Much in the news these days, this is a teargas canister.

The paint job is mine — ‘candy flake cranberry’ — poorly applied on a whim some time after receiving it as a gift.  Just now it is displayed on a lovely Chinese Chippendale napkin table (which I’m taking with me when I leave Stephen) as part of a rotating retinue of other curio.

I mention the table only as a matter of pride — ‘pride’ in the sense of the Southern expression scornfully delivered when observing a display of ostentation: ‘Well, aren’t they proud!’.

At the end of my two years at the NSA in Washington DC, which coincided with the second half of my Air Force enlistment in 1969 and 1970, I was given a sendoff luncheon that might have appeared to the odd observer more appropriate for someone’s retirement.  To say I was very touched sounds like I don’t mean it.

At that luncheon, I received as a gag gift this teargas canister, an artifact of the 1968 SDS riots in Dupont Circle in Washington.  

The giver was a young woman with whom I had shared a group office at NSA.  This was a person of such core elegance and soignée that it was incumbent upon me to address her with a faux formality, which she returned (Miss ‘E’… Mr. ‘H’…) with mutual enjoyment.

The striking Miss ‘E’ was actually my contemporary, and my boss told me more than once, ‘You should ask her out!’.  Enough on that.

Miss ‘E’ explained that she had picked up the teargas canister on the street nearby her apartment, post-riot, thereby inadvertently adding to her ‘resume’: a Dupont Circle address.

I wonder what became of her.  In some bizarre way, I miss her, but if I’m not careful, I’ll start sounding like Holden Caulfield:

‘Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.’

My friend Johnny cuts my hair.  Over winter, we decided to let my hair ‘go’ longer.

Okay.  Then, the Corona lockdown came about.  Since my last snip, my locks have not seen scissors for twelve weeks.

We weren’t even aiming for ‘David Byrne’, but here we are at ‘David Lynch’.

Help.

I know what you’re thinking, but this is actually a type font you can buy from Linotype, FontShop, or Adobe.

I think it’s called ‘Halfwit’…

Today is the hub’s birthday; he is sixty-nine, or as I like to express it, he has begun ‘participation’ in his seventieth year of life.

I am about to retell the ‘duration’ part — again! — so, if you want to bail out of this post, now’s your chance.  Some time between our first date on April Fool’s Day forty-three years ago and his birthday, we were a done deal.

This Corona lockdown has made us wonder if that was a wise decision…

Here is a photo taken a Winter or so ago by our photographer friend who teaches in California.  He sent it this morning with birthday wishes.  In this photo I look exactly like my older brother: genes will out.

I hope everyone is doing well.  And that lockdown remark I made an instant ago, I didn’t really mean it.

Well, I sorta meant it, but it’s his birthday, so…

My very good and very longtime friend Will W from NY sent me this.

Stanley Tucci is the most adorable man.  And Will is very nice, too…

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a32225544/stanley-tucci-negroni-video-tweets/

We watched the movie ‘1917’ last week.

I found myself considerably weepy throughout, but I’ve been considerably weepy all year.  I don’t know if I’ve always been this way (I don’t think so), but you would not want to watch me watch a movie these days.  Within my own physical space, I’m very ‘active’ with what’s being offered on the screen; it’s probably a little pitiful.

The movie is quite an experience, but age has taught me that recommendations are a fool’s errands.  Or, something like that.  Constructed as one continuous take, as someone who was professionally on the periphery of cinematic craft, I made an effort to not be on the lookout for the sleight of hand involved.

What did trip me up was being marginally distracted by the actor Mark Strong in a small ‘anchor’ of a role.  His brief interaction with the main character, dialog and performance, is an oasis.

In the process of mining this photo, I came across another of Mark Strong, with Stanley Tucci.

Not the best photo of either, I’ve always been crazy about Stanley Tucci, pictured below on the cover of his not-just celebrity cookbook.  Photos clickable.

The widest possible shoulders available on a gentleman, here he is in a Levi’s 501 jeans commercial from the Eighties.  And, in addition to the ‘vivid’ brief on the cover of the cookbook, a ‘saucy’ exchange with Graham Norton follows.

Am I forgiven for yesterday’s post?

 

For my semi-monthly-ish contribution to this remnant of a blog, I had in mind something frivolous, like a photo of myself with no fresh haircut, and no hope of one for the foreseeable future.

Then along came this article in the New York Times today about where the lost Bernie Sanders supporters are trending.  Click the photo for the caption.

Whatever implication/insinuation/accusation this may have about the intelligence of the rest of the human race, I think at this point it’s time to hand off the globe to the whales.

Absolutely serious, I’m afraid.

During the second half of the Seventies, before he and ‘everyone’ else we knew moved to New York City, our friend Greg Whittington would drop by my workplace to say hello.  Sometimes, the boy featured in these photographs by Arthur Tress would be in tow.

While there, this pale youngster would never once make eye contact with me.  Greg told me I frightened him.

Can you imagine anything more ridiculous?

 

Last month, on the way slightly further up the East Coast, we stopped off in Augusta GA, home of that golf event with the green jackets, to see an exhibition at the Morris Museum, of work by our friend and neighbor Richard Olsen.

The final stop on the trip was for an opening at a gallery featuring work by another friend, Noah Saunders.  Noah’s works must be seen in person, as photographs fail them.

While at the Morris, I became fascinated with a painting in its permanent collection by Gladys Nelson Smith (1890-1980) called ‘Afternoon at the Beach, Chesapeake Bay’.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a tableau of this kind use shadow in 3-D fashion this aggressively.

Also works pretty well selling a suit and a handbag.

I have another couple of photographs, with another tale attached, for you.  I predict you’ll like those much more than the present (clickable) ones.

Can there be any point in imagining that I’m wrong?

Unlikely as it may be, if the opportunity to speak to Pete Buttigieg presents itself during the next few months, after identifying myself as gay and a veteran (which would make us buddies, you see…), I would tell him that I would support him if I thought he could defeat Donald Trump in November.

Realizing this would diminish the luster of my pledge of support for him, I would follow by admitting that I would also support Liza Minnelli if I thought she could defeat Donald Trump.

As a disciple of the inane, I don’t feel the least bit conspicuous making a statement like that, in fact, at this point in time, I would follow the lead of my friend Andrew T, who in a text message last week wrote: ‘As I’ve said before, I’d vote for Charlie Manson’s reanimate corpse if it was running against Trump.’

I live in mild dread that Pete B may become the Democratic Party candidate; intelligence and articulateness does not play well in the USA at this point in time.  And he ist ein homosexueller.  On that count alone, I give Liza and Charlie better odds.

Remember ‘Thistle Fawn’ from last post?  Thistle says Dave is a big downer.

Why am I telling you this?

I started blogging in 2009, but in October 2016, I ditched the previous posts in a fit of cyber housecleaning. Some of it was really nice writing, but alas, as my old friend Susan once said: ‘Compulsion is a cruel master’.

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