Monday, April 24, 2017

Autographs ― Tim Wu

At this year's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, one panel I attended was "Silicon Valley Disrupters." There were four authors plus a moderator. All were interesting, but I only bought this book by Tim Wu and got it signed.

(Index of autographs)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mexico City — Spring 2017

Link to more photos

I last visited Mexico City in 1985. Although he has passed through Mexico City many times, the only local sight Victor had seen was Teotihuacan.

We signed up for an Out Adventures tour, our first with a gay group. It was great. Victor loved it. The weather was fine — moderate temperatures day and night and not a drop of rain.

The tour included quite a few places I had not seen, including Frida Kahlo's home, lunch on a boat in the Xochimilco canals, Museo Dolores Olmedo, and Museo Soumaya.

In addition to the expected sights (see the photos linked above!), we went to a temazcal — a sweat lodge, visited Coyoacan, had one special dinner at a great restaurant, Dolce Patria, and our final group dinner at the home of a gay couple who teach cooking. Victor and I also visited the zoo on one free morning.

Monday, March 27, 2017

'Alien' plants

The Los Angeles Times ran a long story on fighting alien, non-native 'weeds.' I sent this note in response (not published):
I'm always surprised that so many people who welcome immigrant people reject immigrant plants, calling them non-native and alien and trying to wipe them out. Why? Yes, they will alter the environment, just as immigrant people do.

If they thrive here, I welcome them, both people and plants.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Here's why Trump's attacks on 'fake news' succeed

The Washington Post ran a story with this misleading headline last week: Here's why Trump's attacks on 'fake news' succeed. The story was entirely about why Trump's supporters are OK with his attacks on the news media.

In response, I sent this letter (not published):

That's a narrow definition of success: that it will go over with your supporters. That's true, but not news, and not success.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Autographs ― Alison Bechdel

I've long been a fan of Alison Bechdel. Her 'Dykes to Watch Out For' comic strip was always my favorite item in The Lesbian News, until she stopped it, and I bought her book Fun Home as soon as it came out.

This week, the Tony Award-winning stage musical based on that book came to town. I saw it two nights ago, and loved it.

Happily, as part of that, Bechdel also came to L.A. Today, I attended her talk at the Santa Monica Public Library, and I got her to autograph my book. She noticed that I had the first edition of the book.

(Index of autographs)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Churches, taxes and politics

I sent the following letter to the Los Angeles Times (not published):
Churches, taxes and politics

Trump vows to "totally destroy the Johnson Amendment," which bans tax-exempt nonprofits such as churches from participating in any political candidate’s campaign.

Better yet: Tax the churches. Then they can politick all they want.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tijuana — Dec. 1997

(Most of the) group after dinner
(Hugh took the photo.)

After the third denial of a tourist visa for Victor in the mid-1990s, we gave up trying to get Victor to Los Angeles. I decided to try to set up an event to get some of my Los Angeles friends to Mexico instead.

A dinner party in Tijuana seemed like it might work. Although I had briefly visited Tijuana, I didn't know a suitable restaurant, or whether there might be a good gay restaurant or a gay hotel for Victor and me to stay at. I posted a note on a gay email discussion list asking for anyone who might be able to help me with that. I was hoping that Rex Wockner might respond, and he did! So I paid Rex to show me around a bit in Tijuana, and picked a good, easy-to-find restaurant.

I set up a trip to Tijuana for Victor and me, and invited friends, including Rex and partner Jess (third and second from the right, respectively, in the photo above), to dinner. I didn't tell Victor anything about the dinner. It was to be a surprise for him.

The trip was Victor's first time on an airplane! Everything went very well. This was before 9/11, and border crossings were easier then, so most of the invitees did attend. Victor was surprised, at least a couple of my friends knew who Rex was, and everyone had a fine time.

Victor and I spent several days in Tijuana. We enjoyed the art in the Tijuana Cultural Center. But overall, Victor found Tijuana unappealing.

Trump nominees contradict Trump

I sent the following letter to the Los Angeles Times (not published):
Re: Trump said it, but Cabinet picks differ

Trump's cabinet nominees are contradicting Trump: How can you tell, since Trump contradicts Trump all the time?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Belize — December 2016

At Big Rock Falls

Zipline

Link to more photos

Victor and I spent a week in Belize. It was this tour (but at a different lodge; see below). The week included hiking, canoeing, Mayan ruins, caving, horseback riding, zip-lining, cave tubing, and snorkeling.

But on the second day, Victor and I tipped the canoe twice, and my phone, despite being in a plastic bag, got wet and died. The only photos I have are a few taken before that and those above, taken by others.

We were at Mystic River Lodge (mapped) most of the time, then at Pelican Beach Resort on a small island in South Water Caye for two days.

Belize is awfully wet! December is not the rainiest season, but there was still quite a bit of rain. The caves were both filled with water and required some swimming. The country is beautifully green, but definitely wet!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thoughts on Trump's victory

Scattered thoughts after Trump's victory:

  • It's shocking, overwhelming, depressing, bleak.
  • I waited until after 8 pm to even begin looking at election results, expecting to see how big a margin HRC had. It actually took me a few minutes to realize how bad things looked.
  • As I've always thought, we should eliminate the Electoral College and elect the President by popular vote. That, of course, would change yesterday's outcome!
  • I'm glad none of my friends voted for Trump. I'm disgusted to live among so many millions who would vote for such a charlatan.
  • I'm sorry so many people apparently don't like where we've been headed during Obama. I'm generally happy with it, and I always prefer to look forward, not backward.
  • I'm glad only 33% of Californians, and less than 24% of L.A. County voted for Trump.
  • Celebrity trumps (!) all.
  • It's the death of political polling. How could they all get it so wrong?
  • I'm sorry that the death of the Republican Party I have long hoped for and predicted is now out of sight.
  • I'm scared for the future Supreme Court. Fortunately, I think gay rights are now firmly in place, but I worry about economic and political issues.
  • We need to bring back the American Travelers Apology T-shirt of the early 2000s, which says, in six languages: "I'm sorry my president's an idiot. I didn't vote for him."
  • I suspect this blog may return to its title and original purpose in the years to come.
  • I may spend more time in Yucat√°n!