notmypresident: (Donna Live)
The music industry is rife with talented people who never quite reach the heights of stardom. Is it because they had bad management? Because they lacked drive? Because they were secretly assholes? Because they were overweight or unattractive? There's no way of knowing for sure.

Martha Wash is one such talent. Oh, the über-talented Ms. Wash has enjoyed some success as a recording artist — she's had 12 #1 songs on the Billboard dance charts, after all. But I don't think that anyone would categorize her as a major star these days. It's a shame. Of course, I've loved her since her Two Tons of Fun days when she sang backup for Sylvester. She later gained a lot of publicity for the world-wide smash "It's Raining Men." But that achievement didn't help years later when she was repeatedly denied recognition for her singing on several major hits (where a thinner, younger woman was hired to stand in and lip-synch for her in music videos). Wash sued and won her cases, but at what cost?

I personally don't care for all of her studio albums, but I recognize that the best songs are sold to the top acts. Wash can't compete in that area. Still, she's had some choice records, of which these are two. Here's hoping that Wash some day earns the recognition that she's due.

Which brings me to Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Bette Davis Marked Woman)
It will come as a surprise to no one that Bette Davis is my favorite actress. I am, after all, a middle-aged Gay man. Which is not to say that Bette was the most talented actress ever (that would be Meryl Streep), and she certainly wasn't the most glamorous (take your pick from the Golden Age of Hollywood). But she was a consistently good actress, and an over-the-top celebrity right up until her death. I've been watching a good many of them over the past few weeks. Her films are a particularly good way to end the day after I've crawled into bed and fired up the TV.

Bette made several films during her career that covered a character at various stages in their lives, and it's really fascinating to see how Davis gave careful consideration to these roles. She didn't simply rely on the makeup artist to age her character, she herself brought physical touches (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) to convince us of the changes. The Old Maid is one good example of this, as Bette moves from a sunny Southern belle to a defeated woman in her 50s, sad and bitter about losing her out-of-wedlock daughter to her wealthy cousin.

But Mr. Skeffington is a much better display of Ms. Davis' talent for portraying someone at various points in her life. Bette is cast as a beautiful spoiled heiress who has all the men in New York City at her feet. She weds a lonely businessman (Claude Reins) to reacquire the family's wealth that's been squandered by a her deadbeat brother, but she continues to court the attention of any man within arm's reach — at least until a debilitating disease robs Davis of her beauty and forces her to realize she's only ever been loved by one man: her former husband, Mr. Skeffington.

I always had a tough time appreciating Mr. Skeffington because I always found Davis' kewpie-doll voice for Franny to be grating and affected. And it is affected, no doubt. But Davis manages to mold the sound to fit whatever age Franny is shown as: a young woman, a married woman, a middle-age flirt, and (finally) a broken old woman. Once I realized what Davis had achieved in Mr. Skeffington, I came to a new appreciation of the film.

I should also mention that Mr. Skeffington has a rather daring (for its time) portrayal of a Gay man in the person of Franny's "cousin from California," George. While (of course) George is never presented outright as being Gay, he is one of the only straight men in the film who not only never falls for Franny, he is never shown to have a wife or girlfriend, and he is also the only one to confront Franny on her bad behavior. He's actually the voice of reason for just about everyone. That's a pretty rare portrayal of a Gay man in Hollywood at that time.

Looks as if I've come to Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Homer exercising)
I was scanning through the printout of my most recent blood work results last night and came across an unexpected surprise: my glucose A1C reading was 5.9! Almost every reference I know states a 5.9% reading is "pre-diabetic," which is pretty outstanding. I mean, I knew that anything under 6.0 was supposed to be really good, but 5.9 is remarkable considering I'm on dialysis and the fluids I use for it are chock full of of sugars (it's the nature of the beast). It looks as if I'm managing the insulin quite well, though. GO ME!

