Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goodbye, Towleroad

I sent a link twice to Towleroad (about the anti-gay billboard here in Lexington that was taken down and possibly put back up in a bar) and they've yet to post anything about it.

I've sent a handful of links to Towleroad as news tips overtime, but I guess they can't be bothered, so I'm not going to their website anymore nor posting any more of their links here.

I get the hint. I guess I'm not "gay" enough for Towleroad to pay any attention to.

Wooty Woo!

I would've posted the video of the news report but apparently no one at lex18.com knows how to make an embed code that isn't thousand of pages long. So if you wanna watch, just click over.

Via Lex18News:

A controversial Lexington billboard condemning abortion and homosexuality went missing Wednesday and turned up inside a Lexington bar.

The Bluegrass Church of Christ in Georgetown put up the billboard along New Circle Road, near the Leestown Road exit. It read, "Homosexuality is an Abomination" and "Abortion is Murder" with scripture references.

On Wednesday, the billboard disappeared, replaced with graffiti - three cartoonish characters wearing cowboy hats. The creatures have what look like bar codes stamped on their torsos.

The billboard appreared to turn up at Trust Lounge in Downtown Lexington Wednesday night. It hung on the wall and had nine similar figures painted on it, but made up to look like devils, including horns and pitchforks. Workers at the bar said an anonymous person dropped off the sign. One of the owners of Trust Lounge contacted LEX 18 Thursday morning saying the billboard on display at the bar was a replica created for an art display.

Police say they don't know who might have removed the billboard.

The graffiti figures resemble those popularized by an organization known as Dronex Inc. The organization's website offers as vague description of its origins.

"Founded in 2004, Dronex Inc. is a collective of creative dissidents working to challenge our visual landscapes to empower the people who occupy them.. What started as water and dust seven years ago has grown into army of subtle influence that dots the landscape, growing ever greater in number with each passing day."

The Dronex Inc. Facebook page featured a post put up around 1 p.m. Wednesday advertising an event at Trust Lounge.

Thursday Beau

Via Greek Brazilian Boy

Eyes are the window to the soul.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scissor Sister's Baby Come Home

Thank you, Chart Rigger

I Need a Cuddle

After my last post in which I first depressed myself and then terrified myself, I decided that I (and you) probably needed 8+ minutes of a baby monkey being fed bits of grape and pineapple.

Also for the record, that regardless of what my grandparents used to say to me as a child, no, this is not home video footage of my mother feeding me.

Sad and Scary

Via The Independent

Thirty-three years to the day after 6-year-old Etan Patz vanished without a trace while walking to catch a school bus, a man accused of strangling him and dumping his body with the trash was arraigned on a murder charge in a locked hospital ward where he was being held as a suicide risk.

Pedro Hernandez was a teenage convenience store stock clerk at the time of the boy's disappearance in the landmark 1979 missing-child case. Hernandez's lawyer told the judge that his client is mentally ill and has a history of hallucinations.

Hernandez, now 51, appeared in court yesterday evening via video camera from a conference room at Bellevue Hospital, where he was admitted earlier in the day after making comments about wanting to kill himself.

The legal proceeding lasted only around 4 minutes. Hernandez did not speak or enter a plea, but his court-appointed lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, told the judge that his client was bipolar and schizophrenic and has a "history of hallucinations, both visual and auditory."

A judge ordered Hernandez held without bail and authorized a psychological examination to see if he is fit to stand trial.

Hernandez was expressionless during the hearing. He wore an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs. A police officer stood behind him.

Via USNews

Last weekend, news broke that a Miami man likely high on a drug known as bath salts was involved in a violent, cannibalistic attack on a homeless person. So naturally, one of the Web's leading sellers of the quasi-legal drug began offering a 15 percent discount on the drugs after the news broke.

AM-HI-CO, one of the largest distributors of "synthetic" chemical drugs, posted on its Twitter and Facebook pages Tuesday that it was offering a discount on all bath salts. On the company's official forum, an administrator posted that there was a "special coupon code" on all "Stimulating Bath Salts Powder Blends."

On Twitter and Facebook, just days after the gruesome Miami attack, the company posted: "All our Bath Salts Powder Blends fans check out our Promo page! We have prepared a little surprise for all of you! Have a great day!"

