Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Heeeey gurls, happy Pride weekend in DC. I’m still recovering from the trip, just got back on Wednesday and had to work the last two days of the week. Before that, my jury duty had me serving right up to the day I left for England, which stressed me out to no end. We found the guy not guilty despite having a loaded 9mm semiautomatic with laser pointer in the glove compartment of a car that wasn’t his. There are many agonizing details, but basically the officer wasn’t as thorough as he could have been, and there were too many areas where there was reasonable doubt.

Anyway, I finished my mountain of laundry and am still going through photos, including the amazing trip to Iceland on the way back. More on that later. I didn’t take too many photos during the Bingham Cup tournament in Manchester as there was a lot of time playing and little time for taking photos, but others took some and here’s one of the side I was on (we brought two teams):
Manchester 2012
In the end neither team got any hardware, the competition at our level was fierce but we played well.
Grrr
Grrr. At some point in the matches I got a hearty kick to the calf. At first I thought it was a cramp or pull, which would have been problematic, but I could run with a bruise:
Leg Bruise
It hurts more today than it did last week, I hope nothing is damaged.

Now it’s off to tons of Pride weekend events. I hope to get the amazing photos from Iceland up soon. I want to get back there again in the near future!

Pour one out today for Civil War General John A. Logan who founded Decoration Day in 1868, now called Memorial Day.
General Logan
I had a nice weekend relaxing and catching up with friends at barbecues and such, which was nice after a stressy week last week doing jury duty. But we’re not done yet, and I have to report back tomorrow morning. I hope we deliberate quickly, because my plane leaves for Manchester, England tomorrow night. My bags are all packed and I’m ready to get to Dulles on a possibly very short time frame.

I’ll be going to play some rugby at the big gay International rugby tournament, the Bingham Cup. This will be my fifth Bingham Cup, and possibly my last. But I keep saying that every year. I may check out a curling team in the winter after this. I’ve been to the Cup play in San Francisco, New York, Dublin, and Minneapolis (I missed the one in London). This year the lovely Ben Cohen will be making an appearance or two at the Cup, I hope I am not too distracted by him.

Anyway, the Renegades are bringing two teams and I’ll be playing on our “B” or “Red” side. We are seeded in the same starting bracket with our A/Blue side which never makes any sense but they keep seeding us like that for some reason. There are a few teams we could beat in that bracket but we’re likely to drop down to the next level in tournament play. We shall see. But I’m still bringing it, memorizing President Laura Roslin’s Nikita Kruschev moment quote: “I will use every cannon, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon I have down to my own eye teeth to end you! I swear it! I’M COMING FOR ALL OF YOU!”

We played rugby on Saturday out in Frederick, Maryland. The pitch was between the city and the mountains and it was very scenic. But with woodticks. Both the Blue side and Red side played the same opposing side, which was really nice of them to play two matches as it gave those of us on the Red side time to play. The Blues are our starting side and the Red side is the 2nd team with old men and gimps like me. The Blues beat Frederick 22-12, then the Reds played the same team but lost 21-15 although it was a good match.

Here’s me with Miss Gertrude Pumpernickel before the Red side match.
Frederick May 12
Gertrude is the prettiest girl on the pitch!

I don’t normally go out after a match as I’m usually kind of ornery and not very well socialized on a rugby day, but it was the only day I could meet up with Butterfly Guy Doug who was in town for a conference. We met up at DuPont Italian Kitchen, then went to Cobalt. You know I always like how Cobalt has done something nice to their place every time you go there. I’m glad we’re through the particle board stage and dance boxes painted flat black era. Now that we can open our windows in the gay bars they’re getting nicer interiors.

It was good to finally meet Doug after linking to him for so long. He is an entomologist and knows a lot about butterflies and one day wishes to rediscover the giant Madagascar earwig, which is presumed extinct.

Anyway, after that we went to Rich Morel’s Hot Sauce, which is off the chain! Hot Sauce is coming to DC again on the 23rd of June, but was originally held in Baltimore. It’s sort of like Blowoff but with faster-paced music. I ended up staying out much longer than I expected, but I had fun.