Had a weirdness happen the other night. Just after twilight, a pizza delivery man came up to the door. Despite my pizza-craving urges, I politely told him that he had the wrong address (instead of simply taking the big pie for myself!) and that he wanted the house two doors down. That wasn't the weird part. That was to happen a couple of hours later when a couple showed up, saying that I had apparently found their lost cell phone. When I asked them what address they were looking for, they were here for the same house as the pizza guy was looking for! And this, despite the solar-powered house numbers that I installed a few months ago. After they left, I went outside to see that the lights were still working. They were. So how is it two different parties thought this was a different street address in spite of the lighted numbers just outside the front door? Eeeediots!

Now for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Talk to the furry hand)
If there's anything that years of watching cop shows like "Law & Order" has taught me, it's that you should never ever voluntarily talk to the police without a lawyer present. It's clear that so many crimes are solved simply because someone opened their yap instead of through careful detective work. I suppose that's for the benefit of the common good, but it flies in the face of fair play. Miranda rights are read for a purpose, but many cops will do anything they can to circumvent the self-incrimination privilege. And that includes, but is not limited to, the police lying in order to solicit damning testimony.

I saw this first-hand during my time as a court reporter. In order to not let the bad guys win, cops will first use intimidation and then outright lies to secure a conviction. I can't tell you the number of times I sat and listened to officers who were clearly coached in how to either avoid giving answers that might reflect badly (truthfully) on their actions or who otherwise outright lied. Under oath, mind you! The lies were, of course, attributed to "faulty memory" when facts brought the actual truth to light, and I know of no officer who was ever brought up on disciplinary charges for skating over the judicial process.

I also have a long history of distrusting/disliking the police. As a Gay man, I've had several instances of personal dealings with police that have left me with a tainted opinion of them. I was once assaulted by someone in a store where a policeman just happened to be on duty nearby. He quickly showed up to ascertain the situation. I told him what had happened and that I wanted to press charges. While I was being questioned, I saw the person who had hit me start to move away in the crowd that had gathered. I told the officer and warned him not to let the woman get away, but the policeman ignored me. A few minutes later, the officer shrugged his shoulders when he noted her departure and said that there was "nothing he could do."

Years earlier in the 1980s, I was accosted and threatened by police officers in the Castro. The local Gay newspaper had recently printed an unflattering article on the police chief and had run an image of him holding a police baton in a suggestive manner. The cops didn't appreciate the imagery and invaded the Castro neighborhood one night — our neighborhood! — with multiple units to strongarm the locals. The area basically became a quarantine site, and we were threatened with arrest (and more, as evidenced by the wielding of their riot gear) if we didn't clear the streets. All of this, simply because the police chief and his armed thugs had thin skins.

So no, I don't care for the police. I don't trust them nor do I believe them. It's likely that my beliefs will always disqualify me for jury duty, but they are what they are. And by that, I mean both my beliefs and the police.

Let me now adjourn to Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Call me!)
I had my once-a-month visit with my nephrologist and support staff this morning. I was 100% with all my medications last month, so I was curious to see what the bloodwork results would be. I didn't initially mention my compliance and waited for the results. Everyone agreed that I was doing very well in almost every category, but no one noticed a significant difference. And, of course, the doctor kept pushing me to "do better." That's when I brought up my strict adherence to my medication regimen and how I could possibly "do better."

Doctors need to know when to push and when to back off. Constantly hearing "do better" month after month is tiresome in the extreme, especially in a month where I could not possibly have done better. It's like being on a diet, losing ten pounds, and then being told that's not good enough. I really like this doctor, but her mantra is beginning to work my last nerve.

Everyone was pleased with my starting NutriSystem, and they were also curious about it. I explained how selecting the Diabetic option had actually helped my glucose levels — I've cut my daytime intake by about half, though the nighttime regimen (because of the sugar content of the dialysis fluids) remains somewhat high. They were pleasantly surprised by the lower glucose readings, though in truth it makes no difference to me how much insulin I inject. I'm just concerned about results and don't care a whit about using the injectable pens. I told them that I'm committed to the diet for two months, with only ten days under my belt so far. It's best not to think like that though, as it seems as if I've been on it for longer.

