Tuesday, January 30, 2007

3 Years With Flopper

Yesterday marked three years since I convinced the adorable Flopper to go have coffee with me at Cosi in Dupont. Since then I have stalked my lovely man across the country to frigid Mn. I just remember being enamored by him at his piano with that pretty scarf... it only took 3 or 4 months to get him to talk to me.

: )


From Flopper
And a great three years at that! I love you. Mwah. For the record, I suggested doing dinner at Cosi, not you. Boy was that akward. Have I ever told you all about the first time we kissed? We were looking at the Gather Hymnal in my dorm room and things got. . . steamy.
Oh my!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

sausage fest

Sausage fest

Today I made with HuckleBerry, dearest PeatMoss, and the adorable Nathan.

Flopper in DC doesn't get to make sausage


accidentally protested the war.

Knitting theft

Friday, January 26, 2007

David how i miss thee

Debussy's "Noel des engants qui n'ont plus de maisons"

So I've been thinking about my recital lately. I have a year to prepare, and I think I'm goign to do Christmas: Sacred and Profanus. I'm really excited. My voice teacher told me about this song by Debussy. I found it today in the CUA library. It's - er - well, lets just say Debussy wrote the words and not Hugo or some other famous french poet. It's a World War II piece that I have yet to research musicology, but it's in my recital. Here is the english translation on the score. Enjoy!

We have no more house nor home! Enemies took all we had; all gone, all gone, even our own little bed!
The school they burnt' our teacher too.
They burnt the church and also the Lord Jesus Christ,
The poor old beggar too who could not get a way.
Enemies took all we ha;d all gone, all gone, even our own little bed!
Surely daddy to fight has gone, poor mummy is in heaven! died and did not see all this. O! What shall we do now
Noel Noel! Little Jesus!
Do not go to them
don't go back to them ever! Punish them all!
Avenge the chidlren of France! The little Belgians, the litlte Serbians and the polish children too!
this gets better and better.
yet should we some forget, pray forgive us. Noel! noel! No toys! We want no toys!
JohnMarkRobert: But may we please get back again our daily bread.
JohnMarkRobert: We have no more house nor bed. Noel1 Listen to us! Our wooden shoes we have no more, So please give Victory to the Child of france.

Noro hat the one shift special

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Washington D.C., Sweet Washington D.C.

I thought this was sort of an odd sign as I entered the security check at the Minneapolis Airport. Just so you know. . . The Bendare Ngurah Rai International Airport is not secure! Thanks T.S.A.!

Anyway, I'm in D.C. thanks to my lovely church which sent me here to attend a colloquium on Sunday-Tuesday. I'm really excited about the colloquium, but am equally excited just to be in D.C.

Yesterday, I visited Dan at the new and acclaimed "Cardinal's Nest" right behind his house in Brookland. The area is really blooming - they now have 2 coffee shops, several bars, and organic food store, and much more. It will be itneresting to see what happens to the area over the next 25 years.

Anyway, it was good to catch up with Dan. I then went to eat dinner in Adams Morgan at the Amesterdam Fellafel House, a marijuana themed (strangly enough) establishment that makes amazing fallafel (how's that spelling?). I picked some up and went to Niko's apartment, which is where I'm staying for the weekend. It was great catching up with him too, and talking about liturgical translation. :-)

This morning I traveled to CUA to visit a few people. I caught up with one of my italian teachers, Deanne at summer opera (sounds like they really have it going on!) and Rachel in the music library. The music library always receives donations of music, much of which they already have, thus sell for budget money. They had a huge collection of hymnals. I bought myself Hymnal 1982, Hymnal 1940, and the 1980s version of Lutheran Book of Worship.
I'm excited.

What's next? After I leave the coffee shop, I will head off to get my hair cut by David. David how i've missed thee! I'm already spending too much money and I haven't been here 24 hours. Ouch!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We've Made Our Own Investigations and Bring You Our Nominees!

So I was drifting of to sleep in the arms of Flopper and I was awoken by a phone call saying I had work from midnight to six AM. So here I sit listening to Albert Herring
by the inestimable Benjamin Brittens
and earning the looks of confusion from the undergrads.

While we were in DC Flopper played the Vicar and so I was forcefed this opera concernign the trials and tribulations of on Albert Herring who is chosen by the town council of Loxford in Eastern Suffolk to be May King as all the girls "stinks of sensual shame." So the hoplessly repressed Albert is dressed up "like a blinking swan" to "Teach those girls a lesson" he gets drunk on spiked lemonade and has a grand old time. Unfortunately everyone thinks he is dead and so proceed to have a funeral for him after a lengthy search of a few hours. Albert returns relates his sordid tale of nocturnal bebauchery and chases of the Victorian relics that run Loxford.

Above is a picture of the premier cast in 1947.

Tis a delightful opera with some lovely muscial themes and a style hearkening to Gilbert and Sullivan in character but significantly better in quality. I am enjoying myself in any case.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Wake up, daddy!