I had just returned and unpacked from my Tucson trip when an unexpected work trip took me to San Antonio, Texas. There wasn’t much time to explore but I got an afternoon off and visited the Alamo:
The Alamo
I never found the basement but the gardens in the Alamo plaza were pretty.

After having a big ‘ol margarita, I explored the River Walk for a bit:
River Walk, San Antonio
It was “Bring BrettCajun to work” that week in the office, and Brett and I posed for a picture:
grumpy coworker
Brett had difficulty with basic office functions, so we had him shred papers and sharpen pencils to keep him busy.

I didn’t see any roadrunners, but the coyote was catching up to me.
Coyote and me
Unpack, laundry and a brief rest on Friday, then it was off for a day of rugby at the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival. In addition to a rugby tournament, there’s bagpipe and drum judging, large men in kilts throwing heavy objects, and a great view of the Chesapeake Bay. There were other nice things to look at too:
PAXJersey2
There were other woofy creatures at the festival as well, including this humongous Irish Wolfhound:
Irish Wolfhound
Our starting side was in the finals for our local rugby union playoffs, and they got 3rd place which wasn’t bad. Our 2nd side played at Celtic Fest and didn’t do as good as we had in previous years but everyone got some time to play. Can you see the bagpiper in this photo?
Red Scrum
After working up a huge appetite playing in the matches, I got to have my semi-annual giant roast turkey leg:
Turkey Leg
Om nom nom…

Heeey! Sorry I’ve been absent. Been busy at work as the workload has increased with cutbacks in staffing. The agency I work for in the gub’ment has been offering early retirement and buyouts to help cut the federal budget, and people have been taking up the offers. The cubicles have been a ghost town where the only sound is the furious tap-tapping of keyboards from the remaining staff. Little time for blogging between that and rugby practice.

I played a little in our first match of the season yesterday. I would complain that I didn’t get enough game time but considering how sore I am today perhaps what little I did play may have been sufficient. Sleeping in and a few naps have regenerated me a little, but a back-intensive gardening session today wasn’t the best idea to top off the weekend. Grampaw Jimbo is sore.

But I managed to get out to one event for the Cherry party weekend here in DC. I shouldn’t have worn nice dress shoes and ironed shirt, as I have forgotten that you’ll just take your shirt off anyway it’s been so long that I’ve been to one of those events. The crowd has dwindled over the years but it was good to shake it for a bit. I went home after only an hour as my feet hurt from wearing cleats earlier in the day.

A story from The New York Times on the life and death of NY therapist Bob Bergeron stirred up some good discussion on the Facebooks this weekend. How could a therapist in his late forties who helped other gay men cope with aging gracefully have taken his life? He was about to finish a self-help book entitled “The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond.”

The book was never published, but I will admit I might have checked out that book from the library, and it has been a discussion between me and my shrink earlier this year. While I haven’t lived the glamorous Chelsea life vacationing in Mykonos and whatnot, I have noticed a change in me and my 40something friends. Friends pair up and move out to the ‘burbs, getting married in one way or another, and/or don’t go out with the frequency we used to. Coming into this age requires a lot of self-reflection and repositioning of priorities, and looking more into what makes you happy and keeping you fulfilled. At least I am somewhat aware that you can’t party and go out 3+ nights a week forever and I don’t. I simply don’t have the energy for that anymore.

Some cope with this age by diving into their careers. I don’t know if it’s just a reality here in DC and NYC, or a symptom of the economy to work more for less for fear of losing your job, but I’ve seen a lot of that focus with friends as well. And perhaps my perception is skewed due to my education at an undergraduate college that had a wellness program that drove the idea of work/life balance home at every opportunity. The wellness indoctrination I got there definitely had an effect on how I look at work and living. I look for workplaces that don’t just give lip service to the idea of work/life balance, but practice it too. A person should be free to go home to do whatever they do to be happy at a reasonable hour, regardless of whether it’s to pick up your kid from daycare or get to rugby practice. I see good practice of work/life balance in my current workplace. Most nights most of my managers tear outta there by 5:30 and that’s a good thing. None of this staying until 8 crap, which I experienced working closer to downtown. I will stay late to get a project done, but won’t do that on a regular basis. There will always be work to do, and you can put in the hours to get what you think must be done, but even after that work will still be there to be done.