God Bless Amercia

Via Gizmodo: Mitt Romney's New App Misspells AMERICA, Twitter goes wild!

Be Bad of One's Own Free Will

Via BoingBoing:

The current volume of The New Yorker is the "Science Fiction issue." In it, a previously unpublished 1973 essay by Anthony Burgess about his novel, A Clockwork Orange.

In “The Clockwork Condition” (p. 69), an essay written in 1973 but never published, Anthony Burgess reflects on the “true meaning” of his most famous novel, A Clockwork Orange. In addition to commenting on the inspiration for the work, and its main character, Alex, Burgess offers an argument about the nature of good and evil and the necessity of free will, as seen through the prisms of Nazi Germany and the Resistance, Catholicism and Calvinism. “We probably have no duty to like Beethoven or hate Coca-Cola, but it is at least conceivable that we have a duty to distrust the state,” Burgess writes. Conformity is natural, and perhaps preferable for many people, he explains, but “when patterns of conformity are imposed by the state, then one has a right to be frightened.” Ultimately, he writes of A Clockwork Orange, “what I was trying to say was that it is better to be bad of one’s own free will than to be good through scientific brainwashing.”

The Clockwork Condition

Love This

Via AfterElton

Neil Gaiman 2012 Commencement Speech

Via GalleyCat

You Are Never Far From Me

Thank you, boy culture

The song is You Are Never Far From Me by John Garrison.

Happy Hump Day

Via Bad Dog, No Biscuit

Given that I started my Hump Day trapped in my work's staff elevator for about 5 minutes...ALONE...the rest of the day should be smooth sailing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Want...and NOW!

Via Chart Rigger

Saint Etienne's new album was released today in the US! *does seating and quite quiet happy dance at work

Tuesday Books

A hilarious guide to the lost art of artisanal pencil sharpening

Have you got the right kind of point on your pencil? Do you know how to achieve the perfect point for the kind of work you need out of that pencil?

Deep in New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees—the world’s number one #2 pencil sharpener—still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. In 2010, he began offering his artisanal service to the world, to the jubilation of artists, writers, draftsmen, and standardized test takers.

Now, in a book that is both a manifesto and a fully-illustrated walk-through of the many, many, many ways to sharpen a pencil, he reveals the secrets of his craft. How to Sharpen Pencils takes the novice pencil sharpener through a variety of sharpening techniques and includes chapters on equipment, current practice, and modern technologies. It also points at essential new trends in sharpening, including "Celebrity Impression Pencil Sharpening (CIPS)," a warning about the “Psychological Risks Associated with Pencil Sharpening”, and a survey of "Wines that tastes like pencils."

As Rees implores, "Sharpening pencils should be an activity that enriches the senses."

The exploits of the famous never cease to captivate our imaginations—rulers, artists, explorers, and all the great personalities of history. Yet many quieter lives also have the ability to impress, to teach us something about the remarkable qualities of human nature.

In this book, Robert Aldrich presents a fascinating portrait of gay men and women throughout history that reveals the full diversity of gay lives as lived in their times. He gives a voice to more than seventy people from around the world and all walks of life, from poets, philosophers, and artists to radicals and activists. Along with celebrated names such as Michelangelo, Frederick the Great, and Harvey Milk are lesser-known but no less inspiring individuals: two men of ancient Egypt whose lives were closely linked over four thousand years ago; a Renaissance nun who blurred the boundaries between spiritual and physical love; and “Aimée” and “Jaguar,” whose love defied the death camps of wartime Germany.

Often colorful, occasionally tragic, but all in some way extraordinary, these life stories reflect—and have sometimes helped to shape—contemporary attitudes toward same-sex intimacy.

