This Economy SUCKS!

I am sure that post title was a big surprise for most of you. I mean, come on, Congress obviously doesn't know how bad the economy is. Unfortunately we have had 2 restaurants close (well, the second one will close on Friday). The first restaurant I blame more on bad management than I do anything else. Boston's Pizza is a national chain that opened probably 2 years ago (if even that long). Douglass and I tried it out a few times, we both found some pizzas that we thought were pretty good. But the SERVICE SUCKED from day 1. Well, I haven't been there in a long time, but I have heard from friends that liked to go there that it was next to impossible to get service. And that is why they closed up shop! Go figure.

The second restaurant, Papa George's, is a local one. They only opened a year ago, but I know a lot of people weren't very happy when they opened up. They took over Pickle's, a local favorite, that had been around every since I remembered. I always thought Pickle's food was ok, I guess I never had any bad food, but I never had any excellent food....except for their NACHOS! These nachos were awesome! First off, we always ordered a half order and there would still be enough to feed a family of 4. Second, they were messy! And that probably made them taste even better. They would be on a small plate (probably 6" or 7" diameter) but they were piled super high. You couldn't grab a nacho without causing an avalanche! But Pickle's was always fun.

Papa George's was a greek restaurant. I tried them a few times. Once right after they had taken over. They had changed the name but the menu was still Pickle's. I went back a second time a month ago. The food was ok, I didn't think it was extraordinary. I have heard a lot of people rave about the place, but it was just ok. Sadly, no Pickle's nachos. :(

Papa George's is a casualty of the economy. They said they have had declining numbers of customers, even their regular customers has declined! Also, the owners (a husband and wife team) have had some problems. He lost his regular job because of medical problems. A second job fell through. And now she is going to need to go find a regular paycheck job just so they can survive. Sadly, Papa George's will be history on Friday.

I sure wish this economy wasn't in this situation. Very sad to see the casualties of the past 8 years.

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This is a test. This is only a test.

OK, I spent way too much time yesterday working on the new template for this blog. I had been working for quite awhile when I got an email from Ms. Val letting me know that my blog now wasn't working in IE! UGH!!! Turns out it was the IntenseDebate comment widget I was using. One of the main reasons I was going with a new template was so I could move from the hard-coding of IntenseDebate and use their much easier Widget. Well, the widget doesn't work with IE. And their answer, "Most of our customers don't use IE." Um, kinda hard to tell the few who do use IE that they shouldn't use IE.

So I ended up hard-coding IntenseDebate comments back into my template only to find out that it wasn't working still. Now the comments were disappearing. UGH again!!! So I gave up, I wasn't super fond of IntenseDebate. Plus they were bought out by a new company and they are going to merge all of IntenseDebate into the new company. So for now, it is back to the old Blogger Comments.

The only downfall to going back to Blogger Comments, I lost all of the comments made while I had IntenseDebate installed. :(

This is a test. This station is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.
This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. The broadcasters of your area in voluntary cooperation with the Federal, State and local authorities have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news or instructions. This station serves the blogger area. This concludes this test of the Emergency Broadcast System.

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Beautiful Day!

Today was just plain beautiful. The weather was very nice, neither cold nor hot. Tomorrow looks to be the same with a high of 73 degrees and a low of 59 degrees.

I spent most of the day helping Douglass with the computer lab at his school. Miraculously, the school district has bought all new computers for the computer lab at each school. So he now has 30 brand new Apples. GRRRRR...I am not an Apple fan (sorry for all you Appleheads!) So we spent the day getting as many as possible of the current computers in the lab back to their default settings, and then adding a few programs (Firefox, print drivers and Open Office). The old computers will be divided among the classrooms. It will be nice to have all new computers in the computer lab. :)

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RANT: Sunnycrest Chinese Buffet

Don't get me wrong, I do love this place. But tonight just wasn't a good night for them. Douglass and I went there for dinner after 8pm. I should know better than to eat at a buffet that late. But this place is usually very good. They usually are very good about keeping the food fresh and filled. I shouldn't say filled, they only keep small batches of everything out on the buffet table...but they are very quick about refilling the items. So everything is usually nice and fresh.

Tonight, we were shown to our table and they took our drink orders. While at the buffet, I noticed the fried rice was low. That was a bad sign since there were only 2 other customers in there. So I had white rice instead. The egg rolls didn't look all that fresh, but my General Tso's Chicken looked very good. And I also had some Egg Drop Soup. That is my usual Chinese food choices.

The white rice was not very good. The egg roll was old and nasty. The General Tso's Chicken was a bit old too. But the Egg Drop Soup was excellent!

And the real problem of the evening. A lady was teaching a few of the employees for their American Citizenship test.
So did we ever get drink refills? NO
Did they ever come over to clear our dirty dishes? NO
Did they ever bring us the bill without us having to just go the the register to pay? NO
And did we get our fortune cookies? NO

Once again, not the best evening. Douglass left a tip, I didn't leave anything. I think his tip was more than plenty for the both of us. And yes, I have spent many, many years working in the food/drink service business...I know how much tips mean to the server!

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Palin's Disney Movie: Head Of Skate

So a few weeks ago, Matt Damon made the comment:

"I think there's a really good chance that Sarah Palin could be President, and I think that's a really scary thing...cause I don't know anything about her. It's like a really bad Disney movie, 'The Hockey Mom.' Oh, I'm just a hockey mom from Alaska, and she's president. She's facing down Vladimir Putin and using the folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. It's absurd."

Well, here is the "trailer" for the Walt Disney movie about Sarah Palin. Thankfully, this is only a spoof, in case she really wins the election, then heaven help us!

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Jon Stewart on John McCain

Jon Stewart really hits this out of the ballpark about John McCain. He shows the stupidity and lies told by John McCain about the financial crisis this country is currently going through. And how sad that McCain has to use this financial crisis as a way to get votes. After all, with his 26 years of experience (and Obama's lack of experience)...oh wait, that's right, he is the one who has been in the Senate for the past 26 years....HOW COME ONLY NOW DOES HE NEED TO FIX THIS PROBLEM THAT HE SHOULD HAVE FIXED A LONG TIME AGO!!!!

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Friday Fill-Ins #91

And thanks Ms. Val!

