My 2008 Reading List

January 15, 2008

12 Books for 12 Months

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“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

“The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald

“The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner

“The Brothers Karamazov” by Dostoevsky

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison

“Rabbit, Run” by John Updike

“Persuasion” by Jane Austen

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

“The City and the Pillar” by Gore Vidal

“Tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller

“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides

“White Noise” by Don Delillo

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Veteran’s Day: Some Facts

November 11, 2007


  • At 11 minutes past the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the “War to End All Wars,” “The Great War,” World War I officially came to an end. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson called on the nation to observe Armistice Day and honor the soldiers who had served in World War I; in 1926, Congress declared it an official federal holiday.
  • The purpose of Veterans Day and Memorial Day are often confused. Memorial Day is for honoring military personnel who died in service to their country. Veterans Day is for thanking ALL men and women who have served honorably in the military during times of war and peace.
  • Over 48 million Americans have served in the military during war and peace since 1776.
  • There are currently about 25 million living veterans.
  • Of the 25 million living veterans, most (75 percent) served during a war or an official period of hostility.
  • About one in four homeless people are veterans.
  • 43% of homeless males over 25 are veterans.
  • In contrast to earlier American wars, where only men engaged in combat, many veterans returning from today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are women. The new study found that female veterans are more likely to be homeless than non-veteran females, and that overall, female veterans are more likely to be homeless than their male counterparts.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G

November 7, 2007

I thought what better way to get through hump day, than a little kissing trivia. Enjoy!

  • The average person will spend an estimated 20,160 min kissing in their lifetime.
    Ancient Egyptians never kissed with their mouths. Instead they kissed with their noses.
  • Kissing helps reduce tooth decay because the extra saliva helps clean out your mouth
  • On Valentine’s Day 2004, 5,122 Philippine coupes gathered together at midnight and locked lips. This kissathon beat the previous world record of 4,445 set in January in Chile.
  • The Chinese didn’t kiss until the practice was introduced by Westerners, and they’re still not very keen on it.
    You burn 26 calories in a one minute kiss.
  • Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) as those that are released when you engage in intense exercise such as running a marathon or skydiving. This causes your heart to beat faster and your breathing to become deep and irregular.
  • Our brains have special neurons that help us find each others lips in the dark
  • The science of kissing is called philematology.
  • There are many strange laws regarding kissing that are still on the books. In Indiana, it is illegal for a man with a moustache to “habitually kiss human beings”. And in Hartford, CT, it is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on a Sunday.
  • In Naples, Italy in the 16th century, kissing was an offence that carried the death penalty.
    Onur Guentuerkuen of Ruhr-University Bochum in Bochum, Germany, studied hundreds of couples kissing.
  • In his study, he found that two-thirds of people turn their heads to the right when kissing.
  • On Valentine’s Day 2004, an Italian couple made their way into the record books with a 31-hour 18-minute Valentine kiss. The couple beat the previous record by 18 minutes and 33 seconds, however, the man had to receive oxygen afterwards.

America’s Favorite (and Least Favorite) Cities

October 10, 2007

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Travel and Leisure conducted a poll of travelers and residents of the things they like and dislike about 25 major urban destinations.  The results are interesting, check them out: Results.  Philly did well in some very predictable categories, such as, cheap eats, historical sites, good pizza, museums, antiques and farmer’s markets.  Philly did awful in things like style, vacation spot for adventures, cleanliness, and safety.  Why isn’t there a category for murals?  Here are a few categories.

Museum and galleries (I think the list would be different if Pittsburgh was one of the cities evaluated)

1. Washington

2. New York

3. Chicago, Illinois

Home design (I don’t really know what houses look like in charleston, but they must be pretty nice)

1. Chicago

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. San Francisco, California

Intelligent (I was surprised Chicago, which thinks so highly of itself was notably absent in the top 3)

1. Seattle

2. Minneapolis/St. Paul

3. Boston

Farmers’ markets (Philly’s Italian market alone should have made it number 1 )

1. Seattle

2. Portland, Oregon

3. Philadelphia


21 Things Men Need to Know about Women

October 5, 2007

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    I came across a list of 50 things women wished men knew (LINK). These are the ones I personally find true. I love how some are incredibly stereotypical of women and some I think men would have no clue about. But in both situations I think they generally hold true. Obviously not all women are as insecure as some of the list would suggest, but honestly a lot of us are. 