Go home already. That’s a start on living in my opinion. I may not have the secrets to the rest of the mysteries on being gay in your 40s, but I have a guess that visualizing your life beyond your 20s and 30s is important as well. Many choose not to think about that. What will you be doing in your 40s? What do you want to accomplish? What are your options to things you used to do but no longer want to accomplish? These questions are still being answered in my mind but thinking about them is a start.

Otter Idol?I haven’t really busted any river otter cults lately, but it sure makes an initeresting subject header. Hey, if there can be a Blue Oyster Cult why not a River Otter Cult?

Anyway, sorry for the absence! Things have been self-destructing in my home, stuff that probably needed replacement long ago. Like my 40-gallon aquarium external canister filter for example, which leaked all over the place and the house got an early mopping for spring. I have a new filter now and it’s very quiet an my goldfish are content. Some day when I run out of content I will blog about my goldfish like other bloggers write about their cats.

I went up to NYC over St. Paddy’s weekend for a mini blogger summit with former blogger Interea and Joe.My.God. It had been too long and I also stopped over at this exhibit so I could learn more about these ancient Pazyryk nomads of Central Asia. While I was over in the neighborhood I finally made it to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to follow up on ungulate imagery in ancient nomad jewelry. Back in the day they really liked rams, ibex and deer in many different cultures. In the ancient Egypt section of the museum I also spotted the otter idol shown here. However my Egyptologist friend says it’s probably a mongoose. I’d prefer to think the ancient Egyptians worshipped otters instead. If Christians can pick and choose what passages from the bible they want to live by I will decide what the ancient Egyptians worshipped so I believe they worshipped otters.

Also spotted in that section was a recreation of relief artwork that inspired some art my mom has up on the wall at home for some reason:
Abusir Geese
Perhaps my mother is an ancient Egyptian goose cultist?

I thought these lamassu guardians from Nimrud had nice beards:
Nimrud Gate Lamassu
On St. Patty’s Day I watched the 6 Nations rugby finals, first Wales vs. France then Ireland vs England. Wales won the tournament but England won my hearts for their thuggish band of beefy and woofy rogues. Strangely Ireland consisted mainly of players who were simply cute but not “woofy” by my definition.

Anyway, while I was in the Irish bar some pipers came in to play for a bit:
Irish Rogues
This was a view from my lovely hosts’ apartment – the fog made for a dramatic photo:
NYC Skyline
Other than that I also went to a new country/western bar in NY called “Flaming Saddles” and also to the Eagle with Joe.My.God. However the crowds start building at 1am and that is already too late for my subdued DC-bred sensitivities and it was time to go home.

fDeluxe (which consists of several members from The Family) performing “Gaslight” on Twin Cities Public television:

The Family originally recorded “Nothing Compares 2 U” with a male voice of lead singer St. Paul. The song was written by Prince, as were most of the tracks on their album. The other vocalist is Susannah Melvoin, Wendy’s twin sister.

Beardy rugby player David “The Wolfman” Williams for Coke Zero:

Did anyone catch Bradley Cooper’s sweet ’stache at the Oscars?

The ski trip was fun and I believe I only heard “We Found Love” only about 6 times which was tolerable, but they did play that LMFAO song more than I wanted to hear. It’s still stuck in my brain like a malignant brain tumor. I missed the Madonna halftime live but did catch her later on the YouTubes. She was fun and I liked the guests except for that weird ginger afro dude tightrope walking. That was out of place. And Kylie would like her 2011 Aphrodite tour dancers and props back please, thanks. Here’s a review of the show from NPR.

The snow conditions on the slopes were to be expected for the warm winter we’ve had in the region, and there was only snow on the runs but nowhere else on the mountain. Knowing snowboarding would probably suck on icy manufactured snow, I checked out those newfangled parabolic skis which did make skiing a little easer. I think it’s been like 10 years since I skiied (rather than snowboard) but I didn’t forget a thing. But I was reminded of how much I still have to learn on the ‘board so I won’t be buying a pair of skis anytime soon. I still like the snowboarding.