1. _____Cooler weather, the leaves turning and Halloween_____ are some of the things I'm most looking forward to in October.

2. Sometimes I _____ want to hear somebody bark, oh, you can get lonely...just kidding and sorry for stealing some lyrics, but I do get very lonely sometimes_____.

3. _____Maybe I will find that perfect guy one day_____ and that's why there is a saying, "never say never"!

4. When I'm down, I _____I get really down, and I will start reading quite a bit_____.

5. _____Sadly, online_____ is where you'll find me most often.

6. A rainy day is good for _____going outside and playing in the rain, or staying inside with that perfect guy...damn I need to really find him now_____.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _____a quiet relaxing night_____, tomorrow my plans include _____helping Douglass, ditching a party and maybe going out for a little bit_____ and Sunday, I want to _____CLEAN THIS PLACE, and relax some_____!

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David Letterman on John McCain

John McCain was supposed to be on David Letterman's show tonight. McCain canceled so he could race back to Washington, D.C., in order to help solve this financial crisis. The only problem, a short time later, David showed a live feed from Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News, which John McCain was sitting there at the desk being intervied by Katie. This is freaking hilarious. Yes, Dave did beat this dead horse a bit too much, but I can understand. He got dissed by John McCain. Here is the clips all in 1 video.

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Flashback: Betty Boo, Doin' The Do

Yesterday, while typing up my piece about the Pet Shop Boys and their Very CD, I came across a interesting comment on one of the YouTube videos. It was for the song Yesterday, When I Was Mad and the comment was about the meaning behind the lyrics.   I don't have the comment in front of me, but the gist of the comment was that the song was written using negative feedback the PSB received from their first tour. And it went on to say that some of the negative feedback came from other recording artists, including (the only one they named) Betty Boo.

Betty Boo had 3 dance songs that I remember back in the late 80's early 90's. The first one I ever heard was Doin' The Do, the other 2 tracks were Hey DJ - I Can't Dance (To That Music You're Playing) and Where Are You Baby?. The first 2 tracks were a huge hit on the dance floor at the ol' gay club here. I bought the CD singles (which we called them "kuh-Dingles" as opposed to the cassette singles which we called "kuh-Singles") to the 3 singles and also bought her first CD Boomania. She had another CD after that called GRRR! It's Betty Boo which didn't do nearly as well.

I just looked her up on wikipedia.com and found out she is still in the music business and just had a single out in 2007.

Click Continue Reading to check out the lyrics to Yesterday, When I Was Mad, which are full of all kinds of negativity. Also 3 videos from Betty Boo.

Yesterday, When I Was Mad
Darling, you were wonderful, you really were quite good
I enjoyed it, though, of course, no one understood
A word of what was going on, they didn't have a clue
They couldn't understand your sense of humour like I do
You're much too kind
I smiled with murder on my mind
Yesterday, when I was mad
And quite prepared to give up everything
Admitting, I don't believe
In anyone's sincerity, and that's what's really got to me
You have a certain quality, which really is unique
Expressionless, such irony, although your voice is weak
It doesn't really matter 'cause the music is so loud
Of course it's all on tape, but no one will find out
You hated me too
But not as much as I hated you
Yesterday, when I was mad
And quite prepared to give up everything
Admitting, I don't believe
In anyone's sincerity, and that's what's really got to me
Then, when I was lonely
I thought again
And changed my mind

Then we posed for pictures with the competition winners
And argued about the hotel rooms, and where to go for dinner
And someone said: "It's fabulous you're still around today,
You've both made such a little go a very long way"
Yesterday, when I was mad
And quite prepared to give up everything
Admitting, I don't believe
In anyone's sincerity, and that's what's really got to me

Yesterday, when I was mad
And quite prepared to give up everything
Admitting, I don't believe
In anyone's sincerity, and that's what's really got to me

Then, when I was lonely
I thought again
And changed my mind

Doin' The Do

Hey DJ - I Can't Dance (To That Music You're Playing)

Where Are You Baby?

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15 Years of Being VERY

Thanks to Chart Rigger for pointing out it has been 15 years since one of the greatest CD's ever came out. OK, I might be a bit biased, I do happen to love pretty much everything Pet Shop Boys. I remember the first time I heard/saw the video to West End Girls. I am sure I was still in diapers, after all that came out in 1984. Sue me, I was in high school at least. But what surprises me, I had very little clue at the time that I was gay, but I immediately fell in love with PSB.

Click Continue Reading to read more about my PSB love affair with Very

It wasn't until much later, after I finally came out of that dreaded closet, that I learned that the lead singer, Neil Tennant, is gay. There have been lots of rumors about the other band member, Chris Lowe, but he has kept his sexuality private.

So fast forward to 1991. 4 days before my 23rd birthday in 1991, my mother finally passed away from cancer after battling with it for almost 4 years. Shortly before she passed, I was coming to terms with my own sexuality, but it wouldn't be until after her death that I would finally break down the closet doors. That December, I met my first "real" boyfriend. I only say "real" because I had dated a few guys before that, but nothing that lasted more than a few months and definitely nothing serious. So 1991, was a very huge year for me in learning and discovering who I was. And finally starting to realize the potential future that laid before me.

I will admit after West End Girls, I kinda lost track of PSB. There wasn't much airplay for them in my conservative neck-of-the-woods. So in 1991, Discography came out. The CD mainly consisted of singles from their previous CD's, but it also included a few new ones. This is when I became a crazy fanatic of Pet Shop Boys. I was now going to the gay bar in Champaign (an hour from where I was living at the time) just to dance every weekend. There were a few of the singles from Discography that were played. My favorite at the time (and the video was played pretty much every night) was Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You). But after listening to that CD repeatedly over and over and over everyday, I soon found other songs that I loved even more than WTSHNO(ICTMEOF). This made me go out and buy all of those previous PSB CD's that I had missed.

Now fast forward to 1993. I had been living with my first "real" boyfriend, yep we were still together, for over a year now. I was still dealing with my discovery and realization that I was gay. But I was also learning what it was like to be with somebody else. I never once dated anybody in junior high, high school or college. I went on a few dates with a guy when I first started college, but I was still too much in the closet to deal with that. And shortly before I met Mark, I had dated Kevin for about 6 or 7 weeks. But that was my first trial dating scene, and I had a lot to learn about dating. So here I am in '93 living with Mark.

