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Opening the Door

I've sometimes wondered how I would have functioned as a gay man born, not in the latter-half of the 20th century, but during a time when seeking the partner of one's choice was simply not allowed. At least, not legally. How would I have behaved? Would the repression of my sexuality have proven to be too much? Or would I have settled down with a woman, perhaps had children, and soldiered on?
The closing film of this year's Roger Ebert Film Festival, the 2004 musical biopic De-Lovely, focused on the life of lyricist and composer Cole Porter, and provided another opportunity to ponder the aforementioned thoughts. Though fraught with a narrative structure that was almost clunky enough to derail the overall experience, the movie succeeds in spite of its flaws, and was an enjoyable, moving motion picture. There was a sophistication to the performances of Kevin Kline (as Porter) and Ashley Judd (as his wife, Linda Lee).
Somewhat familiar with Cole Porter, though unfamiliar with…
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Pic of the Week

It's been a little while, but we have a new Pic of the Week to share. This time it's actor Dylan Minnette, star of the 2016 thriller Don't Breathe, and this year's breakout TV hit, 13 Reasons Why. 

I (Don't) Remember Mama

One of the sad realities of life is that, while we may be, say, 40 years of age, we only retain firm memories of perhaps 33 to 35 years of those four decades. Of course, memories of being diapered, laying in one's own poo and unable to articulate thoughts aside from the occasional (frequent?) bawling or tantrum session may not be quite what we want to hold on to.
Of course, there are things I wish I remembered. Mama, for example. She was my maternal, Hungarian-born great-grandmother who emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. She and my mom were very close, and mom has made it clear how much mama (real name Marie) loved me. She'd come to visit us and thought the world of me. She died when I was a little over three years old, so there are no memories of her, just some pictures and what mom has told me.
There are snippets of memory. There's the brief remembrance of toddling across the ranch house my parents and I lived in during the '70s and '80s, from th…


The news -- "breaking news" in some quarters -- that pop singer Barry Manilow is gay got me thinking about the whole notion of a public image. We all have one, from the mega-famous to the demure wallflowers. We all present what we want to the world, and hide the rest. There are those who decry such measures, preferring, I suppose, to lay bare their souls for all and sundry. There's something to be said for raw honesty, though perhaps in small doses.
Something to consider is the different spheres within which we operate. No doubt Barry Manilow has been out to friends and, perhaps, family for a long time. The recent revelation is most likely a public one. There's no dishonesty there, just a lack of information. That is, of course, Manilow's choice. I do find it somewhat sad and slightly odd that he'd been afraid to come out due to anticipated negative reactions from fans. His sexuality has been one of the worst kept secrets around.

The Valley of Dry Bones

A recent NPR article about the possibility of moving the remains of U.S. President James K Polk reminded me what an odd concept the grave is. A descendant of our 11th president, dead now these 168 years, is quoted as saying how much Polk wanted to remain in Nashville. This was apparently requested in his will, as though his corpse, obscured underground, might enjoy its time more in Music City than elsewhere.
It is true that cemeteries/graveyards served a useful purpose at one time, as they stand as historical records during a period when such records weren't always well kept via other methods (paper, digitally, etc.) In today's age, we have much better ways of keeping track of who has come and gone on this earth. Putting a body into the ground and marking it with a headstone simply isn't necessary.

Pic of the Week

Our latest Pic of the Week is British diver Matty Lee, who seems like an all around good bloke. Enjoy.

When You're 64, Minus 12

Twenty years ago today, my father turned 52 years of age. It would be his last birthday. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer late in the preceding year, Lewis likely knew there wouldn't be many more (if any) birthdays, though he kept up a fairly good facade. Oh there were times it cracked, certainly, but then I've never understood why we seem to demand stoicism from the terminally ill.
Too ill from chemotherapy treatments to do much celebrating on March 21st, we actually celebrated dad's birthday on Sunday, the 23rd. Truthfully, the entire event was somewhat up in the air, depending on how Lewis felt at the time. I was working at Garcia's Pizza, and had a boss who would bend your ear at the slightest query about how her mom died of cancer. When I made the request to take-off that Sunday for what would likely be my father's final birthday, the manager gave me grief. So it goes.