Saturday, April 11, 2009

Down from the cross.

Gustave Doré|Fallen Angels

Last night a DJ saved my life...
Robert (Bob) Braucci
11 April 1961 – 15 January 1990

The original Freddie Mercury "porn-stache!"
Bob wore that mustache as much as he never wore his t-shirt.

Always tucked in his right back pocket, he was a blast to go out with. Many MANY weekend nights, we'd end up at BACKSTREET (Hartford CT) with Bob and I standing there, neither of us wearing shirts (and I daring not to, but back in the day, I was scrawny, so you "could" call it "lean and mean") and more often than not, as we stood at the end of the bar towards the back patio door, someone would send two drinks for the guy with the great chest, and his friend. Somehow, I always knew I was "the friend." When we had our time together, we were a great pair, from THE CLUB straight through to BACKSTREET. I was nailed to the dancefloor, and Bob always found his way into the (DJ) booth.

The best memories are the foggiest memories. Bob ALWAYS guest-listed me when he worked at THE SAINT. It was wild. Everyone was lining up as it was a "members and their guests only" club, and I managed to sneak into the far left black door. I was wild-eyed with amazement. A plain black door, a long hallway, and the counter on the left. "Good evening, sir" was always the greeting. I'd let them know I was on the guest list, and then it became "have a good evening, Mr L." Bob and I would cross paths at some point, or points, during the evening|morning, and I'd have enough time to thank him for sliding me in, and he'd have enough time to ask me if I was having fun. Unreal.

Here's the receipt from the infamous Hallowe'en party I went to some 26 years ago.

Somewhere in the flotsam and jetsam of my life, I have a cassette tape Bob mixed, entitled "Holiday Hoopla." I remember it had a flawless mix containing Depeche Mode's NEVER LET ME DOWN back when you just "didn't" play DM in the gay clubs.

I last saw Bob in Hartford, typically, in the booth at Backstreet. Somewhere, in some box, in some dated envelope, I have a file on Bob, with great photos, and some b/w photos of him in the booth at BIRDS (Waterbury CT).

I remember hearing of Bob's death via a telephone call from my mom. I was in Miami, and Bob was in Hollywood. The next morning, I was fired from my job as a photographer's assistant, a Monday. "I hired an assistant, not a personality." I didn't care. I was glad to be more than an assistant, and even happier to think I had a strong personality.

Guess what? The music never died, and, to me, neither did Bob.

I'm taking a ride with my best friend...

Descanse en pace, Robert!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Apples!

If you don't enter this contest,
you're just Bill Gates!

25 entries/day!
Automatically get the chance to win:
• a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card
• an iPod touch
• a Time Capsule
• MacBook Pro

Gustave Doré|The Crucifixion

This Day in History|1912
RMS Titanic sets sail for its 1st & last voyage

RMS Titanic before departing Southampton, England.
Photo taken Good Friday 5 April 1912.

The RMS Titanic was an Olympic-class passenger liner owned by the White Star Line and built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, United Kingdom. For her time, she was the largest passenger steamship in the world.

On the night of 14 April 1912, during her maiden voyage, Titanic hit an iceberg and sank two hours and forty minutes later, early on 15 April 1912. The sinking resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people, making it one of the most deadly peacetime maritime disasters in history. The high casualty rate was due in part to the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship did not carry enough lifeboats for everyone aboard. The ship had a total lifeboat capacity of 1,178 people even though her maximum capacity was 3,547 people. A disproportionate number of men died also, due to the women-and-children-first protocol that was followed.

This Day in History|1991

Two ladies at the automat, N.Y.C. 1966
Copyright © 1980 The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC

The last automat (coin-operated cafeteria) closes,
located at 3rd & 42nd St, New York City.

Christ on the Mount of Olives|Caravaggio c. 1605

Christ on the Mount of Olives (1604-1606) was a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610), formerly in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum painting gallery, Berlin, but destroyed in 1945.

Christ at the Columns|Caravaggio c. 1607

Ecce Homo|Caravaggio c. 1605

Forget the USPS. Try FedEx or UPS!
LOOK: The movie shot entirely
on surveillance videocams!!!