So in 1993, PSB released a new single Can You Forgive Her?. Not only was the song very catchy but it was a great dance single. The remixes were played constantly at the local gay dance club. And the video was spectacular. This single and video showed a new phase of PSB, a new phase that showed them going into a totally new and wonderful musical area for them. The second single was their version of the Village People song Go West and was a HUGE success. The video once again was wonderfully done and was clearly like nothing else out at that time. Then came the release of the new CD. I went out and bought since I was so in love with Can You Forgive Her? and Go West. The CD was kickass! The case was a very unique orange plastic case with raised bumps that reminded me of legos! The case defintely stood out from any other CDs. But when I started listening to the CD, I was totally blown away by the music. The second track I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing really hit home with me. Here I was living a life that was very new and foreign to me. I no longer had my mother to talk to. I was discovering my new gay life. And I was living with somebody who I had met a little over a year before that and I was in love with. And here this song was talking about how I was feeling at the time.

Ask me why, I say it's most unusual
How can I even try to explain
Why today I feel like dancing
Singing like lovers sing
When I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing,
I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing!

Ask me when, I say it started when I met you.
And ever since then I knew that the past couldn't last
For right now, I think I'm running a race that I know I'm gonna win
And I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing,
I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing

And the third track, Liberation was just as powerful to me at the time.
Your love is liberation
To free in me the trust, I never dared
I always thought the risk too great
But suddenly, I don't hesitate, so
Take my hand,
Don't think of complications
Now, right now,
Your love is liberation

Can You Forgive Her?
Go West
I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing
Yesterday When I Was Mad

I could go on and on about the other songs.  Yesterday When I Was Mad.  Go West.  A Different Point Of View.  But pretty much every song on Very really is awesome.  Now, I need to go revisit these songs.  They always take me back to that innocent time in my life when I was first discovering my first love and being gay.  You know, I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing!  Yeah right!  LOL

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What A Sad, Sad, Sad World

I found out today that the 2 other people that had worked at the grocery store with me since it had opened, they both quit/got fired today. That makes me happy that it wasn't just me. But also sad to see that store going downhill so fast! After all of the hard work and effort I put into that place....I hate to see what is happening. But at the same time, that isn't my concern anymore. But I do hate to see both of them quit/get fired.

The 3 of us always discussed that when the new manager was starting and the corporate office people were in our store all the time, that all 3 of us would lose our jobs before it was over. How sad that we were correct.

I haven't stepped foot in that store since I was fired, but they told me today that the store looks horrible. The new manager, who didn't know how to order because I always did the ordering, still doesn't know how to order. I guess they have been out of milk for a few days. HOW IN THE WORLD DOES A STORE NOT HAVE MILK??? Also the produce has been looking atrocious because he is not ordering that correctly. Um, when I was there, produce was the one thing he did take care of! How is it now he can't even take care of that? And wasn't that the LAME excuse for me getting fired? The produce looking bad. I guess they should all be fired then. The sad reality is, they don't want to actually have to pay anybody more than minimum wage, so they are "getting rid" of everybody. We were having the problem before that we couldn't pay more than minimum wage for the cashiers. Well, we ended up with cashiers that were pretty useless. There are too many jobs out there that pay better than minimum, so why would they want to work there? Sad, sad, sad!!!

Ok, I definitely don't want to get upset by thinking about this place. They are not worth my time for that. Just sad though how this place that was my life and I spent many of hours busting my ass to make it a great store, is now a complete disaster and eventually it will implode (not literally) on itself!

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Heroes Season 3

WOW! I knew some of the stuff that was going to happen tonight (thanks to the press release I saw the other day.) But I didn't get the whole 1 hour pre-show which kept showing clips from the past 2 seasons plus clips of this coming season mixed together. They should have just done a recap show if they wanted something to show for that extra hour. A little more about tonights show (including possible spoilers if you haven't already seen it) after the jump.

So click Continue Reading only if you don't care about possible spoilers.

Ok, the whole ending was kick ass. I didn't see that coming from anywhere.

But some things were SOOOOO predictable! Mohinder injecting himself? After his serum last season going bad and having to use Claire's blood to fix that, I think he would have been a bit more careful before just injecting himself like that. You knew something bad was going to come from it. And the whole Claire shooting Peter bit at the beginning...um, HELLO???? With his abilities do you really think you are going to shoot him like that? They could have spent more time with the new villians. And while I liked the whole future Peter trying to fix the future and messes it up, I didn't like how Angela kept telling future Peter to bring her son back. Um, he is your son. And I guess it is finally time we learned what Angela's abilities were....but they after all that time, we learn that she has a semi-lame ability. Hopefully we will learn later on that she has more abilities, much more cooler abilities!

Ok, I still have some more thinking to do about tonights episode. There was a lot to take in. But overall, I think they did a great job, setting up a new great season. And at least it didn't start as bad as season 2 did. THANK YOU!!!!

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The Impossible Dream

What is the impossible dream? And why is it impossible? As a kid, I always thought I would grow up, get married, have 2 kids and a house with a picket fence. Funny how something so simple it is actually the impossible dream.

Click Continue Reading to finish...

But that dream isn't that impossible. Or is it? Ok, I am gay. That does make the dream a bit more difficult, but definitely not impossible. Right now, gay and lesbian couples can marry in 2 states. Adoption can also be done. Now the dream doesn't seem as impossible. Well except for the one small fact, the fact that I have the proven record of screwing up the impossible.

I attained my impossible dream at one point, at least a very skewed version of it. So what happened when I attained that impossible dream? I blew it. I had a great relationship (no marriage) with a guy I really loved. We lived in a very nice house with a fenced in backyard (no picket fence, but hey, a fence is a fence). We had 2 kids, a parrot and a dog. And after we had moved in together, I soon realized that I had reached my ultimate goal in life. I had gotten to that place I always dreamed of as a kid. So what did I do??? I screwed it up.

