Monday Morning Musings: Still Moving and– Adam Lambert . . . Still Moving

Yesterday I had no energy for musings; hence, no “Sunday Morning Musings”.  The move to my new house is ongoing, although I definitely am living there.  Last week at this time, I couldn’t say where I lived;  I was just too tired from lifting and toting and pushing.  Then too, I was sleeping on the sofa in the new place.  It all felt like camping or the numb feeling after Hurricane Ike.

Now I feel like I’m living again even though much of the house is in total disarray (todo un desmadre).  I still have several loads of possessions to collect at my old apartment, which I have to be out of by a week from today. 

Satellite was hooked up on Saturday; this means that now all of the communication devices are working.  So with a shiny, new TV, I was set for Sunday football, but most of the day, I spent on the necessary weekend chores, plus settling in some more, making one more trip to the apartment, and even painting a bit.

So by 8:30 PM, exhausted as I was, the Bears vs. the Eagles held even less interest for me than the Bears vs. the Eagles normally would.  I switched over to the American Music Awards, then went into the kitchen to do some more sorting and putting away, only to hear Janet Jackson singing Michael Jackson, sounding like Michael Jackson:  maybe they really were/are they same person.

After the ho-hum of more unpacking was interrupted by a phone call, I decided to give up the ghost for the night at just before 10 o’clock. I checked out  the NFL game, then started flipping through the channels.  At the moment I got to the local ABC station, up popped the AMA once again, announcing Adam Lambert.

Truly, I don’t know much about Adam Lambert, only that he was the runner-up on American Idol, that he’s got this 80s glam look goin’ on, and that he hasn’t been shy about his being gay.  Actually, I admire him for having that “I’m gay, take-it-or-leave-it” attitude so early in his career.  I admire that same attitude in a lot of young people these days, that they just can be who they are without stodgy conservatism trying to make them hide themselves.

That’s why while watching Lambert’s performance, I was amazed to see him dancing and prancing on stage in front of a national audience, the likes of which I don’t remember having seen since the days of David Bowie.  Oh, we’ve seen similar dancing and hip-thrusting, but with female stars like Madonna and Janet Jackson.  Then when he pulled one of the male dancer’s head to his crotch and soon after kissed a keyboard player, I said to myself, “You go, Adam.”

To be honest, I didn’t care for the song at all, and I’m not really sure whether he’s got a voice or not, but when it comes to chutzpah (and I definitely mean the good chutzpah), Adam Lambert has it going on.  Lambert will find someone to write some decent music and he’ll get some voice training, but his gutsy performance last night on the American Music Awards is going to go along way for him . . . and for other gay people.

You see, Adam Lambert is not afraid to be himself . . . like a lot of gay people are.  Unless gay people act like themselves in public, straight people are forever going to keep their blinders on and deny that we exist.  They can’t deny that mixed-race couples exist when they see them or they see their children.  But they still can deny gay people exist when they see two guys together or two women together even when they know they are together.  They can deny it because gay people help them deny it by not holding hands or hugging or giving a smooch in public, the same physical acknowledgement that straight couples give to each other.   How do we ever expect straight deniers from seeing that we really are just like them, unless we show them that we are?

Yeah, there have been those screaming their negative comments about Lambert’s performance today in response to articles about the AMA, but these are the same people that would have been screaming if it had been Madonna or Lady Gaga.  Let them scream; artists that want to make it big take it to the edge, and this is just what Adam Lambert was doing.  However, in doing so, he’s saying, “Hey, I’m gay and this is who I am.”

You go, Adam.

Houston METRORail Holds Ground-Breaking Ceremonies for Two New Lines

Ground-breaking ceremonies were held to inaugarate the beginning of construction of two new light-rail lines in Houston.  Work will be starting on the Southeast Corridor Line and the Northline Corridor Line.

metrorail houstonBoth of these will connect more commuters to downtown and the present line, which goes from the University of Houston Downtown on the north to beyond Reliant Stadium on the south.

According to Click2Houston, “(F)ive light rail projects were selected nationwide to receive federal grant money. The two new lines METRORail lines are two of those projects. The north corridor and the southeast corridor will receive $150 million combined.”

Read more here about these and three other new Houston METRORail lines, which will soon be part of the Houston Metro System.

