Tuesday, November 27, 2012


--------------------- From Timeline of Kings Queens from Charlemagne to Elizabeth II by Gordon Kerr -------------------------- 

1931  Albania: During an assassination attempt, King Zog opens fire on his assailants; it is the only occasion in modern history when a head of state has returned fire on a potential assassin.  

1934  Yugoslavia: The deeply unpopular Alexander I is assassinated on a state visit to France by gunman Vlado Chernozemski on behalf of the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization; it is the first assassination to be caught on film.
1978  Rome: A year of three Popes--Paul VI dies and is succeeded by Cardinal Luciani as John Paul I.  He dies after 33 days amid numerous assassination theories and is succeeded by Polish Cardinal Wojtyla as John Paul II.

1996  United Kingdom: Prince Charles ("Do you seriously expect me to be the first Prince of Wales in history NOT to have a mistress?") and Princess Diana divorce.

. . . . and with these entries, this series comes to an end.

I got this little Q&A from a friend's blog;

1. When did you first know you were an adult?
It was when I figured out that my mother was a serious alcoholic, that nobody in the family was going to get her any professional help because then "everybody will know."  The family was very isolated.  There were no friends, nobody was ever entertained at the house, and I had no siblings to offer any relief during the frequent tension-filled days and weeks, often erupting into abuse between my parents.  I realized that to a large extent I was on my own, would have to learn how to take care of myself, and get used to doing so until I could get away to college.  I was nine or ten when I accepted all this and no, my childhood was not a time that I remember happily.
2. Where were you when you first thought, "I'm old!"
This isn't denial, but I honestly haven't gotten to the point where I feel old.  Sure I have some aches and pains but that isn't who I am.  I'm still exploring new things and with Fritz I'm enjoying the happiest years of my life by far.  The surprising and exciting new career of writing opera librettos and then seeing our work performed on stage (and also in my own stage designs) has taken us in directions we could never have predicted.  My political views are staunchly liberal and progressive, I remain very active physically, and I don't "think old."     
3. What was your best year?
I've had two best years.  1980First sex with a guy; I came out to myself because the experience was a major revelation and I was finally able to shake off all the old Catholic school indoctrination and family prejudices.  The other one was 1997 -- I met Fritz and my life was transformed.
4. Have you become your parents?
No, absolutely not.  I came from a socially and politically conservative family that was highly judgmental.  There was nobody and nothing that couldn't be condemned as disgusting, disgraceful or unacceptable in some way.  They were strong supporters of Senator McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee.  I will not quote the terms used to describe African-Americans, Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic people.  My family were all very negative about things -- the answer to question #1 should suggest the reasons.   I realized that I wasn't like them and didn't want to become one of them.  One I arrived in liberal, arty Boston for college, I began a conscious journey to rebuild myself from the ground up. 

5. Gray hair:
 - Is it sexy?  Three words: silver fox daddy.  Think Anderson Cooper or the great Russian baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky:

His hair went like this in his late 20s.

One of the fun things that happened this year was having the good looking 40-50ish guy at the x-ray conveyor belt at the Seattle Airport spontaneously tell me how great my beard looked.   

-How much do you have and where?  Myself, I am totally silver gray, hair and beard.  Chest and body hair are still more or less my original dark brown, so the carpet most definitely doesn't match the drapes.

- Where is the best or worst place you have it?
Wherever it is, is just fine with me -- I don't think of my body as having worst places.

6.  Is older better?   
Yes, if you've kept your health and your body is in good shape and your mind active and youthful, you can still dig into all that life has to offer but understand, experience and appreciate it more deeply.  

How is sex different now?
"Mechanically" it is still the same.  I think that the communication is stronger and the connection is more profound.  


In the days and weeks following the recent election, I've been interested in the many articles by or about the Republicans and how they're coping with the re-election of Barack Obama, an event that their polls, their candidates, Fox News, and they themselves believed could never happen.  It has become obvious that, in the last month or so of the campaign, a kind of mass self-delusion set in -- I thought of that great song from The Wiz, "Don't bring me no bad news!" -- and indeed, they closed their ears and minds to anything that might hint at the coming disaster.

This expression of Republican shock and disbelief was sent me by a friend: 
"Many, many, many Christians were praying and we really need to address that issue first: where was God? Because there were these ’40 Days of Prayer,’ there were several of those that took place, where people fasted and prayed for forty days asking the Lord for His intervention on Election Day. We did a program last week where my wife Shirley came in with her vice-chairman John Bornschein and told how three hundred Gideon prayer warriors came to Washington, went to every single office of the House of Representatives and the Senate and prayed for the occupant, prayed for our representatives, went to the White House, went in a vigil to the Supreme Court, which is now at great risk, and went to the Pentagon. People like that were praying all over this country and the Lord said no."             - Focus On The Family founder James Dobson admitting to Concerned Women that the National Day Of Prayer Task Force prayed for God to defeat Barack Obama. But the Lord said "No."

. . . . as was this reaction to the defeat of Republican economic policy:


Love it! I'm in love with your energy and drive and happiness.
what a fun meme to read and do !
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