So now I sit in the small apartment that I live in. I still have the 2 kids, the dog and parrot. But I am miserable being single. I have met a few guys, but I have no desire for anything other than a friendship with them. I still see the ex and we hang around. The sad thing is that we get along better now than before. But there is that small part in the back of my little mind that always gets me. It always reminds me of reaching that impossible dream and how he was a huge part of it. At times I hope there is a chance that him and I will be able to make that dream come true again. At this point in my life, I know there is nobody else I would rather take the chance with but him. That chance of my dream becoming reality. But the back of my little mind is always reminding me that I had that and I blew it. So for now, my dream that was once a reality is nothing more than a dream again, an impossible dream.

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Will the real John McCain please stand up!

Hilarious, but sadly very true!

Here is the opening skit from last night's SNL. It was written by SNL-alum Al Franken now from Minnesota, who is currently running for a senate seat. Update: The idea for the skit came from a conversation between Franken and SNL director Lorne Michaels. Franken did NOT write the skit.

via Scott Evill

Watch more about John McCain (and his alter-ego "John McCain") after the jump.

Nice Double Talk!
And yet even more double talk!

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Fun With Comments, But No Smiley Faces

Over the weekend I spent quite a bit of time getting smiley faces to show up on the blog. The problem wasn't so much finding some javascript code, but finding javascript code that worked! I can't believe how many websites out there are sharing java that just doesn't work. And they are all sharing the same exact java that doesn't work!

So after lots of tinkering with their non-functioning javascript code (and I am not a javascript person), I finally got it to work. Well sort of! I can get smiley faces to show up in the posts, which is not a big deal cause if I just had to have a smiley face in a post, I could always add a pic.

The problem is I wanted the smiley faces to show up in the comments section. So far no dice. The comment widget I use is not very customizable. I tried to uninstall the comment software (I still am not sold on it and would like to go back to the Blogger comments), but when I did uninstall, it totally messed up the blog. Widgets that had nothing to do with the comment software, just disappeared. All of the comments made since I installed the software also disappeared. UGH....and I have a headache tonight!

So it has been a long day and I am exhausted. The head cold I had all week has really taken it's toll on me. Hopefully in a few days I can pick the code apart and get the smiley faces to show up in the comments, but my brain isn't functioning enough tonight to do it.

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Adobe Flash / Video Fix

Here is the fix if you are having problems watching videos (especially YouTube videos) while using pretty much any browser except for Internet Explorer.  The problem is while watching the videos, there is no audio and the video freezes at the 2-second mark.  Sometimes it won't freeze, but there is still no audio.  Also, you can have this problem but sometimes the videos will play.  The problem is within Adobe Flash ver. 9.  The fix before this was to revert back to Adobe Flash ver. 8.  But Adobe has finally released Flash ver. 10 beta.  

I have had this problem for quite awhile and have been very upset. I have either stopped watching videos or I would have to open the website in IE. When Chrome came out, I was hoping this would help, but same problem different browser! And I had tried all kinds of fixes that I found on the internet.  I have tried the new version 10 beta, and so far, IT WORKS!  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

Here is the link for Adobe Labs about Flash Version 10.

And here is the link to the download page at the Adobe Labs website.

via Joe.My.God
Thanks Joe!

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Friday Meme

I am going to try and do a meme every Friday. So to begin this new RD tradition, I am going to start off with 2 memes this week.  

This one is easy!

Just bold the items you have done.
If you haven't done the item, just leave it alone.
And as always, I'm not a tagger, but you're more than welcomed to play.

1. Bought everyone in the pub/bar a drink
2. Climbed a mountain
3. Held a tarantula
4. Taken a morning shower with your man
5. Been in love
6. Broken someone’s heart
7. Had your heart broken
8. Done a striptease
9. Bungee jumped
10. Watched a lightning storm at sea
11. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sun rise
12. Seen the Northern Lights
13. Gone to a huge sports game
14. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
15. Slept under the stars
16. Changed a baby’s diaper
17. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
18. Watched a meteor shower
19. Gotten drunk on champagne
20. Given money to charity
21. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
22. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
23. Had a food fight **
24. Bet on a winning horse
25. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
26. Had a snowball fight
27. Photocopied your butt or any other intimate body part
28. Held a lamb
29. Gone skinny dipping
30. Taken an ice cold shower
31. Seen a total eclipse
32. Ridden a roller coaster
33. Hit a home run
34. Been arrested
35. Visited all 50 states
36. Taken care of someone who was drunk
37. Stolen a street/highway sign  (I actually helped, I didn't do it by myself) **
38. Backpacked in Europe 
39. Taken a road-trip
40. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Milked a cow
43. Alphabetized your records
44. Sung karaoke
45. Lounged around in bed all day
46. Gone scuba diving
47. Danced in the rain
48. Gone to a drive-in theater
49. Started a business
50. Gotten married
51. Been in a movie
52. Crashed a party
53. Gotten divorced
54. Had sex in an unusual place
55. Made cookies from scratch
56. Gotten a tattoo  (even though I want to do this very much!)
57. Been on television
58. Had sex in a public place 
59. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything **
60. Recorded music
61. Had too much to drink at a party **
62. Bought a house
63. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
64. Been on a cruise ship
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Bounced a check
67. Called or written your Congress person
68. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
69. Sang loudly by yourself in the car
70. Wrote articles for a large publication
71. Piloted an airplane
72. Helped an animal give birth
73. Been fired or laid off from a job (and the wounds aren't healed yet)
74. Won money on a T.V. game show
75. Broken a bone
76. Ridden a motorcycle
77. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced (and I am not telling where)
78. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
79. Ridden a horse
80. Had major surgery
81. Had sex on a moving train
82. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
83. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
84. Visited all 7 continents
85. Eaten sushi
86. Had your picture in the newspaper
87. Parasailed
88. Changed your name (well kinda, Craig isn't my first name, it's my middle name, but I ALWAYS go by Craig)
89. Dyed your hair

90. Been a DJ

Dang 49 out of 90.  When I first started this I thought I wouldn't have done very many of these.  I am not sure if that is good or not, having done over half of these.  Maybe my life isn't as dull as I think it is.  But then again, maybe it is!

