Friday, March 03, 2006


Things are going along nicely. I can actually sit on the floor and have room to sort things into piles.

I did take off early today, though. We went and saw Brokeback Mountain. It was a lot sadder than I anticipated. Heath Ledger was superb--actually everyone was excellent. I thought it moved a little too slowly in the beginning, but otherwise my only problem was understanding a bit of the dialogue here and there--a little too much mumbling.

This brings me up to four of the five films nominated for the best picture Oscar--my usual number. I think there has only been one year I had seen all five.


People keep doing web searches for "video of gazelle running into tree" and reaching my blog.

I'm also getting quite a few for Jamie Salé. Now those I understand.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


(I'm not counting days like yesterday, when I don't do much of anything.) I'm continuing to make good progress with The Great Office Clean-up Project. My wife came in earlier, and said, "Wow, you can actually walk in here now." Well, you can, a little. But there is still a lot of floor space covered with stuff that has to go.

It's surprisingly satisfying to do this basically menial work. I can see the results of my labors, that I'm really accomplishing something. It struck me how different this is to my last job, where for the last two years I was working on a project where I rarely felt this way.


where in nj can i practice discus throwing found my blog. Sorry, I can't help with this one.


Wednesday was my day off from my office cleaning project this week. I had a 6:00pm meeting of the LeGaL Foundation board, and with all the hair removal I need to do to present as a woman, I had to get started before noon to prepare. So I just slept late, got up, got on the computer for a bit, and had breakfast. Then I got cleaned up, put my clothes in my suitcase (the same old black-on-black paisley slacks, this time with a black and white print silk blouse) and went off to CDI to do my make-up and change clothes.

The LeGaL board meeting was also an envelope stuffing session. While we took care of business we also assembled the invitations to our annual dinner. (You know the quality of the stationery is pretty good when you can stuff over a hundred envelopes and not get a single paper cut.) That went on until after 9:00, and by the time I found a mailbox (everyone took a big bag of invitations to mail) and a cab, it was 9:35 by the time I got back to CDI. I was very surprised to find the open house over--just one keyholder was there, watching television. She told me where everyone went, so after a pit stop and make-up refreshment I walked up a couple blocks to the bar where some of the people had gone. I had time for one drink (and some peanuts), before some of the people went home, and I joined two others in a trip downtown to the Monster Bar.

There, we found several others from the open house. I had a drink upstairs (courtesy of Mel, the Monster manager who appeared to have just gotten off duty). Then some of us went downstairs for some dancing. Then we waited for Jesse Volt's show. This week it was surprisingly good--no surgically enhanced pageant contestants, rather ShaBoomBoom doing her lipsync drag comedy and some good dancing, and Bianca Leigh. Bianca, singing in her own voice, was excellent. It was the first time she had appeared in Jesse's show in quite a while. Jesse, of course, introduced her as the movie star from Transamerica. And Jesse's numbers were at her usual high level. The only down point of the show, as far as I'm concerned, was the "Ass Is Tight" contest, where audience members, frequently drunk, can win prizes (CD's, DVD's, theater tickets) by holding them between their ass cheeks for 10 seconds--with or without their underwear on. It's not what I call scintillating entertainment.

After the show I said hello to Bianca, just to confirm she'd be working at Lips Monday, when I expect to be there after I do my volunteer lawyer work at the West Village TransLegal Clinic Name Change Project. Then it was back to CDI to change back to male mode.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Progress report: 2.8 boxes processed Tuesday. Four bags of paper shredded (up from two yesterday). I have yet to find anything I've been looking for for ages, but there's still lots to go through.

Tomorrow will be a light day. I have a six o'clock meeting of the board of the LeGaL Foundation, and will take most if not all of the afternoon to prepare and get to it.


Saturday I went to a revival of a 1993 one-person play called Family Secrets. My wife and I were going out with another couple, and this show caught her eye. Back then Ben Brantley raved about it in a New York Times review. So we went.

It's still in previews, but I very much doubt my opinion would change if I saw it after it opens. It is simply the worst "comedy" I have ever seen. When 10 minutes went by before the first time I laughed, I decided to keep count. The result: I laughed all of seven times in the 90 minutes or so.

The play is about a Jewish family transplanted from the Bronx to California, back in the 80s. This was mentioned by at least a couple of the five characters portrayed. I don't know why--the locales seemed to make no difference to the characters. The characters, a couple of whom may have been cutting edge in the 80s, were already dated in 90s. Now, they just complete the set of stereotypes portrayed by actor/co-writer Sherry Glaser. Her rendition of Mort, the father, was the worst. The padding she wore to simulate his paunch looked like overgrown breasts. The voice she used wasn't masculine--at best it was non-feminine. Basically, it was just weird.

People started trickling out of the theater before the half-hour mark. I wish I had joined them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Subway Seat Groceries Ticket Tossed by Judge
My first question is, what did the cop testify to on the question of the emptiness of the train. Or, if I am correctly reading between the lines of this sparse report, did he even bother to show up for the hearing?

My second question is, what was the hearing officer deliberating about for 37 minutes?


Olympic Viewership Falls 37 Pct. From 2002
NBC did not help its ratings with its Sunday night coverage of the closing ceremonies. They started out with a segment by Tom Brokaw on the much-belated awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to an African-American for his World War II heroism not far from Torino. It was a great segment, but it ran the better part of an hour. I wonder how many people tuned in to see the ceremonies, found a long history lesson, and switched channels. NBC seemed to have forgotten that people who tune into the Olympics want to see the Olympics.