Looks as if it's time for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Joan sad)
Woke up this morning with exceeding low blood pressure, leaving me dizzy and without much energy. I'm going to have to be careful for a while when standing, as my BP typically drops another 20 points from sitting to standing. That could lead to blackout this a.m., and that's not on my agenda.

I'll just cut to Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Happy Girl!)
I kinda/sorta went overboard on food yesterday. Though to be truthful, I was still in a funk about the negative scale results. I even downed one of the evening snacks allowed by NutriSystem, something I'd previously abstained from just to clock in a few bonus calorie credits. Even so, I was a bit relieved when I sat down to plug in my food diary. Despite all that I had eaten from my various NutriSystem boxes (breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners), I was still 240 calories under my daily limit of 1500. Woo-hoo! Nothing like cheating without a penalty!

I may spend the day watching one or two Silver Screen epics like Ben-Hur or the camp classic The Ten Commandments (Anne Bancroft chewing the scenery is worth the price of admission alone). I don't really have many chores to do, but little things tend to become big things if you don't take care of them ASAP. We'll see how hot it gets today, which is always a determining factor.

Now for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Donna Live)
Superfruit just released a new music video today from their "Future Friends" EP.

I love the gender-bending attitude of the photo, a theme that's carried out in the music video. Much like the videos that Sia creates, kids have been used this time in lieu of Mitch and Scott. The adolescents are incredible dancers, and the choreography is really top notch. My only complaint would be that the video doesn't include a reference to Superfruit themselves, even though they're wearing the same outfits. I've no doubt that such a cross-fade was included in the original edit but creatively left out at the last minute. A missed opportunity, but I don't think anyone misses the message.

Of course, the video has already caused some controversy — what else is new? Haters gonna hate.

No hate for Another Hot Guy, of course.

notmypresident: (Homer exercising)
Today marks the first full week of my NutriSystem diet. I'm doing well, though a bit disappointed that my weight is the same as it was at my last weighing. I guess I shouldn't expect much of a loss in three days, but the feeling I got when I saw the results re-enforces my feeling that getting on the scale is usually a mistake.

The food is... edible. That's about the best I can say about it. On the whole it's not unpleasant, though I did trash that one mircrowave lunch with broccoli, as it smelled ungodly bad. What's been best is that the diet keeps me eating throughout the day so that my hunger never gets out of control. I don't really have any cravings, and even my hunger pains are minimal when they do occur.

So I see no problem with staying on the diet for the foreseeable future. I'm locked into one more month of food from NutriSystem (if I cancel after only one month, there's a penalty). Still, I'm starting to get a good sense of which of their meals I like and which I don't, and I can adjust my order accordingly. That should make next month smooth sailing.

Now for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Bob's Burgers dance)
A quiet Thursday, here in Blog Town. You can practically see the Virtual Tumbleweeds blowing by...

There's a warming trend starting again, after a week of near-perfect weather. I dread not being able to fall asleep at night because of the heat. And that's in addition to my typical problems with falling asleep.

Apple released its second public beta for Mac OS High Sierra. I've already noticed some improvements, including a snappier Finder (it had previously gotten quite sluggish). I'd stopped using Safari because the browser was essentially unusable in the first beta, but this new release has made some improvements. It still has problems with Facebook, though. Strange, since that's the most popular site in the world right now. That means I'll probably stick with Chrome, which doesn't demonstrate the same issues. I assume that's because Apple is tinkering with Safari to improve it in the new OS whereas Google hasn't gotten around to altering anything. Here's hoping Apple can get rid of all the Safari bugs in the next beta.

Speaking of Facebook, I recently got a nice surprise. I hardly ever contribute to the site and am not interested in acquiring 5,000+ "friends," so I was pleased to see that a post in a fan group of my full-width cover scans for the first four albums by The Alan Parsons Project generated several hundred "likes." I guess that's as close as I'll ever come to Facebook popularity.