May 5, 2009: Will You Be Watching?

from Media Buyer Planner:
Adam Rifkin is trying to promote his new movie, Look, an examination of how pervasive video surveillance cameras have become and the sometimes shocking footage they capture. The movie’s producers intended to mail postcards with scenes from the movie and the copy “Will you be watching? May 5, 2009″ on the back.

One of the postcards carries an image from the movie which shows a man having his way with a woman in a storage closet. Technically, there’s no nudity but the Post Office has called the promotional piece “obscene” and won’t allow it to be mailed, reports Adrants.

Reacting to the Post Office’s stand, Rifkin said, “We’re all in shock. “Not only is it censorship, but with the post office in such financial straits, it’s ridiculous they won’t mail it.”

The national economic situation reduced mail volume in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2008, by 4.5% to 202.7 billion pieces. The reduction in pieces mailed led to a net loss of $2.8 billion for the U.S. Postal Service.

Fast food: What scratches your itch?

McDonalds here, for the bacon, egg & cheese (2 for $3.33)
Subway for the $5 foot-long specials
(roast beef, provolone, the works – extra, with honey mustard & Chipotle Southwest, heavy)
Taco Bell, when I'm just craving cheap Mexican
(still jonesing on the 7-layer burrito)

Other? You mean there's others?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

This Day in History|1970

Paul McCartney announces official split of Beatles.

CT Greyhounds Adoption
Brutus' Placement Agency

Connecticut Greyhound Adoptions.

2006 v 2008 (post-op, ACDF)

Stop the shootings!

artwork © remains with the original artist

If you're going to pray for something this Good Friday,
pray for an end to senseless gun violence.

Me? Increased gun control.
I think half the people who have guns have no business having them in the first place.

After all, it was at the (fill-in-the-blank) that I saw two handguns.
And neither person should have had them, especially the younger of the two.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Break out the bubbly!

It's Betty Ford's birthday (1921).

This Day in History|1935

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was approved by Congress.


ArtProInk Closing.


iTunes Music Store: iTunes Plus + DRM Free
Money for nothing...

Ummm, like my EARS are going to notice the difference.
Let's see:

Select tunes > create playlist from selection > burn playlist > release DRM-restrictions > re-import

Stupidity Speaks!
Joel Osteen on Larry King Live:
"I don't know."

from the CNN Transcripts:

Keep this in mind, as you read though:

J. OSTEEN: I mean, I'm having -- we're having church every Sunday in a former basketball arena, with 40,000 or 50,000 people coming out.

KING: We will now touch other bases with Joel and Victoria Osteen. Their book is "Hope for Today Bible: The New Living Translation: The Red Letter Edition."

Iowa Supreme Court just allowed same-sex marriage, making them the third state; Massachusetts, Iowa and Hawaii. The general forecast is that's coming.

Other people are now saying, why not make marriage a religious institution, and have the state bonding that the non-marriage state issue. So we can have two kinds of getting together.

J. OSTEEN: I'm not sure I understand --

KING: In other words, if you want to be married and you're both religious, go to your church. If you want to be bonded together and you don't want to call it marriage, go on down to the civil servant office.

J. OSTEEN: I don't know if --

KING: The state will not marry you.

J. OSTEEN: Sure. I guess my thing, Larry, is I just like the definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman. So it sounds like you're saying something different.

KING: Well, it still would, except the state wouldn't perform it.

J. OSTEEN: Well --

KING: You could perform it.

V. OSTEEN: It would be called something else. It would be called partnering or something.

KING: By the state.

V. OSTEEN: Yeah.

KING: If the religious institution -- I'm just throwing this out.

J. OSTEEN: Sure.

KING: Do you think, though, the other side is coming, that eventually many more states are going to allow same sex marriage?

J. OSTEEN: You know, I don't know where it's all going, but again, I just -- it's my desire that we keep the family unit, the basis of our society -- I'd love to see it stay between a male and a female, not knocking anybody else. But I'm not sure where it's all going.

KING: If this continues, do you think it will harm things? Supposing there were more states that had it. What would be the harm?

V. OSTEEN: Again, you know what? We really want to see marriage between a man and a woman. There is going to be people who get together and have relationships and have what they call their families. But I just think marriage should be sanctified by the church. It should be between a man and a woman. But yeah, I mean they're doing it today.

KING: The proposal is if that should happen, sanctified by the church, the state shouldn't be in the marriage business. That was the other proposal. Why should the state be -- just throwing it out there.

