Monday, January 31, 2011

Caption This

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So what do you think the guy with his eyes covered by his hand is thinking?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gay Paree

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Paris is certainly one of the Top 3 travel destinations in Europe, and for the author of these lines it is the most beautiful one. Considering how many wonderful cities in Europe had been destroyed in the last war and didn't gain their former beauty and fame, yet, after 60 years, Paris is truly a treasure and miracle.

You could stay in Paris for months or visit Paris again and again, and you would still see other beautiful and interesting spots if you explore the city with curiosity and open eyes. Just stroll around a bit and do not only follow the routes in your travel guide book.

If you come to Paris not only to visit the Louvre and other sights but want to dive into the Parisian life then try to avoid August. Many Parisians take their long vacations in August and some companies have even closed completely. In the gay scene even the most popular gay clubs and bars won't be very crowded or will be empty or closed.

The gay center of Paris is the Marais, an old district in the 4th Arrondissement of Paris with adorable, narrow streets breathing centuries-old history. You'll find a lot of gay bars, cafes and shops here, as well as plenty of gay-friendly restaurants, most of them quite close to each other, creating a bit of a ghetto atmosphere.

gay Paris
Gay Parisians can be a bit difficult when it comes to flirting. If you dare to show your interest to somebody in a direct way you could easily be seen as too needy, too easy or too cheap. Our two Euro cents of advice: Don't waste your time with behavior research to understand the rituals and peculiarities of flirting in the gay scene of Paris. Just do it your own way and don't take the Parisian rudeness personally.

Besides, it is often said that Parisian guys come and stick in groups. Exploring Paris with friends can really make a difference, both at day and at night.

Annual gay highlight in the French capital is Paris Gay Pride end of June, called ›Marche des Fiertés LGBT‹ in France.  The only gay pride parade I have ever had the luxury of attending is Paris Gay Pride a few years ago when I was in Paris for a study abroad program.

The Parisian attitude toward sexual preferences is VERY relaxed and very pragmatic. Vending machines for condoms have recently been installed in high schools. You also find condom vending machines at Metro stations. When it comes to Paris nightlife, the Parisian scene abounds with transformist night clubs, and after hours clubs with a predominantly gay flavor. The annual Gay Pride Parade gets bigger and better each year.

Paris’s official tourist office site offers a listing of gay-friendly hotels and suggestions for your stay in the “City of Love.” Here is a city where you can walk hand-in-hand and feel truly at home.

Paris’s Marais district may be considered the epicenter of Paris’s gay community, but you’ll find that this city has plenty to offer gay visitors, especially when it comes to nightlife in various arrondissements, so don’t limit yourself to just one neighborhood. Some of Paris’s hottest night spots are gay-oriented.


To learn more, please check out these two sites:

and

Patroc Gay Travel Guide Europe 2011 is a wonderful site for gay travel.  I must apologize to this site because I inadvertently forgot to add my sources for this post.  Check out  Patroc Gay Travel Guide Europe 2011 for more information about gay travel in Europe.  I know that I will the next time I head for Europe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Moment of Bliss

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I was sitting at my desk when he walked up behind me.  He leaned over to ask me a question, placing his right hand on my desk.  His chest was close enough to my right shoulder that I could almost feel its hardness, and I could feel the heat from his body.  Then I smelled his cologne, subtle with a touch of sweetness and manliness.  I turned my head and looked at him as he asked his question.  For a brief moment my body was electrified.  The room was silent, at least in my mind, though I know in reality it was anything but silent.  For a very brief moment, I almost melted in that moment of bliss.  I had to concentrate on what he was asking, but all I could think of at the moment was “What is that cologne you are wearing?”  The moment passed, and I answered his question.  The room returned to normal, the noise and chaos around us resumed, the reality set in, the tingling sensation throughout my body went away.  I returned to my senses. The moment had passed

Ode on a Grecian Urn

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THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
  Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
        
  Of deities or mortals, or of both,
    In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
  What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
    What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
 
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
  Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
 
  Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
  For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
 
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
  Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
  For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
 
  For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
    For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
  That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
    A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
 
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
  To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
  And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
 
  Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
    Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
  Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
    Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
 
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
  Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
  Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
 
  When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
  Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

 
John Keats (1795-1821)
  • Born: 31 October 1795
  • Birthplace: Near London, England
  • Died: 23 February 1821 (tuberculosis)
  • Place of Death:  Rome, Papal State
johnkeatsJohn Keats is considered one of the greatest English poets of the 19th century, the author of Romantic classics such as "Endymion" and "Ode to a Nightingale." Keats began his career as a surgeon's apprentice, but gave up medicine for literary pursuits in 1814. With the help of Percy Shelley, Keats published his first collection in 1817. His productive years between 1818 and 1820 yielded some of his best-known poems, including "Lamia," "the Eve of St. Agnes" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn." In 1821 he left England and went to Italy for health reasons, but died a few months later, leaving his epic poem "Hyperion" unfinished. In his short life he influenced many English poets, and his vivid imagery and sensual style later had an impact on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of painters that included Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/john-keats#ixzz1BuooYhgG

Monday, January 24, 2011

2011 Doritos Superbowl Commercial Ad

The guys in the video are really hot, but why do they always have to make gay guys so stereotypical?  It just allows for more people to make fun of us and puts forth the stereotype.

 

Though I have to say, I found this comment on YouTube about the video to be pretty funny.

 

As a gay man this is not offensive, but the cheap ass stereotype of gay ass feminine boys is what is dumb. Why not have one guy be masculine? Doritos chips are fucking sick anyway. But maybe "straight" football guys like twinkie boys. Who knows?

 

And just on a side note, I am sitting here watching the news about the coverage of the Senior Bowl (college football showcase of seniors ready for the draft).  Why did I not get invited to the weigh-in?  All those college guys in their underwear (tight Under Armour underwear) parading across the stage.  Damn!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Something to Tickle Your Funny Bone

My Blackberry Is Not Working!

As someone who has a Blackberry, I found this hilarious.  It may be good reception on Verizon, but it does freeze up a lot because of the low application memory.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Stores by Charlotte Brontë

  • Charlotte_Bronte_coloured_drawingBorn: 21 April 1816
  • Birthplace: Thornton, Yorkshire, England
  • Died: 31 March 1855 (complications from pregnancy)

Charlotte is the author of Jane Eyre and a member of the remarkable Brontë family. The sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne first published their poetry under pseudonyms: Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell was released in 1846, selling only a few copies. Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre was published in 1847, shortly after Emily's Wuthering Heights; the sisters had almost simultaneously written what later became known as two of the great novels of English literature. Jane Eyre was an immediate success and Charlotte went on to publish Shirley (1848) and Villette (1853). She outlived her sisters but still was only 38 when she died in pregnancy.

 

Winter Stores by Charlotte Brontë

(published under her nom de plume, Currer Bell, 1846)

Caio-Cesar01We take from life one little share,
And say that this shall be
A space, redeemed from toil and care,
From tears and sadness free.


And, haply, Death unstrings his bow,
And Sorrow stands apart,
And, for a little while, we know
The sunshine of the heart.


Existence seems a summer eve,
Warm, soft, and full of peace,
Our free, unfettered feelings give
The soul its full release.


A moment, then, it takes the power
To call up thoughts that throw
Around that charmed and hallowed hour,
This life’s divinest glow.


But Time, though viewlessly it flies,
And slowly, will not stay;
Alike, through clear and clouded skies,
It cleaves its silent way.


Alike the bitter cup of grief,
Alike the draught of bliss,
Its progress leaves but moment brief
For baffled lips to kiss


tumblr_leqh30UsrN1qb3i8oo1_500The sparkling draught is dried away,
The hour of rest is gone,
And urgent voices, round us, say,
“'Ho, lingerer, hasten on!”


And has the soul, then, only gained,
From this brief time of ease,
A moment’s rest, when overstrained,
One hurried glimpse of peace?