** Thanks to my college years, and quite a bit of drunken nights with my coworkers!

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Friday Fill-Ins #90

I have been looking at quite a few weekly meme's to fill out, but haven't decided on one yet. So for this week, here is the one Ms. Val posted. Ms. Val and I "borrow" from each other's blogs all the time.

1. There is no need ___for ignorance___.

2. Where in the heck did the ___keys, wallet, dog, money, phone, my life, oh heck, where did everything go___?

3. ___Today, nursing this damn head cold___ is all I managed to do.

4. Prospects for __a job are looking up :) ___.

5. ___Enjoy life___ is the message. Unfortunately, too many people either totally miss this message or don't understand the message to begin with!

6. Simplicity and tranquility are ___what in gay hell are those, there are no such things LOL___.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to ___meeting my friends out for a few drinks___. Tomorrow my plans include ___cleaning this place (including the bird cage!)___. And Sunday, I want to ___enjoy a nice and peaceful day (by working on my website)___!

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Olivia Newton-John thinks you look like a...

I will admit it, I LOVE Olivia Newton-John. I loved her in Grease. I loved her in Xanadu. Sue me! :)

I don't get Logo, but I found this on YouTube. This is from the show Sordid Lives on Logo. I TOTALLY LOVE IT!!! And Ms. Olivia wrote this song herself (with Amy Sky). Enjoy. You look like a dick to me!

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Liar Liar, Beauty Sash on Fire

Here is a great ad about how "Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere". Yeah, this is what I really want to be running our government for the next 4 years. Because the last 8 years just wasn't close enough to hell!

Ok, this one has nothing to do with Sarah Palin, it is all about John McCain and Bush.  But it is very eye-opening. 

After the jump, watch another ad about John McCain.

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the Rock

I found this the other day while cleaning off my hard drive. I am about 99.9% sure that I wrote this piece. One thing I will tell you about my writings, they are very emotionally revealing about me. I don't write stories or poems very often, but I am definitely in a mood when I do write. I know exactly what this piece is about and the mood/emotions I was in the time that it was created. Sadly, emotionally I am not that far away from when this was written. I will have to look for my notebook that I used to write in all the time right after my mother passed away. There were a few good pieces in there. There were also some real strange thoughts/ramblings/nightmares in that notebook too. If I find the notebook, I will add a few of the better ones in here.

the Rock
as the rain came down, the rock stood tall and proud
with every raindrop, the rock held it's ground
each individual raindrop that fell had hit the rock in a different way
each raindrop was it's own destructive experience

over time the rain had washed away
all the plants,
all the bugs,
all the animals,
and all the sand,
but the rock was still standing

in the end, the rock was still there,
worn down a bit by the rain,
and even though everything else was gone without a goodbye,
all the plants and bugs and animals and sand were washed away without a trace,
the lonely rock still stood all alone

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Live from New York, It's Sarah Palin

I am not sure how long this will stay up at YouTube. But here is the clip from SNL of Tina Fey (as Sarah Palin) and Amy Poehler (as Hillary Clinton). All I can say, Tina Fey was right on the mark in her Sarah Palin performance. I am so glad she came back to do this and I hope there are plenty more skits of her as Sarah Palin in SNL's future....well until the election at least. Because after McCain/Palin lose the election, I am hoping we never have to hear about Palin again.

Update #4 - Found a new copy, this time on NBC.com.
This one hopefully should stay up!

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I am a computer geek

The computer geek part is probably obvious by how often I keep adding stuff to this blog. A lot of the stuff ends up on this blog for 1 day and then disappears. Some of the stuff (which I really like) stays. Yesterday I spent a bit of time adding a Lightbox to the blog. For those of you who have never heard of lightbox, it basically deals with the pictures. If you click on one of the pictures in this blog, usually they open in a new window (or tab). With lightbox, the picture actually opens in the same window as the blog. Lightbox puts a shadow on the blog and then opens the picture. If there are more than 1 picture in the post (or other similar posts since I set it up that way), you will be able to click through all of the pictures. I first found this when I was setting up my shopping cart program on my website. This was the first addon for my shopping cart that really blew me away. Since then, I have run into a few other websites using lightbox and I still love how this works.

Click Continue Reading to read more about Lightbox

When I set this up for my shopping cart program, it was very straight forward. The files were all the same, so basically it was just putting the new files in and VOILA! For the blog, it was a bit more difficult. First off, the website I found the instructions was for if you were hosting your blog on your own website. Well, that didn't work very well because I have my blog at blogger.

Since I have my own website, I did have a place to host the files necessary for Lightbox to work. I uploaded the files on my website. I edited the commands so Lightbox could find the files correctly on my site. I also had to add some extra lines of code to my blog template. Even though the instructions were very vague about where to put the code, no problem, I figured that out easy. Then I had to add some more code to the header (the very top/the logo at top) of the blog. Well blogger doesn't let you add anything to the header, so I ended up adding a HTML box right below the header. Still pretty easy...ok next. Oh wait, now here is the hard part. Not really all that hard, just very tedious. I have to edit the code for every picture on my blog! YIKES! So I edited the code.

Luckily I only edited the code for the first few pictures, because when I tried it out....NO GO! The pictures were opening in a new window. I tinkered with the code for a bit before I decided to take a different route. I went back and looked at the website of the guy who had written the instructions. I found his code in his website and I copied it. Pretty funny how the code was a bit different than the instructions he had given. So after I changed my code to match his...IT WORKED (sort of!) The only thing that wasn't working was the Previous, Next and Close wasn't showing up. No problem, that is easy to fix...but the hard part is figuring out why my code wasn't working, but his was.

I tinkered some more and nothing. So I started over using his code again. And I would change the code line-by-line until I finally got to the last line. Everything was still working at that point, but when I changed that last line, NADA!

Ok, so the last line was calling for a Javascript file. I looked at my file, it seemed ok. I didn't see any errors right away. Then I got the brilliant idea of stealing his code from that Javascript file on his website. Low and behold, the code was different than what I had. After changing that, IT WORKS! I had to make a few cosmetic changes (like the red, I don't like using the same black that everybody else uses!) I then spent a few hours going most of the pictures to get them working with Lightbox. I still need to go back and fix the pictures from the beginning of the blog.