Later that evening at the local gay bar (12 Penny Saloon in Moosic) I tried my smooth moves on two locals from the Wilkes-Barre area but didn’t get anywhere. I apparently no longer have game and don’t know how to successfully trick anymore. Perhaps it is because I am dead inside.

That reminds me about something I’ve wanted to discuss here. I see on a lot of the youngster profiles here and there on apps and sites where they state that they are strictly on a “NO HOOKUPS” policy which I find hard to believe. Now I’m old fashioned on a lot of gay things but I don’t believe in absinence, and I have a hard time believing these 20somethings aren’t having sex. I worry that their policies will blow up in their faces and they’ll suddenly binge on sex all at once, unsafely.

I remember back in the 90s there was this sex positive movement in response to the fear of sex during the AIDS crisis. Anyone remember that? It was about teaching and doing safe sex while still having a healthy, realistic attitude about having sex. I thought it was a good idea and wonder if the kids these days have a bad attitude about sex out of ignorance. But then again I also see HIV rates increasing in that demographic and wonder if maybe they just don’t care, or possibly don’t know enough about safe sex? The safer sex education and outreach isn’t as prevalent as it was when I came out. Anyway I worry that the kids don’t like the sex, which isn’t healthy either.

Or they’re growing up fucked up if they live in Michelle Bachmann’s congressional district where 9 kids committed suicide in 2 years. Read this Rolling Stone article for more details. It’s horrifying how the school board and citizen leaders deliberately chose to dampen any discussion on orientation. Kids are coming out far earlier than they used to, and they need affirmation and support, not gag orders and ignorance. It sounds like the leaders in the Anoka region are both soulless and spineless, and it’s the kids who are paying the price.

Then I watch this documentary “Kidnapped for Christ” on Joe.My.God, where a gay kid has been sent to what amounts to a concentration camp in the Dominican Republic for “reform.” This stuff is still happening!

Reading and watching stuff like this makes me think that despite all the openness, affirmation and exposure the gays have experienced recently, that it’s almost worse for young gays these days because our opposition has also become more organized and focused as well. Even though we can (sort of) serve openly in the military and get married in some states, it’s still shitty out there for gay youth.

From Accidental Bear: new scrumcap color options are available from the Thom Browne Fall/Winter 2012-2013 menswear line. Click to embiggen:

Rugby practice starts on Valentine’s Day. Which color should I choose?

I was up on our roof with my landlord* fixing stuff this weekend and while I was up there I took a picture of the construction around the Shaw/Howard Metrorail station. The yellowish building is the newly renovated Howard Theatre, expected to host a grand opening on April 12. You can see some damage to the red brick house on the right from the August 2011 earthquake:
Shaw/Howard and LeDroit Park
Here’s a closer look at the damage to the neighbor’s house from the earthquake. Some of the chimney has already been repaired, but much of it had fallen in August. Granted, these chimneys probably hadn’t been maintained in decades but the quake did wreck a few things in the area.
August 2011 Earthquake Damage
This morning on my way to the Shaw/Howard MetroRail station to work I saw that they were preparing to put up the marquee sign for the newly refurbished Howard Theatre.
Howard Theatre marquee
It’s been fascinating to watch the repair work progress and nice to see the city putting work into a historic place. It was a dump and an eyesore for far too long.

* You may wonder why I was up on the roof with my landlord or why should I care about the place when the landlord should be doing maintenance? Well I have a fairly good deal on the rent, and the landlord likes it that I take good care of the place so it’s an arrangement of sorts. Plus in all the rental places I’ve lived I’ve picked up a lot of homeowner tips, tricks and things to watch out for should I ever own a home. So I pay attention to what needs to be done when I can. I’ve learned a lot about termites, crappy on-demand water heaters, mold, and other things that can go wrong with an old house should I ever grasp the American Dream of home ownership. But alas with the high cost of living and my bloated (not) Federal government salary it will be a long time until I build up a sizeable down payment for my own house.