No; while the sun shone kindly o’er us,
And flowers bloomed round our feet,—
While many a bud of joy before us
Unclosed its petals sweet,—


An unseen work within was plying;
Like honey-seeking bee,
From flower to flower, unwearied, flying,
Laboured one faculty,—


Dec20 (20)Thoughtful for Winter’s future sorrow,
Its gloom and scarcity;
Prescient to-day, of want to-morrow,
Toiled quiet Memory.


’Tis she that from each transient pleasure
Extracts a lasting good;
’Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure
To serve for winter’s food.


And when Youth’s summer day is vanished,
And Age brings Winter’s stress,
Her stores, with hoarded sweets replenished,
Life’s evening hours will bless.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Word of the Week: Tyromancy

cheeseSo I am a total geek.  I will admit it.  Usually when I drive, I have my radio on NPR.  Yesterday, I was listening to Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s show, The Splendid Table.  I am also a bit of a foodie.  I can talk food anyplace, anytime.  So for me this is a great show, and I can get some good ideas about cooking.  Well, yesterday’s trivia question was about the word Tyromancy, which I found fascinating.

Tyromancy is divination by cheese – by the interpretation of the signs that appear as the cheese coagulates. Unfortunately, no book written by an enlightened one has appeared to help us read those signs, so we must make it up as we go along, or rely on our intuitive interpretation.  The word tyromancy is derived from the Greek tūros ('cheese') and manteia ('prophecy').

job_interview_fortune_tellerDuring the Middle Ages, Tyromancy was used to predict the future by looking at the shape, number of holes, pattern of the mold and other characteristics of the cheese. It was also practiced to prognosticate love, money and death.

Tyromancy was also used by young maidens in countryside villages to predict the names of their future husbands. They write the names of their prospective suitors on separate pieces of cheese and the one whose name was on the piece of cheese where molds grew first was believed to be the ideal love mate.

Another method involves writing the possible answers to a question on separate pieces of cheese and placing them in a cage with hungry rodent. The piece that the mouse ate first will be the answer to the question. This form of divination was related to Myomancy.

Omens were also drawn from the patters and designs formed by the coagulation of cheese.

Here's a recipe that might tell us who our future husband will be:

Camembert Divination Toast
  • 1 Camembert Cheese
  • slices of Graham or Boston brown bread or crackers
  • salt and paprika
  1. Remove the crust from a creamy Camembert cheese, spread the cheese thickly on slices of bread or crackers,
  2. dust with salt and paprika, and bake in a quick oven – 375 degrees F. – from five to eight minutes, or until the surface of the cheese is golden brown.
In Mrs. Allen on cooking, menus, service: 2500 recipes; 1924

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Moment of Zen: Artistic

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I have to apologize for the lack of posts this week.  I have been terribly busy with work and have not had the time to get a post ready.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Now Winter Nights Enlarge by Thomas Campion

imageThomas Campion or Campian, 1567-1620, English poet, composer, and lutenist, a physician by profession. Campion wrote lyric poems that he and other composers set to music. His graceful, simple lute songs were published in five Books of Airs (1601-1617). He wrote a treatise on English poetry, condemning the use of rhyme, but he used rhyme freely in his own poems. His treatise A New Way of Making Fowre Parts in Counterpoint (1613) has often been republished.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/thomas-campion#ixzz1AZthbnq6

Now Winter Nights Enlarge

by Thomas Campion (1617)ctwkpic09

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

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This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.

Monday, January 10, 2011

WAR EAGLE!!! BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!

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Las year when Alabama won the National Championship, I was ecstatic, but I had seen them do it before in my lifetime.  I was ecstatic when the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, they deserved it.  However, I have never been as proud of a team as I am the Auburn University Tigers.  I literally cried with joy a few minutes ago when they won and my eyes are still moist.
 
WAR EAGLE!!!
 
WAR EAGLE (FIGHT SONG)

WAR EAGLE (FIGHT SONG)

War...Eagle, fly down the field, Ever to conquer, never to yield.
War...Eagle fearless and true. Fight on, you orange and blue.
Go! Go! Go!
On to vic'try, strike up the band,
Give 'em hell, give 'em hell.
Stand up and yell, Hey! War...Eagle, win for Auburn,
Power of Dixie Land!