Go ahead and test it out. Check out this link about my Post86 Fiesta collection. There are quite a few pictures in there. Just click on any of them and then you can use the Previous and Next buttons to scroll through the pics.

Ok, my geekiness is very happy with myself. Now I need to get back to some work.

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My Post86 Collection

Post86 Fiesta Chartreuse Sign

After the jump are some pictures from around 2002 to 2004. This is part of my Post86 Fiesta collection. I took these pictures I believe right after Mikey and I moved into this small but awesome duplex here in town. This place had all of the original woodwork and wood floors. And the best part was the basement. It was one HUGE livable room that was the size of the entire upstairs. We moved into the place in the Fall of 2002 and I moved out during the Summer of 2004 shortly after Mikey passed away. I do miss that place.

See the pictures from my collection back then, just click Continue reading...
I found these pictures the other day while cleaning up my computer hard drives. These are pictures of the Post86 that I had on display. Not shown are the Post86 dishes (and we are talking about a LOT of dishes) that I use for my everyday dishes.

Here is a picture of the bookcase that I used to use to display some of my Fiesta in the living room. The kitchen was pretty small, so in the living room I had this bookcase, a display cabinet and some shelves up on the walls for displaying. This bookcase was full of mainly Post86 Fiesta.
Bookcase full of my Post86 Fiesta Collection

Here are closeups of the shelves.
Bookcase full of my Post86 Fiesta Collection

Bookcase full of my Post86 Fiesta Collection

These disk pitchers were up on some shelves in the kitchen. The picture didn't turn out very well because there were some intense halogen lights right above the shelves shining right down on the pitchers.

Kitchen Shelf of Disk Pitchers

Soon I will post pictures of my Vintage Fiesta collection if I can find them.

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My Fiesta Collection: Chartreuse

My Post86 Fiesta Chartreuse Collection
The other day I posted about how I began my Fiesta Obsession Collection. Decolady, Becky, asked about my Chartreuse. For those of you who don't collect Fiesta, Chartreuse was originally one of the 1950's colors of Vintage Fiesta. In 1986 they released a new version of Fiesta (HLC had discontinued Fiesta production in 1972) that they called Post86. There are quite a few vintage colors that they revived for Post86. While the repeated-color names might be the same (Cobalt, Turquoise, Chartreuse, Rose and Yellow) the colors are definitely not even close to the originals. Some of the Post86 repeated-colors fall short of their Vintage color companions. Cobalt comes to mind, the Vintage Cobalt was bright and very cheerful, while Post86 Cobalt is dark and inky looking. Often Post86 Cobalt looks almost black. But some of the Post86 repeated-colors are better (IMHO at least) than their Vintage counterparts. Chartreuse is one of those colors. While I do love Vintage Chartreuse, I think Post86 Chartreuse is one of the best colors that HLC has ever produced! The color is bright and super cheerful! It mixes great with other colors and looks very sharp when done in an all-Chartreuse setting. The only problem with Post86 Chartreuse....it was a limited run color. Meaning that it was produced for only 2 years! :(

Click Continue reading for the rest of my Chartreuse story

So in 1999, the last year that Chartreuse was being produced, I was busy starting my Fiesta collection. One of the local stores that sold Fiesta, K's Merchandise, had price-reduced all of the Chartreuse since it was being discontinued. I had immediately fallen in love with the color, so I bought up every piece I could. Yeah, I am greedy like that sometimes!

I ended up with a very lopsided Fiesta set, in that over 1/2 of my collection was Chartreuse. And I had so many repeated items it was silly. I mean, how many Chartreuse gravy boats, butter dishes, casserole dishes, etc., does 1 person need? I still have all of those pieces in the picture above except for the casserole dish. I have 1 Turquoise Casserole dish, but I've only used it a few times. And with the new baking dishes, who needs the casserole?

Tomorrow I will try and post some more pictures of my collection. My digital camera is very temperamental right now...so I will post some pictures from a few years ago. Not much has changed in my collection in the last few years, so those pictures will give you a very good idea of what I have. And yes, all of you Fiesta (or other HLC dish) Collectors out there, I am wanting to see pictures of your collections on your blogs. Wow, I am bossy..and I like it! LOL

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The birth of my Fiesta Obsession!

As promised, I am going to write a little about the original subject of this blog (of course this subject is rarely brought up, let alone the subject of an entire post!)

My first introduction to Fiesta began when I was a small toddler growing up. My dad's parents used Fiesta for their everyday dishes. I do remember cobalt, yellow, ivory, red, turquoise, and green (original green or light green). I don't think there were any 50's colors, but I can picture medium green on the table. Whether or not medium green was actually there, that will never be known. I don't remember a lot of the serving pieces, just the basic place settings. But the one piece that she used all the time (even for Thanksgiving dinner when we used the good china) was her Turquoise Disk Pitcher. That pitcher was always full of Sweet Tea.

Click on Continue reading to see the rest of the story.

That turquoise pitcher will always been the ONE piece of Fiesta that is in all of my memories of my grandparents. And the disk pitcher will always be the ONE stand out piece of Fiesta that sums up the whole meaning of Fiesta for me.

I was never close to my dad's family. Even though we lived 30 miles from my grandparents, we only saw them twice a year. Those 2 times were Thanksgiving and Christmas. Heck, my dad's sister (the one we did talk with) lived 8 miles away. The only time we talked to her was at funerals or my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. I do remember a few summers that I spent a week at my grandparents house. So my introduction to Fiesta was just those few summer weeks and Christmas breakfasts (remember Thanksgiving was the fine china!)

Fast forward a few years (plus a decade). The year is 1999. My dad had died earlier in the year. I used some of the money had had left me and went on a vacation. I was in Saugatuck, MI at a little antique/junk store. Some friends of mine had wanted to stop there, so I agreed since it was raining out and there was nothing else to do. I am walking around and I came upon a stack of Fiesta plates. One of my friends uses Fiesta for his dishes and he pointed out that these were newer plates. I think the price was $6 a plate. Not knowing what I was getting into, I picked out 8 plates. I had just moved into a new place and thought new dishes were in order.

The colors were Apricot, Rose, Turquoise and Cobalt. Of course, at the time I had no idea what their names were. But I liked the plates. After looking at them, my friend told me they were "seconds". I had no idea what he was talking about, but I bought them anyways. I think I did get them to come down on the price a bit.