Argentine doctor and revolutionary Che Guevara married the Cuban Aleida March in 1959 as Castro's revolutionaries were solidifying their hold on Cuba's government. Their story, first published in Spanish in 2008, is told from March's perspective in an often remarkable look at the figure many 20th-century idealists consider history's greatest revolutionary. Married only eight years before Che's death in Bolivia in 1967, the couple had four children. March's narrative—romantic, courageous, and insightful—is powerful and noteworthy for the author's honesty and commitment to rebellion and revolution. March relates her daily life of danger and fear among the targets of the Batista regime, and her reflections on Castro and other revolutionary leaders make for first-rate history. She does not address Che's brutality and ruthlessness toward perceived traitors, but what does come across is a love story against the backdrop of revolution. Countless family pictures and samples of Che's personal writings highlight an exciting addition to the literature of Che, Castro, and the Cuban revolution.
First-time author Mikey Walsh provides an unsentimental and compelling look at the louche and brutal culture of Romany Gypsies in the U.K. Walsh’s education began at age four with training as a bare-knuckle boxer, a family tradition. “Training” meant a decade’s worth of his father beating him up. Walsh’s sensitivity left him open to further abuse, both sexual and otherwise. His sole escape was the company of other semiferal Gypsy children and in school; unfortunately, Gypsies frown on school, and he was put to work at age 12 in his father’s scams. Walsh’s realization of his homosexuality drove him to escape a world where he would always be a pariah. Walsh analyzes the grotesqueries of Gypsy life in painful detail—garish trailers, stifling family ties, crime and crudeness, and the constricted options for women who are considered old maids at 21. Yet despite his gruesome experiences, he also praises the fierce loyalty and cultural continuity that have allowed Gypsies to maintain their dignity in the face of hatred for centuries.
A community of more than 5000 young farmers and activists, the Greenhorns are committed to producing and advocating for food grown with vision and respect for the earth. This book, edited by three of the group's leading members, comprises 50 original essays by new farmers who write about their experiences in the field from a wide range of angles, both practical and inspirational. Funny, sad, serious, and light-hearted, these essays touch on everything from financing and machinery to family, community building, and social change.

Marriage today isn’t what it used to be: for better, not for worse. As same-sex weddings are becoming more common, the classic love-story happy ending is taking on a decidedly new twist, everyone has a fresh role to play, and supporters and opponents of gay marriage alike are finding themselves in the midst of a revolution that’s redefining marriage—both as a personal choice and as an institution—as we know it.

In Here Come the Brides!, editors Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort gather together the voices of women taking part in—and shaping—this major historical shift. Representing a diversity of points of view in terms of race, class, ethnicity, and gender identification, this collection of essays, stories, and visual images takes a multidimensional look at how opening up the traditional order of "man and wife” to include the possibility of "wife and wife” is altering our social landscape. From wedding pictures and images of protest signs to comical anecdotes and sober philosophical analyses, Here Come the Brides! is an exploration of how the legalization of same-sex marriages has irrevocably changed the way lesbians think about their unions and their lives—and a celebration of the dream of lesbian happily-ever-afters.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dreamy Beau

I couldn't leave you without a little something to tempt your palate.

Via Strokeaddict

Yesterday, Darlings...

...I left you with the just then leaked (shut up, Nicole!) new single by Kylie Minogue. Today, I leave you with the video!

Hugs, and have a fabulous weekend!

(In an alternate reality, Kylie and I would be BFFs.)

Cool: 8 Bit Whale...

...at the Vancouver Convention Center.

TGIF Beau: Puppy and His Puppy

Via moustache rides for everyone

Friday Beau

He's just so adorable. I imagine his aww shucks look says, "You want me to get naked with this scenic view behind me and have sex? Awwww shucks."

Via Yummy of the Day

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blessed Mother of Maud Adams!

There's a new Kylie Minogue single!

Thank you, Chart Rigger

Desire to Change

Hate Crime in Harlan


The Old Baxter Bridge, Harlan County

Thank you, Kyle

Via the HuffingtonPost: Federal Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Law Gets First Test In Kentucky

Sadly, Kentucky tends to fail a lot of tests. Keep your fingers crossed.

In the middle of an April night last year, a young gay man named Kevin Pennington crawled out of the woods in the remote hills of southeastern Kentucky, looking for help. Bruises and cuts covered his face and body and he limped down the road, dragging his ankle along the asphalt, until he reached a pair of empty cabins in a clearing -- a ranger's station -- and smashed out a window in one and climbed inside.

Pennington then called 911, setting in motion a series of events that will culminate next month in a historic trial: For the first time, the federal government will prosecute someone for a hate crime aimed at a gay person.

LOL: Oh You Guys

Via OMGblog

Study: Fictional Characters Can Influence Real Life Actions

Via GalleyCat

Ohio State University researchers have released a study about “experience-taking,” the psychological term for the moment when readers find themselves “feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses” of a fictional character when reading.