War Eagle is the battle cry of fans of the Auburn Tigers football team of Auburn University, and fans of other Auburn teams and sometimes Auburn University in general. It is also the title of the university fight song (see below). It is a common phrase in the city of Auburn in general, along with the variation "War Damn Eagle". Since 1930, and continuously since 1960, Auburn University has also kept an actual eagle as a second mascot for Auburn athletics. However, the official mascot is Aubie the tiger, and Auburn does not have teams called "eagles" or "war eagles".

I can’t believe that the State of Alabama has had it’s top two football schools win the National Championship and the Heisman Trophy for the past two years.  I wonder if any other state has done the same.

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Well, tonight we fucked the ducks.

My Philosophy of History

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There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “History is a maiden, and you can dress her however you wish.”  If you’ve read my blog much, you know that I love writing history posts.  I also like to dress up the maiden of history in a beautiful gown that will turn every eye in the room.  Too often historians and history teachers dress up the maiden of history in dowdy and frumpy clothing and it bores us all to tears.  The trick is to let the gossip flow and grab their attention when you walk in the room.

BOTD-073010-003For me, history is the gossip that survived.  The winners right history and only the most interesting get remembered.  There are many things in history that cannot be proved or disproved.  That is where gossip comes in.  The juiciest of the gossip is often what survives, whether true or not. A few examples, the history of the lives of the Roman emperors written by Suetonius is full of  historical gossip, especially of the sex lives of the emperors.  The wildest of the stories that Suetonius wrote are probably not true or at least greatly exaggerated, though the salaciousness is what keeps getting repeated. 

Another example is the death of Empress Catherine the Great of Russia.  The imagestory goes that Catherine had an insatiable appetite for huge cocks, including those of horses.   When she wanted a horse hung man, she went straight for a real stallion.  She had a contraption built that allowed the horse to be lowered over her so that she could, well…you get the picture.  The story of her death is that the harness broke and the horse crushed her.  imageMost Russian historians will tell you that there is no truth to this myth (In reality, Catherine died of a stroke.), but it has obviously survived for some reason.  At the heart of all myths lies some reality, no matter how small.  Most likely the story was first told as a way to discredit Catherine, much like Suetonius told the the stories of the emperors of Rome.  So, Catherine the Great and her horse most likely did not engage in sexual congress.  True, Catherine the Great liked to ride, and she loved cavalrymen (the younger the better). So there was no equine sex, although it must be said that the Empress did enjoy dressing like a man and riding a horse astride her thighs.

History can truly be enjoyable, so I hope that you will continue to enjoy my posts on history.  I hope that the maiden catches your eye and becomes memorable, because no one likes a frumpy maiden.

Study the past if you would define the future.—Confucius

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Programming Note

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We are expected to experience severe winter weather here in the South over the next 24 hrs.  Rain, sleet, and snow are in the forecast for the ice storm we are expected to experience.  Only twice in my lifetime have we experienced an ice storm here, and that has not been in the last 20 years.  In the event that it is as bad as they are predicting, it is very likely that I will lose power.  In that case, this blog may go silent until I get power and internet returned.  I will set up a few posts in case that happens, but hopefully power will be restored fairly shortly if the lights do go out.  So stay tuned….

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Moment of Zen

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I don’t really know why this picture is a moment of Zen for me, but this guy is just absolutely beautiful.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yankee Doodle

imageYankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony
Stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni.

 

Yankee Doodle, keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the step
And with the girls be handy.

 

 

Have you ever really listened to or considered the words to “Yankee Doodle?”  imageFor many years, I never understood the why he called himself “macaroni.”  What is a macaroni?  He obviously wasn’t talking about the pasta.  I had always known that “Yankee Doodle” first started out as a song that was making fun of the the colonists as country bumpkins (an awkward and unsophisticated person), because that was how the English regarded most colonials at that time.  The term macaroni actually has more connotations than the song lets on.  Macaroni is a fancy and overdressed ("dandy") style of Italian clothing widely imitated in England at the time.  Young Englishmen who went on the Grand Tour of Europe to finish their studies (I will do a further post on the Grand Tour soon), spent much of their time in Italy.  They began to adopt Continental, and especially Italian, manners, fashions, and attitudes.