When I got home, I washed them and then I finally realized, these plates were not what I was wanting. First off, I am not a fan of Apricot or Rose. I did like the Cobalt and Turquoise though. I also only had the plates, nothing else to go with them. And lastly, they were TOO BIG! They are all 11 3/4" chop plates. Definitely not the best for actually using to eat off.

The next week, after letting my friend know that I wasn't happy with the plates, he told me I could buy the dishes brand new from a local store. He took me there one afternoon and I was in LOVE! This was 1999. The main color they had was CHARTREUSE! I was so in love with that color from the beginning. And the best part, Chartreuse was on clearance! I immediately bought 8 place settings of different colors (Cobalt, Juniper, Chartreuse, SeaMist, Turquoise, Periwinkle, Persimmon and Yellow). And I went back the next day and bought 2 more place settings of chartreuse. I also bought some serving pieces in various colors to match the place settings. And I went back a couple of days later so I could buy some more Chartreuse! Over the next month, I ended up buying all of the Chartreuse they had. They kept marking it down, and I kept buying. This was the beginning of my disease passion called Fiesta!

Shortly after that, I found ebay. And even worse, I found Vintage Fiesta on ebay! So armed with the money my dad had left me, I quickly grew a small collection of both Vintage and Post86 Fiesta. Needless to say, those first 6 months of ebay, the post office carrier began to hate me!

Coming soon: Pictures of my collections!

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2 Years Later = 100

Happy 100th Post!


Wow, I have had too much time on my hands lately. But not only is today post number 100, it is also the 2nd anniversary of this blog. It sure hasn't been a full 2 years though. The original post was on Sept. 10, 2006. I had a few more posts, but they were mainly YouTube videos and useless crap. All of those YouTube videos had been pulled off of YouTube, so I ended up with a lot of posts of nothing. It wasn't until October, 10, 2007 (over a year after the original post) that I went through and cleaned up this blog. I deleted all of the posts except for the original. And I began to post again. It was very slow at first. A few posts that October. A few more in November. But I posted every month since then (except for March 2008...I think I was held hostage that month by Kirstie Alley and group of midget drag queens).

I totally redid the layout of this blog in June 2008. I have also been continually tinkering with the layout and widgets. For the most part I really like what I did, but I could live without the comment section. So within the next few months, I am going to start reworking the layout. I want to go back to the original layout and then add some of the widgets I did like. It seems that everytime I want to redo this blog, it is because it has gotten "over crowded". Right now I think there is way too much stuff in the side bar to the right. I would like to clean up some of that. But at the same time, I need to work on the content of this blog. While I enjoy writing about my life, I realize that my life is B-O-R-I-N-G! I haven't decided on the direction I want to take this blog. I might not change this blog and instead start a new one that I can do in a different style. Gay politics and gossip aren't my style, even though I enjoy reading them. Plus, there are plenty of fantastic blogs already on those topics. So I will have to give this some more thought.  And I have yet to actually write about the original topic of this blog....FIESTA!!!  So I think my next post will be about what got me started with Fiesta.   

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Being Lazy pt. 19,381,437 (Actually pt. 3)

Today I have been super lazy...not so much because I am lazy, but because my back has been hurting something fierce today. Every since I have had the treatments (shots) for my back, I haven't had much problems, UNTIL TODAY! :(

So this is how my productive day went:
Laid in bed most of the day
Took the dog out a few times
Ate lunch
Laid in bed some more
Did some internet quizzes to post in my blog

WHEW! I was busy. NOT!!!
But click on Continue to look at the quizzes I did today.

The results of this first one spooked me...they were right on (well except for the picture of the woman, I am 100% all male!) I am definitely a child of the 80's, and 1986 is the pinnacle of that era for me. 1986 is the year I graduated from high school!

You Belong in 1986

Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

Back when Jeff was still alive, we used to both be super picky about spelling errors. It is just one of those things that send up big red flags when I see them. When I see other people's spelling mistakes, I usually don't say anything (I have learned that most people don't want to hear about them!) But when I make an error, it bothers me to no end!!! So I think I did pretty good on this quiz...but I did go back and I didn't see my mistake...and now that it bugging me!!!

Your Common Spelling Mistake Score: 95% Correct

Your spelling is excellent.

You don't fall for common spelling pitfalls, and you spell almost everything correctly.

And lastly, here is my fortune cookie for today. How true, how true!

Your Fortune Is

Exotic dancer get applause, call girl just get clap.

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My Father

I was never very close to my father while I was growing up. He was an electronic genius. The garage was converted into his electronic wonderland workshop, and every night after dinner, he would disappear into his workshop. He built computers, televisions and all kinds of gizmos. He was also a Ham Radio operator and would talk for hours to people around the globe. Everybody in town knew our house, we had the 2 antennas that were 50 feet high. When I started high school, he turned his attention to satellite dishes. This is when the dishes ran anywhere from 4 1/2 feet up to 12 feet in diameter. He started selling and installing the dishes as a side business. I think he only sold maybe 5 dishes, but our yard always had at least 1 or 2 of them on display. I can safely say to a smaller extent, I get my geekiness from my dad.

My first memories of my dad deal with him working for the electric company. I remember for my 4th or 5th birthday, he had the bucket truck at the house and he took me and my sister up in the bucket. I don't know when, but at some point he was in a bad accident at work. We never really talked about what happened, but he was either crushed between a pole and a truck, he was badly burnt by an electric line or both. I just know that the rest of his life he had many nervous system problems because of that accident.

Another early memory I have of him was being woken up in the middle of the night by my mother. My dad had come home drunk again and they had been fighting. She got my sister and I into the car and took off. I remember her going to the lone pay telephone booth in town (remember the town only had 800 people). I know we ended up back home soon after that, but it seems like that might have happened a few times when I was younger. His alcohol problem only got worse though. I can remember 3 times that he was admitted to the local rehab center. When he would come home, he would remain sober for a short time but eventually he would start drinking again. Then after the third attempt, he was able to remain sober for quite a few years after that. I don't remember him drinking again until I was in high school. And even then, his drinking was very moderate, I never saw him get intoxicated again.