HEADLINE OF THE DAY (yesterday, really)

Chocolate Linked to Lower Blood Pressure
My only problem with this is that I don't have high blood pressure.


My first day of my office clean-up project went pretty good. I had some errands to do, so I didn't get started until about 2:30. But I was able to work all the way until 9:00, because my wife was out at a class. I emptied three boxes, and cleaned up a little stuff from the floor.

As you may have guessed, I'm a pack rat. I have trouble throwing things out--I can think of a reason to keep everything. But I'm trying. Most of the stuff I came across today was financial records from 1993, 1998, and 2003-4. Most of the 2003-4 stuff I kept, but it's now neatly stored in file folders in a file cabinet. I didn't have much trouble shredding the 1993 things, but I really had to will myself to get rid of the 1998 stuff.

In addition to the financial records, I also found a bag of stuff that I had already set aside for shredding--it must have been from the time when my old shredder died, and I didn't buy a new one for a while. So my shredder got a real workout--so much so that it overheated and shut down twice.

I think it was a good start to my project. But I'm tired. It's work. I'll try to post a real article after I pay a couple bills. But no guaranties.

Monday, February 27, 2006


In the morning I will be starting my new project--cleaning up my office. Despite being retired for two years now, I haven't found time to go though all the boxes of stuff from our last move, properly store what I want to keep, and get rid of what I don't. Some of this stuff has been around since 1988, and this is long overdue. Then there's the piles of un-boxed stuff. It's really a mess--every horizontal surface is covered with something, except for a narrow path from the door to my desk.

So I'm not going to have as much time to blog for a while--I'm guessing maybe a month. In order to concentrate on this, I'm going to curtail my entertainment life as much as possible until I finish. So there will be less to blog about to begin with. But the most important tactic I will use will be to TURN OFF THIS COMPUTER. From 9:00am until 9:00pm, at least on the days I will be dedicating to the clean-up project, this distraction will cease.

I still plan to blog some. But the slices of my life I recount here will have to be a bit thinner for a while.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


My wife wanted to go with a friend to something that I was uninterested in last Friday evening, so I was looking around for something to do. Then an e-mail popped into my inbox from offering discount tickets to Measure for Pleasure, in previews at the Public Theater. The synopsis was:

"Will Blunt is in love with Molly, a young transvestite prostitute. But when Blunt rescues him from a life on the streets, he doesn't count on Molly falling in love with Dashwood, the handsome womanizing rake.

Restoration comedy meets modern sex farce in this romantic adventure, exploring the elusive nature of happiness; featuring mistaken identities, duels and double-dealings, gay marriage, and the obligatory sex cave."
"Young transvestite prostitute?" Sounded perfect for the members of Crossdressers International (CDI) . Having a parental advisory didn't hurt, either. I used our Yahoo group messaging feature to see if anyone was interested in this, and I got a couple nibbles.

Then I got an e-mail from another member, Rita (this was Little Rita, as opposed to Big Rita, who is, let's just say, bigger). Rita's an actor, and she had just been offered tickets to the play for free! Free certainly beats $42 (plus service charges I'm sure). After some more e-mailing there were three of us going to see it.

So Friday afternoon arrived and I went off to the CDI apartment to change. I didn't want to get too dressed up, so I just wore a red Bill Blass sweater with a fringed shawl collar, and a pair of black-on-black paisley slacks. Eventually Rita showed up, and changed into a nice black dress, but Madeline was delayed--she had to go to the theater as a man.

We cabbed down to the theater, where Rita got the tickets from the window, but we had to wait in the lobby until they got the theater open. Then it was upstairs to the Anspacher Stage. Carved out of the original Astor Library main reading room, pillars still intact, it's a surprisingly intimate thrust stage auditorium seating 275, with no one more than eight rows back. But it extends vertically three very tall levels, up to a skylight.

The big name in the cast was Wayne Knight, "Newman" from Seinfeld. There was also Euan Morton, who played Boy George in Taboo, both in London and on Broadway--playing the transvestite here. (Is he getting typecast?)

Things started out with Michael Stuhlbarg, in character as Will Blunt the valet, giving the cellphone/candy wrapper spiel, with an additional warning that there was no intermission, and that he didn't want anyone going out in the middle, then coming back and asking "What did I miss?" He also made some remarks about the late arrivals, reminiscent of the Manager of the Stage at the P.D.Q. Bach concerts.

The actual play started, and it was quite clear the parental advisory for "explicit verse" was quite real--this is a bawdy farce set in 1751, with Restoration-appropriate verse. The characters, with names like Peter Lustforth, Dick Dashwood, Molly Tawdry and Hermione Goode, went about lusting and plotting and masquerading. The big problem was that they kept doing it and doing it and doing it. The novelty of the explicit verse eventually wore off for a lot of the audience. The first act went on for an hour and a half, and after a quick intermission they returned for another 45 minutes. Finally, a Gilbert and Sullivan-worthy ending set everything all right, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Except the audience.

The acting was excellent, the set inventive (scenery kept swinging up from the floor), the costumes beautiful (even the stagehands were appropriately costumed--a couple of the female ones were corseted, pushing up their cleavage far beyond that of any stagehand I've ever encountered). But the play was just too long. As Rita put it in the cab to a nice dinner at East of Eighth, "It needs a re-write--with a pair of scissors."