Midday Beau Break

I want one of him, but, you know, gay. Thxkbai.

Scissor Sisters Infomercial

I Have an Idea

I want to do a movie...well a long format concept video/movie with the music from Lady Gaga's album Born This Way that would document one night in the life of two gay guys.

It would kinda be like The Wiz but without Nipsey Russell or a young Michael Jackson.

Marry the Night would be obvious: it would be our two intrepid heroes getting ready for a night on the town. I've imagined MY version of Marry the Night many a time, though training the local drag queens to dance en masse does strike fear into my little heart.

The Edge of Glory would also be obvious: after trying all night to meet prospective lovers all night, the lights come up on the dance floor and finally they see each other.

I'd probably also be kinda obvious with Judas too. It'd be a hole you bitch you betrayed me affair.

And I have a few ideas for other songs, except I may just leave off Americano, Bloody Mary and Electric Chapel mostly because I can't really stand those songs, but maybe I just need to listen to them a little more and maybe I could come up with something.

Now, if only I had some money and camera/editing equipment just laying about.

I'm Completely Okay With This

Can we extend this to both Africa (gorillas) and the Oceans (whales)?

Via NPR:

Poachers caught hunting tigers in India's Maharashtra state are on notice that they could be shot on sight.

Gay Marriage Is Not A Religious Issue

Via Kentucky.com

I've heard a few black folks say they will not vote for President Barack Obama in this fall's election because of his recently announced stance in support of gay marriage.

They've said their religious beliefs will not allow them to vote for anyone who condones homosexuality. Homosexuality is a sin, they say with force.

What I gather from that statement is that they cannot, because of their Christian conscience, vote for anyone who endorses anything that they consider sinful. That's fine. If they truly believe voting for Obama because of his support of same sex marriage will send them to hell, then they should not vote for him.

However, Christianity also condemns those who don't feed the poor, provide shelter for the homeless or visit the imprisoned. It also frowns upon those who have fornicated or committed adultery. And it is not very accepting of those who don't care for the elderly or children, or who have gossiped or have treated their neighbors in less than loving ways.

And I haven't even mentioned how much liars are held in disdain.

God doesn't consider any of us without sin. That means we voters, those of us who are overweight (gluttony) or who gossip, are just as bad as Obama has been painted.

If you don't vote for Obama because of his equal marriage stance then you can't vote for Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, either. Romney believes this country is spending too much money helping the poor and the elderly. He says he will cut those items in the budget. Is it OK to vote for a man who doesn't believe in helping the least of us?

Why is gay marriage a far worse sin?

It is true, the Bible calls homosexuality an abomination (See Leviticus 18:22 and some say 2nd Timothy 3:1-5). But it also calls pride, baring false witness, killing and an eagerness to do evil abominations as well.

However, all those sins are forgivable according to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The only one not forgivable is blasphemy.

I'm not understanding how gays and lesbians became the boogeymen of Christianity. Their sexual preference and behavior has gained a special status: the worst sin of all.

Yes, gay and lesbian sexual behavior was listed as a capital offense in the Old Testament, right along with blasphemy and many other sins. In the New Testament gays and lesbians ranked right up there with adulterers, drunks, thieves, swindlers and liars. All of them are allowed to marry.

Plus, I know I voted for a few adulterers, liars and drunks. Haven't you?

Why are we making gays and lesbians special?

Now that the NAACP, a civil rights organization, has come out in favor of "marriage equality," meaning same sex marriage, a big national spotlight has been turned on black folk. Will black people, despite condemnations preached from pulpits or disparagements whispered across backyard fences, come to accept that civil rights should be shared by all?

A few years ago, an old friend of mine went out of his way to denounce my saying the treatment of gays was a civil rights issue. A minister I respect will probably bash me for this column.

But I don't see same sex marriage as a religious issue. If ministers don't want to marry gays, then they shouldn't. Gays should, however, be allowed to go elsewhere and say I do.

My husband and I were married by a Justice of the Peace in our apartment. That doesn't make our marriage any less binding even though no minister or priest was around. It didn't have a thing to do with religion. Our marriage, nonetheless, is legal in the eyes of the law.

And that's what gays want. Legality. Equal treatment under the law.