I feel as if I should be doing something right now, but I can't for the life of me figure out what that should be. How about I just post Another Hot Guy and leave it at that.

notmypresident: (Homer exercising)
I hate weighing myself. For one thing, it serves as a harsh reality check. My mental image of my body is never in synch with my actual body image, and getting on a scale is akin to being slapped in the face by reality. You know how people say they don't feel old, even if they are? The same is true for me when I say I don't feel fat, even though I am.

Well, I'm on Day 5 of the NutriSystem diet, and the scales say I've already lost six pounds. Six pounds??? I don't even remotely see how this is possible. People just do not lose that much weight that quickly unless they're taking diuretics or running five miles a day. And since I'm doing neither of those things, I'm at a loss to explain the weight loss. I imagine it's got something to do with excess fluids on the morning I initially weighed myself — though I'm following the diet's rule of drinking at least 64 oz. of fluids each day (that's a lot of water), so today's figure should be just as inflated. Oh, well.

I guess I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, right?

Time for some coffee with Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Bugs Monsters are interesting)
I mentioned in my last entry how I'd been considering whether or not to post something a bit more in-depth than what seems to be the current trend in blogging. And I actually spent about a half hour yesterday crafting a treatise on a subject I feel pretty strongly about. It was definitely more in-depth than "Hey, this is where I went today" or "Hey, guess what I had for breakfast!"

But when all was said and done, I opted to ditch the entry. I figure that no one is all that interested in hearing me pontificate (yet again) on a pet peeve. What's more, the entry was pretty negative. And that's certainly something that no one is interested in reading. What's slightly ironic is that my ongoing depression actually has me in even more of a negative space than I let on in my posts. It's troubling and disturbing, even to me. I wake up each day thinking/feeling that the worst is about to happen, that I'll suddenly lose my disability benefits or that I'll be evicted — or whatever other end-of-the-world stuff my mind can conjure.

I'm able to pull out of that initial funk on most days, however, thanks to music and movies and the internet. And I like to think that I've finally begun to take the first few steps down a better road, though I guess I've been saying that to myself (and possibly here) for a long time now. We'll see.

Until tomorrow, here's Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Woof)
I realized this morning that it had been several weeks since I logged into bear411. Seems that I don't miss it one bit and have now gotten out of the habit of simply checking it out from habit. I don't harbor any ill will towards the site — well, other than thinking that the webmaster is a petty asshat who should drown in his own shit — it's just that I apparently don't have a need for it any longer. Unlike a lot of people, I never used 411 as the bear equivalent of Facebook. I just didn't socialize a lot there, though there were a few people I would jot an IM or two on occasion on a very low-key basis. Ah, well.

I've been debating whether or not I want to enter another super-serious blog entry or if I should just keep things superficial. That seems to be the norm these days. Curse Facebook!

Time for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Making Marvin Angry)
You really have to admire the marketing power behind Amazon.

On Tuesday, the online giant is having what it calls "Prime Day." It's ostensibly a day full of sales to rival that of Black Friday, but only for members of the retailer's Amazon Prime club (which costs $99 each year). I say "ostensibly" because past experience has shown me that the day offers up the impression of there being great savings rather than actual values. Amazon has daily "sales" for everyone, which leads me to think that Prime Day is really about getting people to sign up for Amazon Prime.

And the Amazon publicity department has been working overtime to promote Prime Day. I was shocked last week to see several news outlets — news outlets! — covering the upcoming event. I have no idea how Amazon was able to convince news directors that this was something worth covering in the same 30 minutes as Trump's collusion with Russia or even the severe weather hitting many parts of the country.

Me, I could care less.

And yet Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Homer exercising)
I've always though that it was toughest to survive the first day of a new diet. It isn't. All the willpower used to bear down and start a new regimen pales in comparison to surviving the second day of the new diet. I'm a bit shocked, actually. It wasn't as if I was consuming mass quantities of food before yesterday, but I'm feeling a bit wasted today. I'm attributing that to the low caloric intake (1114 yesterday out of a goal of 1500) and the fact that the Nutrisystem foods are supposedly diabetic sensitive. I did in fact suffer a sugar crash yesterday and woke up this morning with one of my lowest glucose readings for an a.m. measurement (they usually tend to be somewhat high after a night's sleep because of the dialysis treatment).

