Hurricane Gustav’s Silver Lining For TV Viewers

It’s really sad to see the nearly 2 million people forced to evacuate Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast because of Hurricane Gustav. It’s a bit crazy, but there in the cities and towns that the evacuees have left are the newscasters and weather forecasters setting up camp, waiting for the storm to hit.

Sometimes because they are all reporting at once, there’s so much channel flipping going on that one can’t keep track of what they’re saying.

But does that really matter? Not with CNN’s Anderson Cooper “hunkering down” in New Orleans and the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore “sheltering in place” in Houma, Louisiana. Who wouldn’t mind “hunkering” or “sheltering” with either one of them?

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Gay Marriage–Why It Would Be Good for College Football

It’s the first big weekend of college football, and since I upgraded my cable, I can’t believe all the games and scores I can get at the same time. Pretty soon, my thumb is going to need a sling because of so much channel flipping.

I really love college football, the whole thing–the game itself, the bands, the fans, the cheerleaders–all of that rah-rah-rah. Sometimes, though, that high level of testosterone and the arrogance it seems to bring about just is about too much to watch. I think a good gay marriage would be the best antidote to keep some of those involved with college football more bearable to be around.

First, I’d marry off Coach Bob Stoops of the University of Oklahoma. He’s fine to look at, but that attitude of his could use some toning down. Anderson Cooper of CNN would be the perfect match for Stoops. That soft-spoken southern charm would be just the chill pill for Stoops. And think about the great looking kids they’d have to boot.

The second one I’d marry off is almost older than football itself–Coach Joe Paterno of Penn State. I think he started coaching when there were still only 48 states. There’d be no better husband for Paterno than Sir Ian McKellan. The Wizard could conjure up a golden-years’ fantasy honeymoon that would surely get rid of Paterno’s grumpiness. In case the couple needed a little extra “sumpin-sumpin”, maybe they could look up one of those Nebraska wrestlers who got themselves a bit of fame on camera. One of them is somewhere up in Pennsylvania these days.

The last one that needs a gay wedding is Bevo, the longhorn mascot of the University of Texas. No one is sure if he could actually consummate any marriage because Bevo is a steer, isn’t he? Never mind that. Bevo’s perfect mate? One of the gay penguins. The warmth and attention the penguin shows for his eggs and chicks might help make ol’ Bevo a kinder, gentler soul, once he felt the love coming his way–not to mention toning down that god-awful burnt orange he’s been wearing season after season. A bit of the penguin’s fashion sense might get even an old steer like Bevo to have a bit of style for a change.

I’d say we’re way overdue for a gay marriage or two in college football. If Boston College plays USC or UCLA this year, who knows? It might happen.

Sex in a Pan–Decadent and Easy!

In the 80s and 90s, I lived in a great little garden complex over in Montrose (Houston, Texas) on Burlington Street. There were 32 apartments, all of which overlooked the swimming pool and small courtyard in the middle. It was a great little complex, friendly and close-knit, and for a lot of those years, it was about 80% gay and about 20% straight and whatever. Everybody worked, but because the bars were close, a lot of us went out in groups and often hung out at the pool and had barbeques together.

Unfortunately, during that that time, AIDS started picking off people, almost like a sniper, and one by one, our group got smaller and smaller. Of course, a few people did move to other places. I lived there for fifteen years, and by the time I left. it was about 10% gay and 90% straight. The straight people were cool, the type that you still find in the area, but it just wasn’t the same atmosphere. I finally moved, not because I didn’t like my neighbors, but because there had been a small tornado which came through the neighborhood, and it had torn off part of the roof. The company the owners hired made cheap repairs and my ceiling started leaking. Even though my part of the building hadn’t been damaged by the tornado, the entire roof had been replaced with crappy materials and workmanship.

Anyway, when we used to have our parties and get-togethers, my friend Neil sometimes made this great dessert. He didn’t call it “Sex in a Pan”, but I’ve seen others call it that. I don’t remember him calling it by any special name, but I loved it, and I’ve made it on my own over the years. It’s super easy to make, and you end up with a decadent dessert that everyone will talk about. ^ou make it in steps, so you do need to have a little time, but even then you can watch your favorite TV shows or do laundry at the same time because it doesn’t require a lot of attention. If you are a complete “choco-holic”, you can use the chocolate version of almost all of the ingredients.