If you want to tell all the gays and lesbians singing in our choirs and preaching on the down-low in our pulpits that they can't marry in your sanctuary, that's your business. But until you point fingers at the practicing fornicators and adulterers putting money in the offering plate, God will not be pleased.

So cast your ballot for any politician you choose. They have all sinned and fallen short. But don't use God as your excuse to choose one above another.

Short of blasphemy, God doesn't calibrate sins, even if we do.

Thursday Beau

Via A gay college boy in Texas

And sadly, this hunk of man flesh was NOT in my kitchen fixing ME breakfast this morning.

President Obama, MY President, and the Fight for LGBT Rights

Via boy culture

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Goodnight Yall

Via Queer Heaven

Have a great night.

This Is Lovely

Via MensRoom

The Cast of Snow White and the Huntsman Read...

...E.L. James' 50 Shades of Grey.

Via AfterElton

Dharun Ravi vs. Mitt Romney

Mike Signorile via AMERICAblogGAY

The Dharun Ravi verdict and sentencing represents a dramatic shift in society's view of anti-gay bullying and of bias crimes against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Just compare what Ravi did to Tyler Clementi to what Mitt Romney did to a nonconforming student at his prep school in 1965, according to five of his classmates who spoke to The Washington Post. Ravi spied on his gay roommate and humiliated him, or as the charge stated, intimidated him. He was convicted of several crimes.

Mitt Romney and his buddies not only bullied a boy who some perceived to be gay, but engaged in what very much looks like an antigay assault, holding down the crying boy while Romney cut his hair. It was what we would today call outright gay-bashing. Romney not only didn't face any criminal penalty but there were no ramifications for him at his prep school. At the time, such acts were sloughed off with a "boys will be boys'" mentality. Today, we've been seriously debating whether a student who intimidated -- but didn't physically assault -- his roommate should have received 10 years in jail and be deported versus a lighter sentence.

It's Official

I thought he was already out...but I guess not.

Via AfterElton

Emmy-winning Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons is soon to star on stage in a revival of Harvey, and is the focus of a profile today in the New York Times. Well, we've mentioned this upcoming project before, so why bring it up now? Because buried deep in the profile is this statement:

Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship.

Jim's sexuality has been a source of discussion for quite a while (the comment in the article doesn't actually quote him), but this may be the first time such an enormous mainstream outlet has announced it, and the fact that it was done so matter-of-factly is heartening.

FIRST Out Gay Man to Top Billboard Chart

Not only does this confirm that Adam is no American Idol flash-in-the-pan, but he's made music history:

He's become the first out male artist to have a #1 album.

Other gay performers such as Elton John and George Michael have hit #1, but only before they came out, and they haven't managed that honor since.

It's been a long road to #1, but thanks to a loyal fan base, a stellar album, and Adam's enthusiastic promotion, he's now in a class by himself. Congrats!

Via AfterElton

Great Read: The Complete Wendell

I just finished Howard Cruse's The Complete Wendel. Appearing in The Advocate between 1983 and 1989, Wendel tells the story of a handful of gay and lesbian characters and their families during the Reagan years following the overall arc of Wendel Trupstock as he comes into his own, begins a relationship and tries to be a writer. Throughout this is the beginning of the AIDS crisis and the 1987 March on Washington. You'll meet his friend Deb with whom he works at Effluvia magazine, his new boyfriend Ollie (once married and now a father), Ollie's oldest friend Sterno, and Wendel's first love - the now HIV+ Sawyer.

And that's just the first circle of friends. If you look at the cover above you'll meet all those characters and I'm pretty sure that by the end of The Complete Wendel you will remember all their names and care about them. Even the very strange Newton Blowright who believes that Pods from another planet are here to take us away to gay paradise.


(Click on the image to see one whole chapter.)

I loved this collection. I was struck by how different and the same gay life is nowadays. One of the differences, there's a seen where Wendel, Ollie and Sterno (who at the time is living with Ollie) are basically all standing around in Ollie's apartment naked. Not a beaded eyelash batted. I can't imagine I and my gay friends doing this - the current sexual conservatism wouldn't allow it. One of the similarities is the continuing antipathy towards progressive, political work: I thought this was a new thing after the 90s, but apparently it's always been here.