I'd say that one of the most positive aspects of the diet is that Nutrisystem wants you to eat. You're given food for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and... snacks! Three servings of snacks each day, actually. I probably won't partake of all that's allowed, but the snacks will definitely help overcome those moments of hunger that might otherwise tempt me to cheat. The plan also takes into consideration that it's not a prison sentence and that people will want to eat out or have something different. I plan to religiously adhere to the diet for the first few weeks, but am looking forward to an occasional tuna salad every now and then (tuna salad is my comfort food). That's if the weight comes off.

Here's hoping.

Now for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Eat Me!)
So it begins.

My first order of food from NutriSystem arrived late last night, though it showed up too late for me to do anything but open the top to see why the package was listed at a weight of 30lbs. To be sure, there was a lot of food. What's inside the box will be my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next month — supplemented with other foods that I need to provide (milk, eggs, etc.). It took me a few minutes to get everything sorted into different bags, but the labeling on the packages made that a fairly simple task.

There's a minimal amount of instructions, unfortunately. Companies these days seem to think that they can merely offer on-line FAQs as a substitute for customer service. More's the pity. NutriSystem does have a phone number that I can call with questions, but I don't know whether there's a charge for that (I suspect there is). The little booklet that came with the Welcome To NutriSystem packet spells out some of what I need to do. I'm apparently supposed to eat three times a day with small snacks in between to keep my hunger sated. That will be a change for me, since I was mostly down to just a small breakfast and then a meal for lunch/dinner.

I plan to utilize the onscreen weight loss planner to keep track of my calories. That's a pretty neat feature of the site. And because 95% of the food is from NutriSystem itself, the planner recognizes what food you're entering in your log after only a few key strokes. It automatically fills in all the pertinent information, making it quite easy to use.

We'll see how this first month goes. Now it's time for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Countdown)
I've been in a 3D mood for the past several weeks. Even though the bedroom system is set up for 3D, I prefer to watch it on the 4K living room system. Better display, better audio, and passive 3D glasses that are extremely lightweight (i.e., comfortable).

I honestly do not understand the 3D resistance by so many people. What, people don't like wearing the glasses? Holy shit, I wore prescription glasses for more than 40 years and learned to live with it. I tend to think of people who whine about having to wear glasses as pussies (forgive the use of such a sexist adjective). Most movies last for only two hours, and the difference between a flat presentation and a 3D display is well worth the inconvenience (IMHO). I fucking love well-done 3D films. And yes, I know that not every 3D film qualifies as well done. But when it is done right, the 3D just blows a 2D counterpart out of the water.

I watched Pacific Rim tonight, a film that actually bombed here in the United States. It did well enough around the rest of the world that it eventually earned nearly half a billion dollars. And with box office receipts like that, a sequel was inevitable (Pacific Rim: Uprising should hit theaters sometime early next year).

The failure of the movie in the U.S. is a bit of a mystery, especially considering the relative recent success of other giant monster films like Godzilla and King Kong. Was it the over-the-top fantastical monsters that kept American audiences away? Hard to believe, when a giant lizard with atomic breath pulled in over $200 million at the box office and a giant monkey made $168 million. Was it a lack of connection with the heavy Asian influence? Doubtful, but there may be a grain of truth in that.

Now, I don't argue that Pacific Rim is a great film, but I think it deserved to do a bit better here in the U.S. The visual CGI effects are spot-on perfect from start to finish. And the 3D is some of the best to be found, even though it was a conversion (probably due to the fact that 85% of the movie was created by computers). 3D is perfect for the story of Pacific Rim, and nearly every scene is brimming with multi-layered depth (I especially love the holographic displays).

Unfortunately, the fate of Pacific Rim: Uprising in the U.S. seems predetermined. Theatrical prints will probably be limited to hedge against losses — which will, ironically, guarantee a loss at the box office. That's a shame.

