prohibiting pedophilia. See www.nambla.org/
5. Elevate homosexuals to a minority class, leading to affirmative action for homosexuals in the workplace. Cross dressers could force employers to accept their actions at work.
6. Prohibit any speech which opposes homosexual activity. This would be considered “hate speech” and have criminal sanctions. This would destroy 1st Amendment free speech rights for those who oppose homosexual conduct and the homosexual political movement.
7. Require employee benefits to be provided to same sex partners.
8. Elect candidates to office who will work to implement the homosexual agenda.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When Hate Takes Over

One day I declared this song the song of the Summer of '09. I think it is also the song of Fall '09 and Winter '09. I *heart* When Love Takes Over.

Unfortunately, hate has once again reared its fugly head in the Houston race for Mayor. The run-off election is this Saturday, December 12, 2009. Once again, supporters of Gene Locke have decided to make Annise Parker's sexuality an issue. And not only Annise but also Lane Lewis and Sue Lovell.

This flyer hit mailboxes today.


If you are so inclined, please send money to Annise's campaign (links are to the left). If you live in Houston, please vote for Annise who is the most qualified candidate to be Mayor of Houston. If you have time, let Dave Wilson know that this type of hate will not be tolerated.

How would Gene Locke feel if a white supremacy group endorsed Annise Parker and made race an issue? Mr. Locke has made no effort to disassociate himself from the other hate monger Steve Hotze. I doubt that he will attempt to disassociate himself from Dave Wilson.

Do what you can to support Annise Parker!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Scenes from a Saturday Night (early Sunday morning in Houston)

I received an invitation to the 20th Magnolia Holiday Party. I have lived in Houston since 1992 and had never been invited to this party...how could that be? So with invitation in hand and a friends by my side, we were off to the party.

Now you may be wonder why the word Magnolia is used in the name of this party. Well as it turns out the party originally started at the historic Magnolia Ballroom. The party outgrew the ballroom so it has traveled to different venues.

This year's event was open bar and I made sure to get over-served and turn into a lushpartake of the kindness of the hosts. Also at this year's event, Legacy Community Health Services was one of the beneficiaries. Guests had the option of making a donation to one of five beneficiaries.

Some photos are posted below. If you want to see more photos, click here.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day

As a reminder, today is World AIDS Day. Please take a moment to remember those who have died of AIDS, who are living with HIV/AIDS and those who work to fight the disease and to raise awareness.

If you are in the Houston area, you can tested for free at Legacy Community Health Services. Also this evening, there will be a Candlelight Observance at Tranquility Park in Downtown Houston. It will begin at 530P and end at 700P. For more information, visit World AIDS Day Houston and click on the Events tab.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Blogger Challenge

The other day David Dust issued a challenge to his fellow bloggers. He asked to post pics of our Thanksgiving meal. I have posted some pics. If you want to see additional pics, click here. In additional to liquor and wine, we had turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole, macaroni & cheese with white truffles and a slew of other side dishes and desserts. It was a fun time!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dec. 1: World AIDS Day 2009


Next Tuesday, December 1, will mark the 21st Anniversary of World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is important because it reminds people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

December 1 is a day to increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV/AIDS. Events will be occurring around the nation. Locally there will be events on December 1 and on the days following World AIDS Day. For a listing of some of the events in Houston, visit World AIDS Day Houston.

There are two things happening that day that I would like to bring to your attention. The first is the Candelight Vigil that will occur in downtown Houston at Tranquility Park. This will begin at 5:30p.m. The agenda for the event can be found on the World AIDS Day Houston website under the events tab.

The second event is the free HIV testing that will occur at Legacy Community Health Services. Tests will take place at the location on Westheimer and the location on Lyons. If you haven't been tested in awhile, Tuesday would be a great day to do so. You owe it to yourself.

Lastly, I encourage you to wear a red ribbon on December 1. The ribbon is a symbol of our solidarity in the fight against HIV/AIDS and is also reminder of those who passed away.

If you want to know why World AIDS Day means so much me, read this post from 2007. I think it explains it all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Plans?

So what are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? I am going to stay in Houston and celebrate the day with friends. I asked what I could bring to dinner and I was told, "1.75 litres of Skyy vodka." I replied, "You don't want Kettle One?" "Skyy will do." was the reply. I can do that! Specs, here I come!
I'm going to blame tryptophan for my passing out at the table

Let Thanksgiving be a reminder to start your holiday season bender

Monday, November 23, 2009

Facebook


Many of you know that I *heart* facebook! It has been a great way to keep up with people and to reconnect people.