I fell alseep while reading about the Eucharist and was woken up by this cute thing, right in my face. Flopper.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Mississippi Bean

Here in Saint Cloud there is little in the way of amusement for two gay men or really for anyone of a marginally urban nature. Our sole respite from the mind numbing existence that is Stearns County, Minnessotta comes in the form of the Mississippi Bean and Tea Company.
Located in the Downtown of Saint Cloud and owned by a lovely gay couple and is the local gathering spot for person's of a liberal bent and the occasional country person who wanders in and exclaims at the cost of coffee.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

'Stomach flu' rips through the nation

If you haven't heard, there's quite the bug going around. When it ripped through my family during christmas 10 out of 12 got it, I assumed it was a vicious but local incident. Apparently cruiseships, athletic teams and more have come down with the 3 day bug.
Here's the story:

Yuck! It's a hardy bastard and can still be alive on doorknobs and such days later.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Flopper's Christmas sweater that ought to be done by our anniversary. I still need to do the sleeves. Malbrigo on 9's

Pictures of my family

So I went to Pennsylvania for a few days and here are the pictures of myself and my family.

The four of us. Micheal, Ashley, myself, and Matthew. Ashley's T shirt makes me cry inside :)

My niece Macenzie. (I have no idea how to spell her name) She is the older of my two nieces.

Here is her little sister Kira (no idea again) being held by my brother Micheal's girlfriend Felicia.

My brother Micheal and my father of the same name hiding in the downstairs family room. This is a time honored tradition of my father's.

Ashley holding the family cocker spaniel Lady (she's no Elias).
This was my Christmas visit, I'm hopin I get back during the summer.


Friday, January 05, 2007

On Pennsylvania

Whenever I return to the Coal Region I am struck by the fact that is seems more and more threadbare. I am also struck by the resiliance of the people here who whether knowingly or not somewhow manage in the context of Schuylkill County. I have missed the mountains and the fog. The trees here are unique in their spacing and growth and I enjoy being able to walk through forests (as opposed to the pine jungles of Minnesotta). There is a gap on interstate 81 headed north out of Harrisburg that I have designated as the beginning of home next to the village of Ravine. Between that gap and Hazleton 40 miles on 81 to the north I spent my childhood and my connection to these mountains is very real but strained.

The people here are hard. Kind , loving, loyal, but hard as the stone that their forefather's cut through for a living. It is not an easy place to be a gay boy if there is an easy place for that. People here talk a lot about many things. You can't get a sub ( a hoagie in local parlance ) without having an argument about politics of some sort. It is a welcome change from the quiet Germans of Saint Cloud. The faith of the Coal Region is a very very pragmatic thing and by in large it is a sort of hammer. You use tools for a job religion is a tool that let the people handle a dangerous profession for the better part of 150 years and the economic despair since. That being said no one takes a hammer too seriously.

The issues of the people of the Coal Region with gay men is not religous it has to do with a sense of deep suspicion towards anything new. New= Dangerous New=Weak because the old has survived maybe not prospered but survived and anything that challenges survival is dangerous. My grandparents didn't "know" any gay men, ergo they are new. It takes a while for people here to come to grips with change of any type. In a place where the blue collar working man is the pillar of the community and even the wealthy are despairaged in comparison any sign of percieved weakness is assaulted and gay men are percieved to be weak. Of course the gay men who make it out of here are anything but weak.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


It has been a tradition in my family to go to a movie on New Years Eve. Although I did not spend New Years with my full family, I did manage to weasel the weekend off and make it to Milwaukee to visit my sister Ann. I haven't seen a movie on the Screen since Prairie Home Companion (Ok, I know it sucked, but my loyalty for the show and for the man and his message brought me to the theatre.)

Honestly, there PHC is the only movie that I've had any desire to see. . . until I heard on NPR about DreamGirls.

I had never heard of the musical, just a few songs like"And I'm Telling You" that I had heard at Music Theatre Recitals and such. I can't say the movie redeemed a year of lackluster movies (which followed one of the best years in quite some time: Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and many indie too!).

I didn't know much about the movie, just that it was doing well. I didn't know that Beyonce was in it nor the american idol, Jennifer Hudson (i didn't even know who she was). If I had known that it was cast full of non-acting celebrities, I wouldn't have been as excited to see it. When someone whispered "That's beyonce" to me, I was shocked. Beyonce's acting was so flawless, that she didn't stick out AT ALL (you know, in a Queen Latifa, Spears sort of way).

The star was surely Jennifer Hudson, who did an amazing job. She has been coached and taught well and is far from a tween start on ameture reality star. Her role as Effie has the "Breakdown Aria," "And I'm Telling You," where she realizes (just after finding out she's pregnant) that her love has dumped her from the "DreamGirls". This is opera drama, my friends, and Hudson gave a chilling rendition of it - you can't help but expect her to pull out a knife and kill herself or at least collapse into a puddle of blood (maybe she does collapse; I can't remember).

Hudson was also the star vocally. The movie is set in the 1960s and the music mirrors the time. Aretha Franklin comes to mind. The real problem with the other cast members was that they couldn't seem to place themselves in that genre. The style requires them to improvise, belt, and scream, and too often it sounded a little too much like something you would hear on the radio today, especially riffs and slides between notes. Hudson, on the other hand, gives a stellar and accurate performance. Kudos to her!

May Dreamgirls win many Emmys!