Now for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Happy Girl!)
My love affair with Superfruit continues.

There's a track on the first EP called "Sexy Ladies" that had me thinking that the Gay singing couple had given into pressure to be more mainstream. I shouldn't have doubted. Once I began listening to the lyrics, I discovered a completely different song:

Single ladies
Got no ring on your hand
Baby, I'll be your stand-in man for tonight
Sexy ladies
No, I ain't on your team
But you gonna be my queen for tonight

Oh, I'll be sleeping in your bed
Watching old re-runs of Friends
No, I won't ever make a move on you, no
But I heard your brother's pretty cute!

And watching more episodes of the group's vlog on YouTube has also made me appreciate them more. Mitch (the dark-haired one) is a Classic Queen in the best sense of the word. He's smart, bitchy, quick with a quip, and a whole lot more — in other words, every quality a Classic Queen needs to have. He'd make a formidable contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race," that's for sure.

The EP has done fairly well on the iTunes music chart (it's still too soon to see the results for Billboard, but here's hoping that more people pick it up (hint, hint). Openly Gay artists deserve our support!

Now for Another (Historical) Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Call me!)

I got the biggest kick from this news report tonight. Apparently, I wasn't the only person — except for the authorities, of course — who noticed the dramatic uptick in civilian displays of big-league fireworks. I'm not in San Jose where the report was filed, but this pretty much mirrored what was going around my area. What's exasperating is that officials had spent so much time before the 4th getting airtime on local news stations warning people that there would be an "increased" police presence to combat illegal fireworks. Total bullshit, of course. And despite all the finger wagging by the men in blue, people simply ignored such childish tactics. Too bad it cost San Jose $50,000 on wasted banners and ads.

Today was the day that I'd set aside to call my friend Jerry back in Iowa to explain how I'd tried to reach Brad twice and received no response. I first thought that Jerry was now giving me the silent treatment as well when he didn't return my a.m. call, but he finally did just a short while ago. I explained to him what had happened and that in no way, shape or form was I going to put him in the middle of this. It would make me sad if Brad did indeed want no further contact, but I wanted to see if Jerry was okay with an occasional call and/or card so that they weren't totally out of my life. Jerry was once again the voice of reason and told me to definitely keep in touch. He couldn't speak for Brad, but he did offer several scenarios of why he'd chosen to ignore me. I admitted once again that I was sorry for having waited too long to try and re-establish our friendship, and he urged me not to give up the ghost just yet. Good news!

Random thought: Superfruit's "Vacation" (playing back on the computer right now) is right out of the Katy Perry mold...

And now I think it's time for Another Hot Guy.

notmypresident: (Looking for Mr. Fantastic)
I learned a long time ago that I need a goal for motivation. If I try to accomplish something major without an end-result in mind, I wind up not doing anything at all.

I've been in a rut since NYC. A bad one, actually. The kick in the ass from that visit has left me feeling mightily unmotivated. I've been trying to jump start myself, but that's been met with only limited success (like getting back on the treadmill, but not doing it every day). So to give myself some motivation, I decided yesterday to schedule a trip. In December. I figure five months should be enough time to get back into fighting shape.

I also broke down and signed up for Nutrisystem, which "guarantees" a 10-pound weight loss in the first month. I'm dubious about their claims, but we'll see. The one-month plan for their food was unexpectedly expensive, but it will provide all the food I'm supposed to eat for that month. So if I subtract the money I would typically spend each month on groceries, the plan isn't that much more expensive. It kinda is, but I'm rationalizing the expenditure as a means to jump start my weight loss.

The only real down side is that I've once again maxed out my credit cards (the plane tickets were unexpectedly high despite buying them so far in advance). I immediately went on Amazon and deleted a bunch of orders for items that I can easily pick up next month, when money returns. I did keep my order for the new vinyl Pet Shop Boys releases at the end of July, though. Those likely won't be around for long.

As always, here's Another Hot Guy.


notmypresident: (Default)

July 2017

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