After using it for awhile I realized that there is some fine lines that you have to walk if you your co-workers have friended you or if your relatives have friended you. From that though, I have learned about some of the privacy controls that can be enabled so that only certain people can see certain things about me.

I have also learned how to tag photos but more importantly, how to untag photos. I heard one time that the busiest time on facebook is on Monday morning when everyone is looking for pictures that were posted from events over the weekend...and they are untagging the photos. Which leads to this story:

Canada woman to fight insurance co. over Facebook
By AMY LUFT
Associated,Press,Writer

MONTREAL (AP) -- A Canadian woman on sick leave for depression said Monday she would fight an insurance company's decision to cut her benefits after her agent found photos on Facebook of her vacationing, at a bar and at a party.

Nathalie Blanchard said Monday she was diagnosed with major depression and was receiving monthly sick-leave benefits until payments dried up this fall.

When Blanchard called her insurance provider, Manulife, to find out why, she says she was told the Facebook photos showed she was able to work.

"If you have insurance, be careful. This is a major battle and it's not going to be easy," Blanchard, 29, said in a telephone interview from her home in Bromont Quebec.

She said her insurance agent described several pictures Blanchard posted on Facebook, including ones showing her having a good time at a Chippendales bar show, at her birthday party and on a holiday.

Blanchard said Manulife told her it was evidence she is no longer depressed.

Her lawyer, Tom Lavin, said Blanchard was wrongfully dismissed from her benefits, and she had the right to go on a sunny vacation.

"The issue for me is that they stopped her disability benefits without the proper medical recommendations. Her doctor recommended she go on vacation," he said.

Blanchard said she took three four-day trips when she was feeling especially low, on her psychiatrist's advice.

Manulife declined to comment on the case specifically but has said in a statement that "we would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on Web sites such as Facebook."

Still, Lavin said the issue raises concerns for anyone who expects their private life to remain so if they post personal information to social networking sites such as Facebook.

"It's good warning for people who use Facebook. It's not like being at home and writing in your diary. It's out there for the whole world to see," he said.

Blanchard's case will be before Quebec Superior Court Dec. 8.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

T-Mobile sucks!

I am pissed off! There. I said it!

Sunday night my personal Blackberry stopped working. The track ball which is the part of the phone that gives it its functionality stopped working. It only scrolls sideways. So, I can't read text messages. And my phone is stuck on silent so I have no idea if someone calls.

I called T-Mobile on Monday and was told that the replacement device would be shipped on Monday. I was told to call back in a couple of days and get a UPS tracking number. So I did and I was told that it had shipped and to go to UPS and put in my cell number and that would be my tracking number.

So, while I was on the phone I did and it didn't work. The customer service rep. tried and couldn't get it to work. She said the tracking system must be down but she assured me the device had been shipped and to check back with UPS. And I did.

And it didn't work. So I called back this morning and spoke with someone else and was told the device still hasn't left the warehouse and she has no idea when it will. OK, why was I told it HAD shipped?

They offered me a $20 plastic replacement phone as an interim solution. Uh, why not an interim Blackberry? Once you've had a Blackberry you never go back!

I told the last person I spoke with that they need to retrain their customer service reps. I told her that the worse thing to do is set high expectations and give out bad information to customers.

T-Mobile, you suck!

Monday, November 16, 2009

That's not a very Christian thing to do!

It was just a matter of time before the hate mongers came out of the closet to make an attempt to derail Annise Parker's bid for being Mayor of the City of Houston.

Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States. Annise Parker IS the most qualified candidate for the job. So why should the fact that she is a lesbian have anything to do with her ability to run a city?

If you want to find out more about Annise, click here. There is also a link on her website to make a contribution. We need as much help as possible to make sure the bigotsChristians don't keep her from becoming mayor. And just in case you're wondering, I am practicing Catholic and do NOT consider myself a hate monging Christian. Just sayin'!

Ministers, conservatives work for Parker's defeat
Group opposes a lesbian in office
By BRADLEY OLSON
HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Nov. 13, 2009, 9:29PM

A cluster of socially conservative Houstonians is planning a campaign to discourage voters from choosing City Controller Annise Parker in the December mayoral runoff because she is a lesbian, according to multiple ministers and conservatives involved in the effort.

The group is motivated by concerns about a “gay takeover” of City Hall, given that two other candidates in the five remaining City Council races are also openly gay, as well as national interest driven by the possibility that Houston could become the first major U.S. city to elect an openly gay woman.

Another primary concern is that Parker or other elected officials would seek to overturn a 2001 city charter amendment that prohibits the city from providing benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees.