I was also struck by even with a new "Where Are They Now" strip at the end of the book, I wanted the story to continue. These were characters that I let into my life, partially because I came to care about them, but also because these are the kind of people I would want to hang out with, whose lives I would want to be a part of and who I want to be a part of my life. And I imagine even when/if I do find these people in my life, I will continue coming back to Wendel, even if just to visit.

Beautiful Killer

Don't start getting your ya-ya's just yet, guys and dolls. This lovely, showering lad is one of two hustlers responsible for the death of silent movie star Ramon Novarro.

Read about it in the latest issue of OUT. (So far it doesn't appear to be on their website.)

I imagine on some level this is indicative of why I have such a bad habit of picking out the cute but crazy boyfriends.

Happy Hump Day

Via walt cessna

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Books

It's been awhile since I've posted a reading list of book suggestions, and since Tuesday is still typically the day that new media come out (books, CDs, movies, etc.), I've decided Tuesday is a good day to add to your reading lists.

Also, this post is dedicated to my much-missed friend Steven (whom some of you know as D.A.W.). I'm sure he's fine, but I just haven't heard from him, and since he's a big fan of Andy Cohen and horror, I thought this dedication quite appropriate.

The man behind the Real Housewives writes about his lifelong love affair with pop culture that brought him from the suburbs of St. Louis to his own television show.

From a young age, Andy Cohen knew two things: He was gay, and he loved television. Now presiding over Bravo's reality-TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop-culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie's Angels and All My Children—and to his mother, who received daily letters from him while he was at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that everyone didn't know that Andy was gay; still, he remained in the closet until college. Finally out, he embarked on making a career out of his passion for television. The journey begins with Andy interviewing his all-time idol Susan Lucci for his college newspaper and ends with him in a job where he has a hand in creating today's celebrity icons. In the witty, no-holds-barred style of his show Watch What Happens: Live, Cohen tells tales of absurd network-news mishaps, hilarious encounters with the heroines of his youth, and the real stories behind the Real Housewives. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside the TV, both making shows and hosting his own.

It seems that almost every new image of Andy in this book involves his mouth hanging open just so...which I find it quite attractive.

A new tome from the author of Red Mars, Forty Signs of Rain, and The Years of Rice and Salt.

The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.

The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.

I hate to some degree to admit this, but I haven't read any Stephen King since probably high school. I belonged to the book club and read several of his books as a teen, but just haven't been able to get behind him after that. (Even for a boyfriend who told me I just HAD to read Bag of Bones.). However, I'm all about stories that are basically ABOUT telling stories...

In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King returns to the rich landscape of Mid-World, the spectacular territory of the Dark Tower fantasy saga that stands as his most beguiling achievement.

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two...and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past.

In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death, Roland is sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a “skin-man” preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him for the following day’s trials by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother often read to him at bedtime. “A person’s never too old for stories,” Roland says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.” And indeed, the tale that Roland unfolds, the legend of Tim Stoutheart, is a timeless treasure for all ages, a story that lives for us.

King began the Dark Tower series in 1974; it gained momentum in the 1980s; and he brought it to a thrilling conclusion when the last three novels were published in 2003 and 2004. The Wind Through the Keyhole is sure to fascinate avid fans of the Dark Tower epic. But this novel also stands on its own for all readers, an enchanting and haunting journey to Roland’s world and testimony to the power of Stephen King’s storytelling magic.

Also we have a posthumous Harvey Pekar...

A lifelong Cleveland resident, Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since 1976 in his ongoing American Splendor series. Harvey Pekar''s Cleveland is sadly one of his last, but happily one of his most definitive graphic novels. It combines classic American Splendor-ous autobiographical anecdotes with key moments and characters in the city''s history as relayed to us by Our Man and meticulously researched and rendered by artist Joseph Remnant. With an introduction by Alan Moore to boot!

This next book is right up my alley: current events, religion, politics, and it's short.

In the United States and in Europe, politicians, activists, and even some scholars argue that Islam is incompatible with Western values and that we put ourselves at risk if we believe that Muslim immigrants can integrate into our society. Norway's Anders Behring Breivik took this argument to its extreme and murderous conclusion in July 2011. Meanwhile in the United States, state legislatures' efforts to ban the practice of Islamic law, or sharia, are gathering steam—despite a notable lack of evidence that sharia poses any real threat.