Houston Poised To Start Work on Five New Metrorail Lines; Officials Say These Transportation Projects Will Bring 60,000 New Jobs to the Bayou City; Completion Set for Sometime in 2012

houstonmetro1Today contracts were let for four new lines by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. In addition to these lines is the fifth new line, the University Corridor Line, which is part of another contract, but is to be built during approximately the same time frame.

The almost 1.5 billion dollar deal (plus a similar price for the Corridor Line) will add to the current single line, which has as its northern terminus the University of Houston Downtown, passes through downtown Houston on Main Street, then on to the Museum District and Medical Center, and finally alongside Reliant Stadium (home of the NFL Houston Texans) to its southmost stop just outside of Loop 610.

The original line was finished in 2004 despite the efforts of many community activists and others who fought against commuter rail, saying that nobody would use it. Anyone who rides the Metro today will see the cars filled with riders of all types, especially students and downtown and medical center employees. The addition of the rail line was one of the factors which has led to a “renaissance” of the entire downtown area, which just like those of many other big series had slipped into a period of decay as freeways and shopping malls pulled many city dwellers and newcomers to the Houston area to the suburbs.

houstonmetromap2

The five new lines include:

  • The East End Line (3 miles), which will cross the current line very near its present northern stop, but mostly will head east toward the Harrisburg area, sometimes known as Magnolia or Navigation. This is an old, primarily Hispanic area near the Houston Ship Channel. Probably the most famous establishment in this part of Houston is the original Mama Ninfa’s Restaurant on Navigation Street.
  • The Southeast Line (6.7 miles), which also starts at the north end of the current line, then somewhat zigzags its way near University of Houston Main Campus and continues on.
  • The North Line (6.4 miles), which actually will be an extension of the current line. It will, of course go north from downtown Houston and end up at the Northline Mall area. (Northline Mall was torn down a couple of years ago and has been rebuilt into more of a plaza-like series of strip centers with stores easily accessible to drive-up customers.)
  • The University Corridor Line (10 miles), which starts in Eastwood, an area near the University of Houston Main Campus and heads west crossing the Main Street Line and goes out to the near southwest side of town. This line has been the most controversial, fought against by homeowners and neighborhoods, who don’t want the rail to pass through their areas.
  • The Uptown (4.7 miles), which will connect perpendicularly with the Corridor Line, and pass through the Galleria and Uptown Park areas.

This is an ambitious project, but one worthy of the 4th largest city in the United States. Although Houstonians are known to be in love with their cars, and high-priced European sedans, Hummers, and double-cab pickups, and other gas guzzlers are the norm rather than the exception in this city, the recent high-dollar price of gas and now the more recent general economy slump have moved many drivers to rethink their daily means of getting to work. However, these new rail lines do not really reach that far out from the center of the city, so many commuters will still need to use the current freeway system to get to their jobs, keep taking the non-too-frequent Metro buses, or perhaps drive to the end terminals of the new lines.

Officials say they hope these lines will be completed sometime in 2012; that seems quite a large order for such a huge project. In addition, they say that these projects will add 60,000 jobs to the community and that some of the cost will be paid for by the stimulus package, which President Obama and the Congress have approved.

With all the construction taking place all over the city, but especially in areas surrounding downtown, this project will probably bring major traffic nightmares to the city before it is actually completed.

Just In Case You Get Tired of Turkey, Run-down from Black Friday Shopping, or Need To Take a Break from the NFL Games–Here’s a Little Present That Will Keep You From Getting “Dragged Down”

I’ve heard about the Eurovision song competition for years, and I know that some pretty famous artists have sung in it, and some songs have become famous after first being performed on it, but, otherwise, I don’t know that much about it. Here’s the lowdown from wikipedia:

“The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. Each country participates via one of their national EBU-member television stations, whose task it is to select a singer and a song to represent their country in the international competition.The Contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world.”

Anyway, while browsing through youtube the other night, I found this video from the Denmark entry in 2007 by a group called DQ. (I don’t think it’s what you’re thinking of, ice cream lovers. I think if you listen to the words, it must be for “Drama Queen”.

Enjoy. It’s actually kinda catchy. (And, you don’t act like a “drama queen” if you don’t like it.)