Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Gays

We hosted a Thanksgiving weekend at E’s family beach house south of Santa Cruz, California. Eleven guys for Thanksgiving dinner. Fourteen guys visiting over the four day weekend. It was like running our own Bed and Breakfast that included three meals a day. Everyone had a great time. We played board and card games, sang show tunes, listened to the new Madonna and Streisand CDs, watched “Some Like it Hot” and a Robbie Williams concert on the DVD, ran on the beach, drank lots of cocktails and wine and ate very well. Besides the turkey day fixings, we had pesto pasta on Wednesday evening, lasagna on Friday night and three homemade soups on Saturday.

Our Thanksgiving menu started with Appetizers:
Red Pepper, Walnut & Raisin Dip
Smoked Trout Dip
Assorted Nuts & Cheeses

Apple Soup with Spiced Croutons

Main Meal:
Four-Mushroom Stuffed Fennel
Grand Marnier Sweet Potatoes Stuffed in Oranges
Five Root Vegetable Medley, Caramelized (Garlic, Golden Beets, Turnips, Baby Carrots, Cipollini Onions)
Holiday Brussel Sprouts
Mixed Rice Stuffing with Squash and Sausage
Cornbread Stuffing with Cherries and Chestnuts
Giblet, Wine Gravy
Mustard-Herb Marinated Turkey (24 lbs.)
Zinfandel Cranberry Sauce
Mama Strasbourg's Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sauce
Apple Pie ala mode
Date & Cranberry Cake

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Weekends are not for resting

Last weekend was another busy one. Friday night we were invited to Shabbat dinner. Some dear straight friends of E invited us and another straight couple over for nice evening of food and conversation.

Saturday began with a 6 mile run and then coffee with Frontrunners, the GLBT running group. We then changed into some nice clothes for a day and evening in San Francisco. First was a matinee performance of a seldom done comedy called "The Butter and Egg Man" by George S. Kaufman. It is about a hick from the sticks who becomes a Broadway producer (1925). It was done by the Young Conservatory students at ACT. Cute show.

Next on the schedule was dinner and opera. We met Huston at a restaurant near the SF War Memorial Opera House. Huston is only the second blogger we have met in person. What a fun and charming man. Some younger, 30-something "daddy" should rope and land this guy. The opera is was Beethoven’s "Fidelio". Out of the dozen operas we have seen so far, this rises to be one of our favorite top three or four.

We traveled back to SF on Sunday morning for a tasty brunch with a couple we have gotten to know at the GLBT synagogue in the city. Then we went to the Castro and shopped for a couple of hours. I can’t repeat here all the things we bought, but let’s just say Hanukkah came early. That evening we had another wonderful meal with a new couple that are in the process of moving in together. It was a fun day but one note for the future. We have to take better maps/directions, addresses and phone numbers of where we are going. This would avoid much angst the driver and passenger experienced trying to locate and navigate to the different addresses.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Religious news I like seeing

From Yahoo News, November 21, 2005
Jewish leader blasts anti-gay religious groups
SUMMARY: The leader of the largest branch of American Judaism blasted conservative religious activists Saturday, calling them "zealots" who promote anti-gay policies akin to Adolf Hitler's.
Methodist Church apologizes for anti-gay rulings
SUMMARY: The largest Methodist church in Minnesota held a service of protest Sunday to make a statement in opposition to two anti-gay rulings last month by the denomination's highest court.Gay man's ordination defies church
SUMMARY: A Presbyterian congregation has ordained a gay man who refuses to embrace celibacy despite the denomination's ban on sexually active homosexuals joining the clergy.

It is a start. Religion doesn’t belong to bigots.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Church business

I just read a review of a new play at Marin Theatre Company called “Splittin’ the Raft”. The SF Chronicle calendar section lists it as: “The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass' descriptions of slavery are interwoven with Huck and Jim's trip on the raft from Mark Twain's “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in Scott Kaiser's curiously confounding and compelling new play.”