But his other major problem besides alcohol was depression. Depression runs in his family. His father and oldest sister both suffered. And after his accident at work, which damaged his nervous system, it became a serious problem for him later in life. He would see a shrink off and on every since I remember. He was always on some sort of medication for his problems. Towards the end of his life, he made the comment to me that he was running out of medications he could take. He had been on all of them and they no longer were working for him. Whenever one medication would stop working and he would being a new medication, it was a hell of a roller coaster ride. And that ride wouldn't end until they could figure out the correct dosage. I remember 3 times that he was admitted to the hospital for overdoses of his medication. Each time, he would be in the hospital for at least 30 days. I don't believe the overdoses were accidental.

Surprisingly, during my mom's sickness and after her death, he remained strong. She had been sick for almost 4 years, so her death wasn't a shock. But it was an emotional period that completely wiped all of our energy away. For the first time in my life, my dad stepped up and was there for my sister and me. I am not saying he hadn't been supportive before, but my mom was always the one that was there for us. With her gone, he stepped in and took over. Granted I was 22 when she died, but it was reassuring to see him in this new role.

He remarried within a year after my mom dying. His new wife had actually worked in the same office as my mom. They got along great, and they both were a perfect fit for each other. Their marriage only lasted about 5 years. Towards the end of their marriage, there were some accusations made by other members of the family that caused the demise of the marriage. It was a very long and drawn out process that put did a lot of damage to the family. Most likely, the cause of these accusations were because somebody was jealous that they weren't getting the attention they needed anymore. This did a lot of damage to the relationship that my father, my sister and I had with each other.

For Christmas 1998, my dad invited me to stop by his house for a visit. Even though he only lived 30 miles away, I hadn't seen him in a few months and I knew he was pretty lonely. So Mark (my ex) and I drove down there for a short visit. I remembered that he had bought me an electric wok one year. He had told me how much he loved to cook in it. I knew that his ex-wife got most of the stuff in the house, so I was pretty sure he didn't have one. I also bought him the usual big jar of cashews. He was very gracious for the gifts. Even though later on he told me that he couldn't use them because he was in the process of getting his teeth pulled so he could get dentures. I felt so bad for not knowing that. I would have gotten better gifts had I known. That was the last time I saw my dad.

He called me a few times over the next few months. Just to chat, there was never anything important to discuss. He called me in March, 1999. He was wanting to know if he could stop by and see me sometime. I told him that was fine, even though I was very busy with work. He told me that he would call me soon and we could plan on a visit. He never called back.

April 1st, 1999. I found out the night before that somebody had stolen my debit card number. I spent most of the day at the bank and on the phone trying to get it straightened out. By 4 pm, I was on my way to work after getting that whole mess taken care of. My sister pulled up behind me as I got to work. She was crying. My father had killed himself. After I don't know how many attempts, he finally succeeded in taking his life. My uncle is the one who had found him. I will always be glad that I am not the one who found that.

The funeral was small. We buried him next to my mother. I don't remember a lot of that day. My friends Aaron and John went with me. Mark (my ex) also went. It seems like the day might have been rainy or misty at least. I hadn't been back to my hometown much in the past few years. So we hired the minister from our old church (even though my father wasn't a member). The minister was new there and didn't know us at all. He was very nice about it and gave a great speech. The most I remember is driving to Mattoon to eat at Cracker Barrel after the service.

Next year will be the 10th anniversary of his death. I have visited the graves only 2 or 3 times since his funeral. My grandparents (my mom's parents) go all the time, that is important to them. To me, I know their bodies are buried there, but that isn't where they are. They are in my mind and in my heart. I don't need to go look at a piece of granite with their names.

Today would have been my dad's 63rd birthday. I haven't talked to anybody on my dad's side since my grandfather passed away (a few years after my dad did). My dad's family was never very close. I just hope my dad found the peace he deserves.

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Will the real Sarah Palin please stand up!

There has been lots of talk going around about who Sarah Palin looks like. Tina Fey, Karen Walker (Will & Grace), Peg (from King of the Hill), Sandra Bullock, Mariska Hargitay and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

But this picture of Sarah Palin from her beauty pageant reminds me of Joyce DeWitt from Three's Company.

And lastly, how about Julie Brown? Julie Brown got her fame in the 80's with songs like Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun, I Like Em Big And Stupid, and Cause I'm A Blond) and her movies Earth Girls Are Easy and Medusa: Dare to be Truthful a spoof of Madonna's Truth or Dare. I just love the names "Trick and Track and Button and Willow and Totebag and Hamster."

So who do you vote for?

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The Real RNC

Once again, here is my lame attempt to avoid politics. LOL

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Veep Palin (Heaven Help Us)

I try to avoid politics.  I am not a gay activist.   But lately, I am so tired of the bs that comes from the Republican Party.  This is a video showing the hypocrisy of the GOP.   

Watch a few spoof videos of "Sarah Palin".

I found these on YouTube. Yes, they aren't really Palin, but they are hilarious.

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For those of you who have been living under a rock the past few months (just kidding), here is the trailer for the new movie, Milk. It is based upon Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office. The movie stars Sean Penn (as Milk), James Franco, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, and is directed by Gus Van Sant.

Here are some links about the movie:
The writer of the screenplay,
Dustin Lance Black.
One of the many
interviews in which James Franco talks about kissing Sean Penn.
And here is a
video of James Franco discussing being with Sean Penn.

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3 New Songs That I LOVE <3

Here is a new video from Will Young.  For those of you who don't know about Will Young....he is openly gay and got his start when he won Pop Idol - the British show that was spun off here as American Idol.   His new song Changeswhich is from his his fourth album Let It Go.

via towleroad

Here is Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand) by Sonny J from his new album Disastro. I LOVE the beats and the Tammy Wynette voice!
via ...mark:mywords...

And yet another song I found thanks to ...mark:mywords..., this is The World Should Revolve Around Me by Little Jackie from their album The Stoop.  This song is also the opening to VH1's "New York Goes to Hollywood".  The singer is Imani Coppola, who you might remember from 10 years ago with the song Legends of a Cowgirl.   I loved her then and I still love her...her voice is still awesome.  
via ...mark:mywords...

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