J. OSTEEN: I don't know if I'm 100 percent clear on it all. But I guess, Larry, we come back to that -- will it undermine the basis of society? I don't know. I think that -- I know God's best is for a male and a female to have a marriage and raise their family. It doesn't always happen, but I believe that's much better.

KING: Should a gay couple be allowed to adopt?

J. OSTEEN: Well, I think that again, it's best for a male and a female. I can't say -- I'm not saying that gay people aren't good people. And --

KING: Or good parents.

J. OSTEEN. Yeah, exactly. But again, I like to shoot for God's best, and that is a father and a mother in the home. It doesn't always happen. I know a lot of people raised by single parents. And you know what? We bless them and pray for them as well. but I think God's best is a male and female.

Read back at the beginning of this post:

J. OSTEEN: I'm not sure I understand --

So this fucking dork "doesn't understand" and "doesn't know" and "isn't 100% clear" but he KNOWS GOD'S BEST (in front of 40,000 - 50,000 people) is for a MALE and a FEMALE.

He doesn't know, but HE KNOWS GOD'S BEST!

Don't forget: in his own words, he "isn't 100% clear" but HE KNOWS GOD'S BEST.


The Elton John AIDS Foundation

This Day in AIDS History
Ryan White, 18, dies

from Wikipedia:

Ryan Wayne White (December 6, 1971 – April 8, 1990) was an American teenager from Kokomo, Indiana who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States after being expelled from school because of his infection. A hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment and, when diagnosed in 1984, was given six months to live. Though doctors said he posed no risk to other students, AIDS was poorly understood at the time, and when White tried to return to school, many parents and teachers in Kokomo rallied against his attendance.

A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, and media coverage of the struggle made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education. He appeared frequently in the media with celebrities such as singer Elton John, pop star Michael Jackson and talk show host Phil Donahue. Surprising his doctors, White lived five years longer than predicted and died in April 1990, shortly before he would have completed high school.

Before White, AIDS was a disease widely associated with the male homosexual community, because it was first diagnosed there. That perception shifted as White and other prominent HIV-infected people, such as Magic Johnson, the Ray brothers and Kimberly Bergalis, appeared in the media to advocate for more AIDS research and public education to address the epidemic. The U.S. Congress passed a major piece of AIDS legislation, the Ryan White Care Act, shortly after White's death. The Act was reauthorized in 2006; its Ryan White Programs are the largest provider of services for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.

The publicity of White's trial catapulted him into the national spotlight, amidst a growing wave of AIDS coverage in the news media. Between 1985 and 1987, the number of news stories about AIDS in the American media doubled.[26] While isolated in middle school, White appeared frequently on national television and in newspapers to discuss his tribulations with the disease. Eventually he became known as a poster boy for the AIDS crisis, appearing in fundraising and educational campaigns for the disorder. White participated in numerous public benefits for children with AIDS. Many celebrities appeared with White, starting during his trial and continuing for the rest of his life, to help publicly destigmatize socializing with people with AIDS. Singers John Cougar Mellencamp, Elton John and Michael Jackson, actor Matt Frewer, diver Greg Louganis, President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop, Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight and basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar all befriended White. He also was a friend to many children with AIDS or other potentially debilitating conditions.

For the rest of his life he appeared frequently on Phil Donahue's talk show. His celebrity crush, Alyssa Milano of the then-popular TV show Who's the Boss?, met White and gave him a kiss. Elton John helped the family purchase their home in Cicero and in high school White drove a red Mustang convertible, a gift from Michael Jackson. Despite the fame and donations, White stated that he disliked the public spotlight, loathed remarks that seemingly blamed his mother or his upbringing for his illness, and emphasized that he would be willing at any moment to trade his fame for freedom from the disease.

In 1988, White spoke before President Reagan's AIDS Commission. White told the commission of the discrimination he had faced when he first tried to return to school, but how education about the disease had made him welcome in the town of Cicero. White emphasized his differing experiences in Kokomo and Cicero as an example of the power and importance of AIDS education.