Sex in a Pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

–The Base

1 Cup chopped pecans, 1 Cup flour, 1/3 Cup butter, 3 Tablespoons sugar

Combine these ingredients well, and press them evenly into 9″X 12″ (approximately) glass or metal baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, take it out, and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.

–The Filling

8 ounces of cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 small container of whipped topping

Mix these together and spread over the cooled base.

–Topping Layer One

2 Cups milk, 1 small package instant chocolate pudding, 1 small package instant vanilla pudding

Mix these together (electric mixer is best), and spread over the filling.

–Topping Layer Two

Other 1/2 of the whipped topping, semi-sweet chocolate, chopped pieces of maraschino cherries, chopped pecans

Add the final layer of whipped topping; then sprinkle with shaved chocolate and other delights of your choosing!

Refrigerate for a couple of hours for the entire dessert to set. If you want, you can add the final sprinkles of chocolate, cherries, and nuts right before serving. To serve, cut into squares, and gently lift them out with a spatula. This serves 12 if you have guests. It also refrigerates well, so if you have any left over, you can pig out on it later!

Matthew Mitcham–The Golden Boy Brings Notoriety and Attention to Australia

When they throw the ball to you, the only thing to do is make a run for it. Or as some would say, give a dog a bone. So this dog is going to chew on this bone just a little more.

It seems that it’s not only me, but A WHOLE LOTTA PEOPLE are very interested in Matthew Mitcham after his win in Beijing over the past weekend. Here almost four days later, the net is still buzzing about his Olympic victory.

A lot of people are complaining in different articles about why NBC didn’t talk about his personal life and the fact that he is an out gay athlete. I’m not sure where I stand on that. On the one hand, I didn’t notice NBC doing much in-depth reporting on the personal aspects of any non-American athletes. Some people were complaining that they talked so much about Michael Phelps and his mom, but not about Matthew Mitcham and his relationship with his mom and boyfriend. The big thing here is (A) NBC is an American television network, (B) Michael Phelps is American and Matthew Mitcham is not, and (C) Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals.

Or if you want to look at it from a more negative perspective, maybe NBC didn’t want to get into trouble like CBS did a couple years ago at the Super Bowl, when Janel Jackson and Justin Timberlake made some fancy moves on stage during the half-time show, and Janet’s boob was showing for a split second before a world-wide audience. Then all the religious conservatives and other straight-laced folk got so up in arms that in the end CBS paid a big fine to the FCC.

Maybe, NBC was worried that these same tight-assed people would get upset seeing Matthew with his boyfriend, which would have terrible effects on their children, and God, forbid, they should see them kissing. Anyway, with everyone having a computer these days, whoever wants to find it can find it if they want ( and probably also Janet Jackson’s boob, not that I have any interest in that).

Even though, NBC didn’t give Matthew much limelight during the games, Australia still seems to be on the young man’s bandwagon. Today (Tuesday), the Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald’s sports section named him the Performer of the Week, and there’s a nice wrap-up about his dive there.

Anyway, because of Matthew’s success, I’ve learned that there’s more to Australia than kangaroos, shrimp on the barbie (Is it spelled like that doll?), Crocodile Dundee, and last, but certainly not least, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Despite being surrounded by all that ocean, the Aussies can actually be quite funny. I ran across this clip of an Aussie TV show doing a parody of the Chinese lip-syncing during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Looks like she might have a future in the Drag Kings.

(Check here if you’re looking for a photo of Matthew and Lachlan.)

Matthew Mitcham–Now There’s a Picture I Would Hang in My Locker

On Saturday, when I first saw the results of the 10-meter platform dive, I decided to post the results here because I was excited about it, but I thought only the few people who read my blog would see it. Then ka-boom. I see the counter showing all these hits. At first, they were just mostly from Australia, then some from the US. By Sunday, the counter started spinning off its wheels (my blog’s wheels usually turn pretty slowly). I was getting hits from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Panama, Turkey, Russia, even the Congo! I couldn’t believe it.