In Blaming Islam, John Bowen uncovers the myths about Islam and Muslim integration into Western society, with a focus on the histories, policy, and rhetoric associated with Muslim immigration in Europe,the British experiment with sharia law for Muslim domestic disputes, and the claims of European and American writers that Islam threatens the West. Most important, he shows how exaggerated fears about Muslims misread history, misunderstand multiculturalism's aims, and reveal the opportunism of right wing parties who draw populist support by blaming Islam.

Then we have a retelling of The Tempest with zombies in lieu of faeries.

In the follow-up to Shakespeare Undead, vampire William Shakespeare and his Dark Lady are stranded on a mystical island where zombies are plentiful and one man will stop at nothing to become all-powerful.

Fresh from a triumphant battle over the zombie horde that invaded London, vampire William Shakespeare concocts a plot to rid the love of his life from the encumbrance of her husband. Will plans to give his ”dark lady,” Katherine Dymond, a potion that will make her sleep the sleep of the dead. Once she is entombed, Will can sneak in, wait for her to awaken, then spirit her away. After her husband returns to his plantation in America, Kate can return to London under a different name and assume a new identity. No one will believe that the dead Katherine and the live Kate are the same woman. Of course, as is often the case with true love, all does not go as smoothly as planned. When the two of them are shipwrecked on an island ruled by a wizard and a nymph, as well as infested by zombies, Will and Kate must stop an even larger plot afoot—one that leads all the way to the royal palaces of Queen Elizabeth.

I'm told this is NOT chick-lit.

An inventive debut that recalls the imagination of Aimee Bender and the sardonic wit of Lorrie Moore.

The interlocking stories in The Kissing List feature an unforgettable group of young women – Sylvie, Anna, Frances, Maureen – as their lives connect, first during a year abroad at Oxford, then later as they move to New York on the cusp of adulthood. We follow each of them as they navigate the treachery of first dates, temp jobs and roommates, failed relationships and unexpected affairs – all the things that make their lives seem full of possibility, but also rife with potential disappointment.

Shot through with laugh-out-loud lines, yet still wrenchingly emotional and resonant, The Kissing List is a book about women who bravely defy expectations and take outrageous chances in the face of a life that might turn out to be anything less than extraordinary.

And, finally, back to Africa!

Ellis Hock never believed that he would return to Africa. He runs an old-fashioned menswear store in a small town in Massachusetts but still dreams of his Eden, the four years he spent in Malawi with the Peace Corps, cut short when he had to return to take over the family business. When his wife leaves him, and he is on his own, he realizes that there is one place for him to go: back to his village in Malawi, on the remote Lower River, where he can be happy again.

Arriving at the dusty village, he finds it transformed: the school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people. They remember him—the White Man with no fear of snakes—and welcome him. But is his new life, his journey back, an escape or a trap?

Interweaving memory and desire, hope and despair, salvation and damnation, this is a hypnotic, compelling, and brilliant return to a terrain about which no one has ever written better than Theroux.

Tuesday Beau

Via Hot Guys

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Gardening

The zinnias are coming up nicely.

The hydrangea is about to bloom, which is a godsend because the building manager hired someone to lop off the part of the plant that was hanging out into the driveway and I wasn't sure if it'd comeback this year.

The lilies of the valley are coming back way full this year. My former roommate and I had transplanted them from one side of the driveway to the sort of flower box on the other.

Not sure what this is, but it's meant to attract bees and butterflies. Which by the way I've seen one bee so far this year.

At first I didn't think this plant was coming back at all, but then I saw it covered in morning glory vine so I ripped up the vine and found all but one of the plants.

Lavender that was planted a couple of years ago, kinda sickly but still growing.

Not sure what these are. I mean, they're obviously aren't bluebells cause they're yellow but they're bell shaped. Also I'd originally only planted two plants and now there are 3.

One of 2 eggplant plants I planted this weekend: this one obviously in a pot while the other is in the ground.

The shasta daisies are about to bloom.

This is one of several mint plants that I planted in an effort to crowd out the morning glory vine, and it's growing like gangbusters!

Another plant meant to attract bees and butterflies that I saved from the vine.

This is where I planted seeds this year. The wet line on the right is for marigolds; the middle wet is the zinnias; the wet on the left is sunflowers.

And for you feet pervs...my feet.

A closeup of the yellow blue bells.

And the bane of my gardening existence, but still quite pretty...the morning glory vine.