In 1989, ABC aired the television movie The Ryan White Story, starring Lukas Haas as Ryan, Judith Light as Jeanne and Nikki Cox as sister Andrea. White had a small cameo appearance in the film. Others in the film included Sarah Jessica Parker as a sympathetic nurse, George Dzundza as his doctor, and George C. Scott as White's attorney, who argued against school board authorities. Nielsen estimated that the movie was seen by 15 million viewers. Some residents of Kokomo felt that the movie portrayed their entire town in an unfairly negative light. After the film aired, the office of Kokomo mayor Robert F. Sargent was flooded with complaints from across the country, even though Sargent had not been mayor at the time.

By the spring of 1990, White's health was deteriorating rapidly. In his final public appearance he hosted an after-Oscars party with former president Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan in California. Although his health was deteriorating, White spoke to the Reagans about his date to the prom and his hopes of attending college.
"We owe it to Ryan to make sure that the fear and ignorance that chased him from his home and his school will be eliminated. We owe it to Ryan to open our hearts and our minds to those with AIDS. We owe it to Ryan to be compassionate, caring and tolerant toward those with AIDS, their families and friends. It's the disease that's frightening, not the people who have it."
—Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, April 11, 1990
On March 29 1990, several months before his high school class graduated and before his senior prom, White entered Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis with a respiratory infection. As his condition deteriorated he was placed on a ventilator and sedated. He was visited by Elton John and the hospital was deluged with calls from well-wishers.

White died on Palm Sunday,
April 8 1990.

Over 1,500 people attended White's funeral on April 11, a standing-room-only event held at the Second Presbyterian Church on Meridian Street in Indianapolis. White's pallbearers included Elton John, football star Howie Long and Phil Donahue. Elton John performed "Skyline Pigeon" at the funeral and also trained the Hamilton Heights High School choir to sing with him. The funeral was also attended by Michael Jackson and First Lady Barbara Bush. On the day of the funeral, former president Reagan—who had been widely criticized for failing to mention AIDS in any speeches until 1987 although he had spoken on the issue in press conferences beginning in 1985—wrote a tribute to White that appeared in The Washington Post. Reagan's statement about AIDS and White's funeral were seen as indicators of how greatly White had helped change perceptions of AIDS.

White is buried in Cicero, close to the home of his mother. In the year following his death, his grave was vandalized on four occasions. As time passed, however, White's grave became a 'shrine' for his admirers.

UConn girls rule...again!!!

Depeche Mode: WRONG Remixes
Right on!

"Cedric" makes my day...and I'm not even up yet!

What a compliment! To me, anyway.
"I don't know what to say,
except I enjoy reading."

Mil gracias, Cedric|Ruth.

You made my day!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

No. 4|Vermont
Gay Marriage

Published: April 7, 2009
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Gay-rights groups say that momentum from back-to-back victories on same-sex marriage in Vermont and Iowa could spill into other states, particularly since at least nine other legislatures are considering measures this year to allow marriage between gay couples.

The Vermont Legislature on Tuesday overrode Gov. Jim Douglas’s veto of a bill allowing gay couples to [more]

Billie Holiday|Strange Fruit

Here's a classic just for that ignoranus Osteen.

Billie's Birthday Holiday!

Portrait © Carl Van Vechten
[Portrait of Billie Holiday;
Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947]

Joel Osteen


Joel Osteen, on Larry King Live.

Not once.
Not twice.
Not three times.


Iraq’s Newly Open Gays Face Scorn and Murder

from the New York Times:

Published: April 7, 2009

BAGHDADThe relative freedom of a newly democratic Iraq and the recent improvement in security have allowed a gay subculture to flourish here. The response has been swift and deadly.

In the past two months, the bodies of as many as 25 boys and men suspected of being gay have turned up in the huge Shiite enclave of Sadr City, the police and friends of the dead say. Most have been shot, some multiple times. Several have been found with the word “pervert” in Arabic on notes attached to their bodies, the police said.

“Three of my closest friends have been killed during the past two weeks alone,” said Basim, 23, a hairdresser. “They had been planning to go to a cafe away from Sadr City because we don’t feel safe here, but they killed them on the way. I had planned to go with them, but fortunately I didn’t.”

Joel Osteen

"I think God's best is male and female."


Free shipping!
$229.19 (CT State tax)
OR 177.66 iTunes @ $1.29!

Wax Job! Not a "whack" job!

Unlike some of the other stars in the museum who posed for their figure,
the statue was created based entirely on images of President Barack Obama's wife.