 

Those young men who returned form Italy with Italian fashion and ways were often made fun of for being effeminate.  imageBeing called a macaroni was not the same as the later terms of fops or dandy, which did not always, though mostly, had negative connotations.  Fop became a pejorative term for a foolish man over-concerned with his appearance and clothes in 17th century England.   A dandy (also known as a beau or gallant) is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self. Historically, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, a dandy, who was self-made, often strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background.  In present day, we often called these types of men metrosexuals.  A heterosexual man who takes on gay fashion and care in their appearance.

 

A macaroni in mid-18th century England, was a fashionable fellow who dressed and even spoke in an outlandishly affected and epicene manner. The term pejoratively referred to a man who "exceeded the ordinary bounds of fashion" in terms of clothes, fastidious eating and gambling. Like a practitioner of macaronic verse, which mixed together English and Latin to comic effect, he mixed Continental affectations with his English nature, laying himself open to satire:

 

There is indeed a kind of animal, neither male nor female, a thing of the neuter gender, lately [1770] started up among us. It is called a macaroni. It talks without meaning, it smiles without pleasantry, it eats without appetite, it rides without exercise, it wenches without passion.

 

Young men who had been to Italy on the Grand Tour imageadopted the Italian word maccherone – a boorish fool in Italian – and said that anything that was fashionable or à la mode was 'very maccaroni'. Horace Walpole wrote to a friend in 1764 of "the Macaroni Club, which is composed of all the traveled young men who wear long curls and spying-glasses." The "club" was not a formal one: the expression was particularly used to characterize fops who dressed in high fashion with tall, powdered wigs with a chapeau bras on top that could only be removed on the point of a sword. The macaronis were precursor to the dandies, who far from their present connotation of effeminacy came as a more masculine reaction to the excesses of the macaroni.

 

In 1773, James Boswell was on tour in Scotland with the stout and serious-minded essayist and lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson, the least dandified of Londoners. Johnson was awkward in the saddle, and Boswell ribbed him: “You are a delicate Londoner; you are a maccaroni; you can't ride.”

 

antiquity10More often the not, the term macaroni, fop, or dandy was considered synonymous with homosexual (though homosexual is not a term that comes into existence until the late 1800s and early 1900s).  Needless to say, it was certainly not compliment to say that he “Stuck a feather in his hat; And called it macaroni.”  So the next time you hear the song “Yankee Doodle”  I hope that you will have a different understanding of the song.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

An Affair to Remember

Tonight, I am going to sleep with tears in my eyes.  You see, I am a hopeless romantic.  I can’t help it.  I watched one of my all time favorite movies tonight on TCM, “An Affair to Remember.”  Why is it that the greatest movies always make you want to cry at the end?  Not only this movie, but so many others that have so emotional endings, two that I can think of right off hand are “Casablanca” and “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  These are some of my top movie favorites.  If I were going to pick a favorite gay movie that always gets me at the end, it would have to be “Latter Days,” which if you haven’t seen, shame on you.  It is well worth it. 

In honor of the movie, “An Affair to Remember” here is Deborah Kerr singing the song “Love Affair” from the movie:

Deborah Kerr "An Affair To Remember"
Actually the voice is Marni Nixon, who is  a great singer and dubbed the singing for Deborah Kerr in this movie and in “The King and I,” she sounds like Kerr and it the voices were melded together to appear seamless.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

Act II, Scene 7 from As You Like It by William Shakespeare (1600)

Blow, blow, thou winter wind.tumblr_kxt79sHs8i1qauc1to1_500
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember’d not.
Heigh-ho! sing, &c.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hmmm...

I didn't have time to set up a substantial post for today, so I thought would give you guys a quick post to say that I will try to post more for tomorrow.  Right now, I am totally drawing a blank as to what to post.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Moment of Zen: New Hope

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Happy New Year, everyone. I hope in the new year that we will have new hope for the future of the world, peace, prosperity, and GLBT rights.

Happy New Year!!!

BBC Symphony, Chorus & Singers - Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

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Champagne and kisses for everyone.