“The bottom line is that we didn't pick the battle, she did, when she made her agenda and sexual preference a central part of her campaign,” said Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastor Council, numbering more than 200 senior pastors in the Greater Houston area. “National gay and lesbian activists see this as a historic opportunity. The reality is that's because they're promoting an agenda which we believe to be contrary to the concerns of the community and destructive to the family.”

Welch said he had “no doubt” there would be numerous independent advocacy efforts urging voters not to choose Parker, most of which would involve mail.

Locke courting right wing
Parker's opponent, former City Attorney Gene Locke, strongly distanced himself from a previous anti-gay attack against her that ultimately proved to have been a hoax. But he has made recent efforts to court some of the staunch social conservatives who are either actively planning on attacking Parker's sexuality or strongly considering it.

He appeared at the Pastor Council's annual gala last Friday and was encouraged several times by State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, a featured speaker, to stand for conservative values.

Locke has also met with and sought the endorsement of Dr. Steven Hotze, a longtime local kingmaker in conservative politics and author of the Straight Slate in 1985, a coterie of eight City Council candidates he recruited who ran on an anti-gay platform.

The slate was formed to oppose eight incumbents who supported measures aimed at protecting homosexuals from discrimination in city government. The measures were resoundingly repealed by the voters in a referendum, but none of the eight council members lost their seats.

Republican consultant Allen Blakemore, a longtime Hotze associate who spoke on his behalf, said he is considering mailing out a slate of endorsed runoff candidates, and Parker's sexuality is a “key factor” in his decision.

Hotze is concerned about the national fundraising and strong efforts of Houston's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Caucus on behalf of Parker and other council candidates, Blakemore said.

Parker has tread carefully in her candidacy for mayor, stressing frequently that she is running not as a gay candidate but as a qualified city official who's won election six times. In a televised debate last month, she voiced “no current plans” to revisit the city charter amendment if elected, although she said the city will need to offer benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees “at some point.”

Parker campaign manager Adam Harris said Locke's overtures to Hotze and others represented a “desperate and extreme act.”

“Houston deserves real leadership, not someone who will cut a deal with anyone and go to any extreme” to be elected, Harris said.

Locke spokeswoman Kim Devlin said he has met with “thousands of people” and promised from the outset of his campaign to be “mayor for every Houstonian … no matter their political party or their ideology.”

“Annise Parker is letting Houstonians in on her true character by leveling these highly incendiary, baseless and ridiculous attacks,” said Devlin.

Same-sex benefits key
Former Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Paul Bettencourt, another Republican close to Hotze, said that if Locke wishes to unite a strong African-American base with social conservatives, they will need his assurance that he will not seek to overturn the charter amendment.

Responding to the same debate question as Parker last month, Locke said same-sex benefits allow governments and businesses “a competitive advantage” and said he “would favor that,” although it would not be the first thing on his plate.

“That's not going to motivate us to come out and vote for somebody,” Bettencourt said of social conservatives. “You cannot get the positive good conservative turnout if you're trying to undo charter amendments. It's a line drawn in the sand. You just can't have it both ways.”

bradley.olson@chron.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

What have you done today...

...to make you feel proud?

The other night at Illuminations Project, Kimberly Anne O'Neil performed to Heather's Small Proud. It got me to thinking, is there one thing (big or small) that you can do to make yourself feel proud? It doesn't have to be something big or overt. It can be a random act of kindness that makes you feel proud. Think about it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Does every party have to have a theme?"

That was the question posed to me and Kevin one afternoon as we sipped Margaritas outside on an October Wednesday afternoon. And we replied, "Well yes. Otherwise it is just a party."

Yesterday, Krewe of Olympus-Texas had a brunch as a fundraiser. It wasn't just any brunch. It was Kicked Up A Notch...a Latin brunch.

If you want to see more photos, click here.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Every $1 helps

The email below was forwarded to me. I think it clearly speaks to the reason why Houstonians and non-Houstonians should contribute to Annise Parker's campaign for Mayor of Houston.

A group of my friends have been longtime supporters of Annise Parker. I am very proud of Ben and Jim who have worked in her campaign office, walked blocks handing out flyers, worked polling places on the day of the election, and worked the phones asking for contributions. After reading the letter below, if you would like to contribute and help make history, click here.


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Michael Gonzalez"
Subject: Why I owe Annise $5,000


I hope this email finds you well. I miss home and I miss you! But I need to get something off my chest...

Although we woke up this morning with a bigger House majority than we went to bed with last night, the news from Maine was pretty devastating. I have always thought that leaving the rights of the minority to a plebiscite is itself an outrageous miscarriage of justice. We would still have poll taxes, bans on interracial marriage, and segregated schools if those things were left to mob rule.