While she is only the third first lady to receive such a tribute
—Jacqueline Kennedy and Hillary Clinton are the others—
the wife of the commander in chief is the first person
to have a wax figure in all eight Madame Tussauds' locations worldwide.

iTunes v Amazon.
$1.29 v .99

Check out engadget's article on this unheard of price increase.

Hey Apple...ain't we in a recession?

What if gas went up 30% overnight?

Check out eMusic.

What do you have to lose,
except thirty cents on the dollar?

Apple's New ImmobilizeMe!
Don't buy it now! DON'T BUY IT!

Want headaches?
Buy MobileMe.
If you're lucky (and I don't own an iPhone, for the record),
you "might" get it to work.
And don't think you can call 1.800.275.2273 for help either.
I "think" they might have a "live chat" for this,
and in all fairness, the last time I had to utilize Apple's "live chat"
whatever I needed was attended to promptly, professionally, proficiently.

But MobileMe?
What "cloud?"
A cloud of pot smoke, maybe.

But how many times do I get "MobileMe is not available right now, please try again later."
And calling? Apple points to your DSL carrier (which is another issue altogether),
and your DSL carrier will point their finger to Apple and say "oh, it's a Mac, we don't handle Macs."

I've lost too much time, productivity, and many, many emails which I "saved to draft"
which just disappeared.

MobileMe is a good idea gone seriously wrong.
Perhaps labeling this as a "beta" release might have been more interesting,
but dot-Mac was doing well, and this?

Well, I can sum it up this way:
last time I actually spoke to an Apple-human (in the U.S. of A. no less!),
I was told "you really need to have another e-mail. You can't rely on MobileMe to take care of all your business."

So, folks, you heard it here:

DON'T BUY MobileMe.

But really, do we have a choice?

Forget Time Machine.

Buy an external hard drive like a Maxtor OneTouch or MyBook.
1TB, on sale? About $119. Maybe $99 if you're lucky.

Staples is my first line of office defense.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Media coverage of US Military Transfers Home

1991 Reversal_No need to hide in shame
Bush's shame, not the media or military

1914|George Reeves, The 1st Superman

The house guests later heard a single gunshot. Bliss ran into Reeves's bedroom and found George Reeves dead, lying across his bed, naked and face-up, his feet on the floor. This position has been attributed to Reeves sitting on the edge of the bed when he shot himself, after which his body fell back on the bed and the 9mm Luger pistol fell between his feet.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department report, between approximately 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. on June 16, 1959, George Reeves died of a gunshot wound to the head in the upstairs bedroom of his Benedict Canyon home. He was 45 years old.

1945|Bob Marley
Roll a fattie, and fire that baby up!

1925|First film shown on airline
The Lost world

Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but especially the Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East. There were local partnership companies; Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd) in Australia, and TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Ltd) in New Zealand.

The first commercial flight was in April 1924, when a daily London-Paris service was opened. Additional services to other European destinations were started throughout the summer. The first new airliner was commissioned by Imperial Airways in November 1924. In the first year of operation the company carried 11,395 passengers and 212,380 letters. In April 1925, The Lost World (a recent blockbuster film) was shown to the passengers on the London-Paris route. This was the first time that a film had been screened for passengers on a plane.

1957|Bye Bye Bye went the NYC Trolley!

Earthquarke|Magnitude 6.3
L'Aquila, Italy

L’AQUILA, Italy — The death toll from a powerful earthquake that shook central Italy continued to rise late Monday, with officials reporting that 150 people had died.

The Lede: Competing Claims Over Quake Warning (April 6, 2009)
Damage to Historical Monuments ‘Significant’ (April 7, 2009)

The New York Times

The 6.3 magnitude quake struck early Monday, injuring some 1500 people, leaving tens of thousands homeless and causing major damage to historic buildings in the medieval hill towns of Abruzzo Region east of Rome, officials said.

Most of the deaths and damage were centered in L’Aquila, a picturesque fortress town at the quake’s epicenter.

“It’s a disaster never before seen,” said Franco Totani, a lawyer who said he was leaving the town to stay at an uncle’s house in Rome. “I’ve seen earthquakes before but this is a catastrophe.”

A shelf-life since 1930.
Previous name? Dewars. James Dewars.

39 ingredients, 150 shamelessly empty calories