Then I started to realize that there were lots of people excited about Matthew’s win. I’d read the article in the Advocate about him earlier, and was hoping he’d get some kind of medal. However, knowing about the prowess of the Chinese in diving and the fact that the Olympics were being held in Beijing, I didn’t figure that anyone really had much of a chance against them–for sure, not the gold. Then there on Saturday morning (at least Saturday morning Houston time), here’s this young gay guy from Australia standing on the podium receiving the gold medal!

I had my own emotional moment, and proceeded to write the results here.

Mitcham receives congratulations from his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher after receiving his gold medal in Beijing.

Unfortunately, we here in the US (I don’t know about other places) didn’t get to see him give his honorary roses to his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher in the stands, nor did we see the interview after his win with his mother and Lachlan at his side. Nor did we get to see one of the nicest moments, when he rested his head on Lachlan’s shoulder for a moment. Not that any of this was out of the ordinary, for a winning athlete to have his loved ones at his side after the victory. But rare, indeed, and truly wonderful for a gay athlete to be able to acknowledge and be acknowledged by his loved ones on camera. For me, it was one those great moments.

I hope it’s going to be one of those pivotal events that makes changes–changes for a lot of people, especially young people. It’s time for them to have a hero–these kids in school who catch all the flack because they’re gay, or even just presumed to be gay.

Yes, there have been out gay athletes in the Olympics before. And, yes, there were a number of other out gay medal winners this year in Beijing–all in team sports and all women, and they are to be congratulated and greatly supported, as well they should be. However, this is a situation comparable to the one in show business. It’s great that Ellen Degeneres can dance across the stage on her award-winning talk show and get married to her girlfriend and have the whole world smitten. When Anderson Cooper or someone of the same ilk has the “cojones” to do the same, the other half of the gay population will have its day too.

I’m sure there are those out there who will say, “I don’t need a ‘gay hero’; I don’t need anyone famous to be “out” because I’m fine with myself. Anyway, it’s something private.”

Well, I admit I need it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. (I’m sure of that because of all the interest shown not only on this blog, but because of all of the articles about Matthew’s win published everywhere in the past couple of days.)

But even more so, kids need it. These kids that get called names, pushed around, or much worse–they need it. They need to see that it’s OK to be who you are, that it’s not weird to have the support of your boyfriend when you do something great or not so great, that you can be gay and have your parents be openly proud of what you do and who you are. I’m sure there are lots of gay kids with great supportive parents, but there are many who are searching for something positive–something that shows being gay is just one part of a person, and everybody can make goals and reach them, and still be a whole person, without hiding any part.

Because of that, Matthew Mitcham’s win has a greater importance than just that of his own personal success. I don’t know how many more athletes there will be coming out in the near future, but I’m sure his victory and example will be an inspiration to help open that door, not just for athletes but any kid.

I know if I were 16 again and still in high school, I’d stick a picture of Matthew Mitcham’s winning dive on the inside of my locker door.

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Read more about this Olympian: Matthew Mitcham Story About To Hit the Newstands: Olympic Win and Life After the Olympics

Check here if you’re looking for a photo of Matthew and Lachlan.

Matthew Mitcham, Olympic Gold Diver Speaks about His Achievement

Matthew Mitcham's Gold Winning Dive

Matthew Mitcham's Gold-Winning Dive at the Beijing Olympics

With such an emotional victory in his pocket, Matthew Mitcham, the winner of the gold medal in the 10-meter platform dive took a little time later to speak about his win, along with his mother and boyfriend, Lachlan Fletcher, both of whom were in the stands at Beijing’s Olympic Water Cube to watch and cheer him on. (Read about Matthew’s terrific victory further down this page.)

Jury Duty for City of Houston and Harris County

jury-cartoon1If you get a jury summons for the municipal courts of the city of Houston or for the district courts of Harris County, these two sites give a lot of details about where to park, what to wear, how to re-schedule, what happens if you don’t show up, and other information about serving on a jury. Click on the links below  for more specific information about jury duty, including phone numbers:

(Make sure that you scroll down to see all information on either of these pages.)