But from here in Washington, DC there was another great story of hope. My friend Annise Parker received more votes for Mayor of my great home town of Houston than anyone else. Think about it - a city with almost TWICE the population of Maine!

That news simply made it impossible for me to have a single discouraging thought today on the Maine Equality results. And it has everyone here in DC and around the country talking. Well, I am glad they are talking but as they say... talk is cheap!

I saw manifested what I have always known to be true of this great Texas city: in Houston, you are judged by your merits. By what you have accomplished and what you are capable of. And you don't need a patron or a machine or great wealth. If you are up to the task and prove your worth, Houston will give you a chance. And that is what the voters said loud and clear yesterday.
Richard and I cannot vote for Annise because we are registered to vote here in DC. But we can do our part. That is why we are giving $5,000 to her campaign.

I've had gay and straight friends come up to me and tell me they support Annise because she has the most competent, ethical, list of accomplishments in public service that we have seen for Mayor in a long time. And that nobody is better prepared than her to meet the big expectations for a Mayor after the great record of Bill White.

Well, sure. I agree. Not a single thing in that statement is untrue. And that is why she would have our vote if we still lived in Houston. And that is why we would give some money to her campaign or volunteer.

But as our good friend (and my old boss Chris Bell) reminded me, that is a good enough reason for everyone else to give BUT NOT FOR ME! The reason that we are making such a sacrifice and giving more money to her campaign than we have done for anybody EVER is because WE ARE A GAY FAMILY AND ANNISE PARKER REPRESENTS THE VERY BEST IN OUR COMMUNITY. And if she is ultimately elected Mayor in 5 short weeks, she will represent as chief executive the largest constituency of any LGBT person in the history of this country.

I'm 45 and Richard turned 50 this year. We are ready to stop leaving the future of our civil rights to the goodwill of a mob. Like everybody we know, we have done our part to advance LGBT civil rights. Although not nearly enough but we try. We get to see so many of our friends from Houston come to DC for the HRC National Dinner. It is wonderful to celebrate such a big event and see all this energy. Sometimes I have so much fun at that dinner that I think I am done for the year! Well, I am not - not by a long shot. It is my sincere hope that every single person that makes the trip every year and every single person that goes to the wonderful Houston HRC dinner and all the incredible and loyal LGBT donors that Chris always had are all doing everything they can for Annise right now. And if they haven't yet or haven't enough, I hope they understand that this is the moment.

Does Houston deserve a great Mayor that is competent and ethical and watches the taxes and spending and keeps our streets safe? Absolutely. Does the nation deserve a new leader that speaks to our greatness? You bet. Does the LGBT community have a duty to make sure that we do everything we can to make this possibility a reality? I believe that with all my heart.

Can everybody afford to give Annise $5,000? Certainly not. Richard and I can barely afford it and we will make sacrifices to do it (Bell, sorry buddy but you are getting a nice card for your 50th birthday). But my hope is that every LGBT person in Houston realizes that this moment will come and go in 5 short weeks. That we can make history here. And that if ex-pats like Richard and I appreciate this moment and are willing to stretch further than we ever have before, other LGBT people can too. And should. This isn't your regular race. Annise isn't your regular LGBT-friendly candidate. This is history. And even from 1,208 miles away, we wouldn't miss it for the world!

Chris, thanks for whacking me over the head with the obvious. I hope others seize the moment too...

John Michael Gonzalez DC resident, Texan by the Grace of God...

Contribute to Annise Parker's campaign by clicking here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Carrie Prejean, just shut up and go home why don't you?

Many of you will remember that during the Miss U.S.A. Pageant, Miss California Carrie Prejean gave a VERY unpopular answer to a question about gay marriage. She claims that the subsequent firestorm was due to the fact that Miss High & Mighty 2009 Miss Holier Than Thou was being persecuted for her religious beliefs. She was on every talk show and news show defending herself.

Let me qualify all of this by saying that there are reasons I will never run for public office or participate in a beauty pageant. I also do my best to be non-judgemental. So let me continue...

The following story is from CNN. Interesting how it all played out. Following the CNN story is the TMZ story. Who knew that TMZ self-censored?

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- The sudden end to a legal battle between dethroned Miss California USA Carrie Prejean and pageant officials was prompted by the revelation of a "sex tape," according to a source familiar with the lawsuits' settlement.

Prejean was fired in June after lingerie-modeling photos of her emerged that pageant officials said were a breach of her contract. Prejean sued the pageant in August, arguing her firing was religious discrimination because of her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Pageant officials countersued last month, demanding their former beauty queen repay $5,200 in pageant money spent for her breast implants and give them all proceeds from a book she's written.