    As always I think many of the “things women wish men knew” is translatable to my gay and lesbian readers.  For lesbians you would think both know everything on the list and would be careful not to hurt each others feelings as  much as straight couples, or that the communication would be somehow better.  But I can tell you first hand that I have done things counter to the list which have gotten me in trouble, and Christina has also not taken the extra second to think where I might be coming from before she says something.  For gay men, you are practically women anyway, just kidding, sorta.  But my gay boys out there, you know you can be sensitive about looks and insecure about if your partner is still into you too.

1. Saying “I love you” immediately before, during, or following sex doesn’t count.

5. I’m convinced I’m pregnant and obsess about it for a minimum of 24 to 48 hours before my period, even when I have no rational reason to think so.

6. I love it when you hug me from behind and whisper in my ear.

9. I’m terrified of becoming my mother, even though I admire her.

13. I’m scared of losing my independence.

15. Oral sex is your get-out-of-the-doghouse-free card. Manolo Blahnik shoes also do the trick.

16. You did something bad. I seem cool with it. I’m not. (See directly above.)

20. When I compare my flabby tummy to a kangaroo pouch, say nothing.

26. If you ask me out directly, I will say yes.

29. When in doubt, go with the shirt that matches your eye color.

31. Women get urinary-tract infections easily, so watch (and wash) your fingers.

33. You’re sexy when you’re shaving, fixing things, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, driving, eating a peach, holding a baby.

34. I need to hear how you feel about me. Often. Tell me now.

35. Surprises, especially gifts for moi = more loving.

36. I want to be the best thing that ever happened to you–and for you to recognize this.

44. I like porn.

45. I love holding your bum in the palms of my hands.

46. Even nice girls like hushed dirty talk in public.

47. It’s cheating as soon as you’re doing something with her that you wouldn’t want me to see, hear, read…

48. For the record: I’d rather you break up with me than cheat.

49. I remember everything about our relationship.

 

 


Hot Gay Best Friend Sex

October 4, 2007


I got this article from a seedy website. I would link to it, but there are pretty much naked people all over and I don’t want to advertise porn. But I think it actually has some valuable advice for those trying to stage a hook up with their best friends. The advice holds somewhat true for straight and lesbian couples as well, but as the article was target for gay men, I left in the pronouns.

There’s something about best friends. You love them, you share everything with them, but you don’t really want to have hot gay sex. Except maybe once. We’re only human. We’re not made of stone. Emotions can have a habit of over-spilling. And this is one occasion when it’s arguable great first time sex with a ‘new’ partner can happen while quite drunk.

These are the rules:

1. Right now, never mind tomorrow morning or earlier this evening, do you both want to have sex? Or is it just you? Or is it just him? If either of the latter two options applies, stick to the beers until neither of you is any longer capable – You can just drool on to each other about love, like straight friends. If, on the other hand, you really are both up for it, then it could be time for some fun.

2. Do you or does he have a boyfriend? To whom are you or he committed? If there is a one-on-one boyfriend in the background, bear in mind that if you do have sex now you won’t be seeing each other again for about six months – and then it will be boyfriend-chaperoned and distinctly frosty.

3. Do either of you really want a relationship with the other person – and being best friends has been the second best alternative to that? If so, it could be sex will shake it out of your system, or it could be Fatal Attraction time. Up to you.

4. Are you very good at keeping sex and love conceptually separate? Sex and friendship can coexist perfectly well, but if you associate sex with intimate love and commitment you are heading for trouble.

5. Are you going to learn something about your best friend you’d rather you didn’t know? In terms of ‘kink’ and performative preferences, it could be best to have lots of talk about sex beforehand. Like you haven’t.

6. To sum up: will sex be great fun and a way of sharing friendship and bonding, or is it a very big deal? If the latter, press ‘play’ on the next DVD.

7. And finally: Don’t fondle your friend in the morning. That was last night; this is now.

Keep in mind hooking up with your best friend, can be the start of the best relationship of your life or the end of one of the best relationships in your life. But in most cases it will fall in between. Good luck in life and love.