The paper gave it a fairly good review. I’m not sure if we have the time to go see it. But it did pique my interest in Frederick Douglass. I have not thought about him since high school history class. I spent a few minutes yesterday looking him up on the internet. I read through a lengthy but inspiring speech of his.

Later I saw an anit-gay news story about an ecumenical meeting of Catholic priests who support a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. It reinforced for me that American churches have changed very little in the last 140 years. The same arguments and justifications against gays and same-sex marriage were used by most American churches (particularly what are today “Red State” ones) to justify slavery. It is in the Bible. It is part of God’s plan. Blah, blah, blah.

Here are two separate paragraphs from Frederick Douglass’ speech that he gave on July 5th 1852. I feel the same outrage and anger at today’s American churches for their lack of support of gay rights or their hostile attack of them. They are still bigoted organizations that have never learned from history.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines. who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

You don’t have to dress up for opera

We haven’t worn our tuxes to the opera yet. Usually we are attired in slacks and a sweater or dress shirt and jacket. We did wear our penguin suits to a party last month for the Horizons Foundation Gala. Two sophisticated gay fathers

We have been to the opera a couple times this month as well as to several plays. Here is a quick recap:

The opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini. Strange story but beautiful singing by Catherine Naglestad who played Norma. The story takes place in ancient Gaul. Norma is a Druid high priestess who has been shacking up with the Druids sworn enemy, a Roman general. In fact, she has two kids by him. But now the general is shagging her assistant and Norma is pissed. Much operatic melodrama ensues. Ugly set. Ancient Gaul looks like the lumber aisle at Home Depot after a long weekend.

The Force of Destiny by Giuseppe Verdi. The most enjoyable thing about this opera was the strong male singing, especially Vladimir Kuzmenko. The story begins when the boyfriend accidentally kills his girlfriend’s father when he drops his gun on the floor and it goes off. You are then fated to sit there for almost 4 hours for the tragic story to conclude.

Terrence McNally's new play, Crucifixion premiered at New Conservatory Theatre Center. It is a gay murder mystery involving Catholic priests. The mystery itself isn’t all that interesting but the naked actors make for an enjoyable performance.

Miss Liberty is a rarely produced musical by Irving Berlin. This musical is about finding the woman who modeled for the Statute of Liberty and making a celebrity of her. A problem ensues when they discover that they found the wrong woman. We always enjoy going to 42nd Street Moon to see obscure and lost musicals. They always do a staged concert production. There are no sets and minimal props. But there are some costumes and choreography.

Next up…Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera. We see it Saturday.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Shopping News

E is a very happy and excited man. His most favorite men’s clothing store in the whole world, Jos. A. Banks, just opened a new store in town. In fact, it is within walking distance of our house. E has been a loyal customer to their store in Washington, DC for years. It is just coincidence that his oldest son went to college there. Don’t you love the smell of new clothes? A couple years ago E bought me a new leather jacket from Jos. A. Banks. It is a black aviator jacket with a plush lamb mouton collar. It is a warm, beautiful jacket.

Guy Dads at TwoGrooms
Last winter and spring when we were planning our wedding, we had a hard time finding the right cake top decoration. We wanted to have two grooms on the top of our wedding cake. All we could find were single piece, bride and groom figurines. Quick look on line and we found the internet site Two Grooms. What a wonderful and diverse site (along with its Two Brides site) for all things needed to plan your wedding or ceremony. The company was founded by the mother whose daughter was planning her same-sex wedding. She said she approached her daughter’s wedding as a "commitment to normalcy". She soon learned it is really "a commitment to equality".
We sent the company a picture of our cake cutting with their two grooms on the cake. It is now part of rotation of happy gay couples on their home page.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her

Cameron Diaz
When “sweeps week” meets “mid-terms”, crazy things can happen.
Cameron Diaz lectures about “sustainable building projects”.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...