A settlement of both lawsuits was signed in New York Tuesday, but no details were made public. Lawyers and parties for each side were bound by a confidentiality pledge, according to the source.

The veil of secrecy was partially lifted Wednesday after celebrity gossip Web site TMZ reported the deal was sealed after pageant lawyers presented an "extremely graphic" home video involving Prejean.

TMZ Managing Editor Harvey Levin said during a webcast Wednesday that he obtained the Prejean video during the summer, but found it "too racy" to post on his site. He indicated Prejean was alone in the video.

The source with knowledge of the settlement talks told CNN those details were accurate.

Prejean's lawyer, Charles LiMandri, responded with a short statement issued through an employee at his law office. "It's a confidential settlement, and he can't discuss it," the statement said.

Several calls and e-mail to Prejean's publicist were not returned Wednesday.

Prejean's tell-all book hits bookstores next week, and she is scheduled for media interviews to promote it.

Pageant spokesman Kenn Henman said Tuesday the settlement means all lawsuit demands are dropped.

The pageant had claimed that the contract she signed when she entered their competition last year gave the pageant the rights to anything she wrote. The settlement ended that claim.

Pageant officials also dropped their attempt to be repaid for her breast enhancement, which was done before she represented California in the Miss USA competition, according to Henman.

Prejean, in exchange, withdrew her suit accusing the pageant of violating her privacy by confirming to reporters that her breasts were enhanced, Henman said.

"We are moving forward from the past and looking towards the crowning of two winners and the new look of the upcoming Miss California USA pageant, telecast live on November 22," pageant Executive Director Keith Lewis said Tuesday.

"We're back in the business of beauty," he told CNN.

There was nothing pretty about the public fight that began in April when Prejean, 22, stepped into controversy by declaring her opposition to same-sex marriage while answering a judge's question at the Miss USA pageant. Prejean finished as first runner-up.

While state and national pageant officials publicly supported her initially, their opinions eventually changed after she continued to make public statements about same-sex marriage.

She held onto her crown through May, despite a series of questionable photos that emerged on gossip Web sites. Those images showed a topless Prejean, photographed from behind.

She was dethroned in June by Miss USA pageant owner Donald Trump amid growing complaints by state officials that she was uncooperative and not meeting her contractual obligations.

Prejean filed her lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in August, claiming that her firing was religious discrimination because of her stand against same-sex marriage.

The pageant's countercomplaint said what it called Prejean's belligerent behavior, lack of cooperation and contract breaches caused her firing, not her opposition to same-sex marriage.


From TMZ:
We have more info on Carrie Prejean's abrupt about-face during the settlement negotiations with Miss California USA lawyers -- when they showed her the X-Rated version of Home Alone ... starring Carrie herself.

When the video started playing, Carrie's first reaction was "that's disgusting" ... and Carrie denied it was her.

Then, the camera angle changed ... and panned up to her face. She was caught red-handed ... so to speak.

Carrie was rendered speechless and immediately began talking with her lawyer. We're told it took about 15 seconds for Carrie to drop her $1 million dollar demand.


Read more

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Let's Hear It For The Girl

It's not often that a local race in Houston draws national attention but the election for Houston's next mayor made the national media put their eyes on Texas. To name a few, CNN and New York Times both did stories about Annise Parker.

Annise has the opportunity to become mayor of the 4th largest city in the United States. Yesterday, she received 31% of the vote which puts her in a December 12 run-off against former City Attorney Gene Locke.

Annise is the most qualified candidate to be be mayor. She served 6 years in an at-large council position and another 6 years as Controller for the City of Houston. If she wins on December 12, she will be the second woman to lead Houston and will be the first out lesbian as mayor of a major U.S. city.

To read the whole story about yesterday's election, read this story in today's Houston Chronicle.

To learn more about Annise Parker and to contribute to her campaign, click here.




Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

It was sort of odd this year. Halloween was on a Saturday night and a people chunk of the peeps that I roll with were in New Orleans. Normally on a Saturday I can walk into a myriad of bars and know oodles of people; not this year.

Kevin and I ran around together on Saturday evening into the wee hours of Sunday morning. Jim & Ben joined us at one point.

Below are some photos and to see more, click here.



Monday, November 2, 2009

America's Next Top Pumpkin

I'm really trying to catch up with events of the past week. So, last Wednesday a friend of mine decided to have a pumpkin carving party modeled (pun intended) after America's Next Top Model. I do have have some friends with creative minds. ANTP was hosted by Not So Tyra.

Here are some photos. To see more, click here.