Friday, July 28, 2006

Trekking in Peru

We leave Saturday morning, July 29th, for our next adventure travel vacation. Machu Picchu in Peru is considered by many to be one of the top ten places in the world to visit before you die. This is going to be a breath-taking and strenuous journey.

Our comprehensive Inca Trail itinerary is designed by Mountain Travel Sobek to include several days of exploring and acclimatizing before the trek. It includes visiting the major Inca ruins near Cuzco and hiking to out-of-the-way villages in the Urubamba Valley. We then climb the Inca Trail for four days to reach the astonishing ruins of Machu Picchu. We then take the train back to Cuzco to begin part two of the 15 day trip.

We will spend four days at Manu Wildlife Center located in the remote and wild Manu Wilderness of Southeastern Peru. A 35-minute flight from Cuzco to the mouth of the Manu River and a 90 minute motorcanoe ride down the Madre de Dios River brings us to the Manu Wildlife Center. It is described as having spectacular forest and incredible scenery. The density and diversity of animal and plant species reaches a peak in the extreme western Amazon, near the foot of the Andes. The Lodge is incredibly remote and wild and offers more wildlife sightings and a higher level of comfort than any other lodge in the region.

It should be a blast. Back in mid-August!!

A Chorus Line

A Chorus Line
Tuesday night we attended the second public performance of the pre-Broadway production of “A Chorus Line”. I haven’t seen a production of it in probably ten years. But it still holds up very well. It is still relevant today. And it still makes me want to run off and join a chorus of a show. Don’t expect it to sound like the original cast album/CD. It sounds better. One of the standout songs/performances on Tuesday was “Sing!”. The character Kristine (Chryssie Whitehead) does the off-key singing in a way that makes the song much more charming. When Diana (Natalie Cortez) sings “What I Did For Love”, it will bring a lump to your throat and tears to your eyes. Jason Tam does a heartbreaking turn as Paul that reduces you to a puddle. We both wanted to go back and see the show again later in the run before it opens on Broadway in September.

Last night we saw concert version of “Li’l Abner” by the local company 42nd Street Moon. While the performances and singing were uneven, I enjoyed seeing this now seldom done musical. It was a big hit in the last 1950s but the topical and political/social humor does not hold up well. The show is based on the Al Capp’s social satirical comic strip that was last published in the comic pages in 1977. The songs and stage routines are still funny. The last time I saw this show was 40 years ago when I was eight. I think it was the first live musical I ever saw. My parents took me to see my cousin perform the roll of Mammy Yokum in a high school production. I couldn't believe how much I remembered. A lot of it stayed with me.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Queer time at the Post Office

This morning I went to the Post Office to get some stamps. I could not believe it. It was the gayest selection of stamps I've seen. I bought sheets of everything.

In a more closeted times, a "friend of Dorothy" was an affirmative gaydar target. Interesting, Garland's father was gay, as were her studio-executive mentor and two of her five husbands.
Judy Garland, gay icon
Is it just me or does just about every Disney character have a big, round bubble butt?
Disney romance, ahhhh

Nothing gay about trying to hide your true identity while wearing "fabulous" outfits!
Nothing gay about superheros, right?I couldn't resist the baseball sluggers either. They were so manly.
Jocks with big bats

Monday, July 24, 2006

Letter to Runner’s World about bigots and bashing

In June, Runner’s World printed a short personal essay called “Equal Footing” by Robert Lennon that describes New York's Pride Run and how it has attracted a diverse group of runners for 25 years. The following month they printed two letters. One was from a reader thanking them for the coverage. The other letter said in part: "... I am extremely disappointed that you devoted an entire article to gay/ lesbian running events in NYC. There is no reason to give this type of attention to the issue--it has little to do with running or the vast majority of your devoted subscribers (don't forget us)."

I have written to the editors of a number of publications and websites when I see that they publish whinny, bigoted letters against the GLBT community. My goal is to educate the editors. It is not “fair and balance” to print every letter that bashes a community or group of people. In fact, most editors automatically ignore the rantings of extremist writers.

My letter I sent over a week ago to Runner’s World… No reply yet.

Dear Editor:

I am disappointed that Runner’s World feels the need to give homophobic bigots a forum to spout their hatred and fear of others (see your Letters to the Editor).

As a respected national publication, you ignore or discount letters that make racist statements against runners that are black or of another race or minority. Would you give editorial space for letter writers making hatful and disparaging comments about the disable and handicapped? Do you think it is important to print letters making misogynist statements about women runners?

Try replacing the letter writer’s words “gay/lesbian” with black or disable and see how bigoted and hateful his letter is.

I expect a higher standard from Runner’s World than pandering to the ranting of an extremist writer for the sake of controversy.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Netflix responds to bigoted hate reviews

Four months ago I wrote Netflix to call their attention to gay bashing in their review section. I just received this second follow-up reply. (First reply)

Subject: RE: Bigoted hate reviews
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006
From: "Problem Review"

We have been monitoring the reviews of Brokeback Mountain weekly, clearing out any offensive reviews. Over 100 have already been deleted.
If you find any more, please supply us with the first line of each review and we will make sure they are removed.

Thank you,

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

NYC recap

The Shows: We were in New York City from July 1 through July 8th. During that time we saw 11 plays and musicals. Our top four favorites were:

**Sweeney Todd - An all time best reinterpretation. The cast of ten play their own instruments in lieu of an orchestra. Starring Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris.
**The Lieutenant of Inishmore – A wicked black comedy about Irish paramilitaries, extreme violence, guns and cats, that is shocking and farcical.
**Spring Awakening - Based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial play, which was banned for 71 years. This rock musical boldly depicts how young people navigate the thrilling, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening.
**The Drowsy Chaperone - A die-hard musical-theatre fan plays his favorite cast album on his turntable, and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the tale of a Broadway starlet trying to find and keep her true love. The star and one of the writers, Bob Martin, looks and acts just like E!

The Food:
Best high end restaurant: Gotham Bar and Grill on 12 East 12th St. We had a wonderful dinner there before seeing “The Drowsy Chaperone
Best mid-price restaurant: CaminoSur located next door to the Zipper Theatre on 37th St. It features the cuisines of Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. We went there after an evening show.
Best place to get a piece of greasy pizza at 4:30 in the morning after dancing and drinking all night: Ray’s Pizza at the corner of 17th St and 6th Ave.

The Clubs and Bars:
We visited over a half dozen gay clubs and bars. We went out every night after seeing a show except one. Much of the time we were with friends and relatives. Our oldest son is working at a summer internship in the City. A gay cousin lives in Chelsea. We met several friends visiting the same time we were. We also met some new local people too including the handsome and talented blogger Jere-Rigged.
The first night we were in the city we went dancing at the Roxy until 4:30 in the morning. We went to Splash Club four times. It was closest to our friend’s wonderful apartment we stayed at on 15th Street. Splash offered a great combination of a fairly quiet bar downstairs were you could talk with people and an energetic dance floor upstairs. We also spent time at Barracuda, the View Bar, the Gym Sportsbar, Monster and Ninth Avenue Saloon. Most nights we didn't get back to the apartment until sometime between 4 and 5 am.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Vacation pictures NYC

GuyDads meet with Cherry Jones, one of the stars of Faith Healer on Broadway.
Renowned cartoonist Sam Gross and our oldest son. Cartoons by Sam Gross have appeared in magazines such as The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and Good Housekeeping.
E on the way to one of our evening shows.
Me standing in front of the Stonewall Bar.
Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Oldest son on left, E on the right.
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