Archive for the 'the gay life' Category

16
Feb
17

64 Things I’ve Learned in 64 Years (not by any means an exhaustive list)

  1. mud tastes better than you might imagine
  2. troubled times do build character
  3. i will never like math
  4. love finds you
  5. tall is good
  6. i am as graceful as a cantaloupe
  7. dancing makes you feel good
  8. never mix, never worry
  9. tell the truth, even when it’s inconvenient
  10. don’t argue with a fool (it’s harder to do than it sounds

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  1. pet a dog every chance you get
  2. accept the fact that some people are cat people
  3. mustard yellow is not my color
  4. long walks are soul-cleansing
  5. talking to yourself is okay
  6. not everyone is your friend
  7. listen to your heart
  8. learn a foreign language
  9. work smart, not hard
  10. if you fall off your bike/horse/pedestal, get back up, brush yourself off and try again

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  1. not everything in life is analogous to a sport
  2. read the newspaper; you’ll always be able to carry on a conversation with a stranger
  3. bald is good
  4. men, grow a mustache at least once in your life
  5. kiss friends and hug them
  6. be passionate about doing good
  7. give love unconditionally
  8. hold hands with your lover
  9. resist tyranny
  10. jump in mud puddles and dance in the rain

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  1. no one wants to hear you complain
  2. listen carefully and more often
  3. come with a solution to a problem
  4. some people are jealous of you
  5. show off in moderation
  6. honor the dead
  7. honor the living
  8. sharing is caring
  9. do something for a loved one without being asked
  10. be solicitous to strangers, but not obsequious

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  1. treat everyone with respect
  2. go to an art museum
  3. see a play
  4. better yet, act in a play
  5. learn how to debate
  6. ask for help
  7. give help when asked
  8. hold a baby
  9. i love new york (but i don’t want to live there)
  10. laugh at stupid jokes

663

  1. puns are fun
  2. pinch yourself
  3. believe in something
  4. act your age (joking! what does that even mean?)
  5. stretch your legs before getting out of bed
  6. don’t lick a mustard knife and take a sip of coffee
  7. take your lunch to work
  8. start a savings account and pay yourself monthly
  9. take care of yourself, someone may depend on you
  10. have a hobby

066

  1. love often and deeply
  2. snoring happens
  3. see the sun rise
  4. this was easier than i thought it was going to be

cafe flore907

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18
Jan
16

as you do (adventures in eating and viewing)

it seems that anymore our “adventures” always involve eating and viewing. yesterday was no exception.

we headed up the freeway to the bluff park/museum district  in long beach (405 north to 7th, over to junipero and left to ocean blvd. and left again, down two blocks and left again, and right where we parked on 2nd in front of a stunning craftsman residence (we believe circa 1912 — 1914. some houses had ‘historical markers’ designated this house or that one a “_____” or a “______”. to have read them correctly, we would have had to trespass and in these days of concealed carry, the last thing you need is an armed resident greeting you with the barrel of a gun while you satisfy your need to know. but i digress.)

i think this house suits him, don't you?

i think this house suits him, don’t you?

after some oohing and aahing over the merits of living in a historic home, m. & i tottered over to the long beach museum’s outdoor cafe, claire’s, where we met up with his ex, a., who was ‘in town’ (which means agoura hills) from chicago visiting his sister; long beach being the halfway point between us. m. & i have been together for 34 years, so that should give you an idea of our relative ages…a bunch of old men.

oceanside at claire's.

oceanside at claire’s.

we had a lovely brunch at claire’s, even though we left the “br” out of our menu selections and settled to a person on the “unch” parts. turkey club on pumpernickel, tuna salad (grilled rare and sliced thin over baby greens), and claire’s cobb salad, with freshly grilled chicken breast, gorgonzola, avocado, bacon, baby field greens, hard-boiled egg, and mustard vinaigrette. finished with a flourish of banana bread pudding.

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but to the ‘viewing’ — i can honestly say, m. & i don’t need a museum to be in ‘viewing’ mode. we are of a mind to find the beauty (and the ugly) of our surroundings and to frame each ‘view’ with commentary and perceptive understanding, citing references to other ‘views’ and admitting honestly that “i don’t believe i’ve ever seen anything quite like that.” our storehouse of references inexhaustible it seems, thank the god of mental facility. although admittedly, there’s sometimes a moment of silence as one of us waits for the other’s file retrieval system to kick into gear.

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we were fascinated and captivated by the works of terry braunstein, who explored time, memory, and feminism in carefully constructed collages, installations, and photography.

collage by terry braunstein at the long beach museum of art.

“who is she? dancing to kerouac” a collage by terry braunstein at the long beach museum of art.

we took the elevator up to the second floor in deference to m. and viewed a handful of examples from the museum’s permanent collection before we fell into the barbara strasen exhibit, “layer by layer”.

i have to say, it was a bit confusing at first. the work is complex and reminded me of the pattern & decoration movement of the late ’70s and early ’80s, so to sort through all of the dense imagery took some visual adjustment, but once you fell under her spell (not too trite, is that?) you could begin to understand and appreciate the journey she was taking you on. her use of lentricular lenses was particularly fascinating. i believe her commentary on the overload of images we are subjected to each and every day was precise and revelatory. we all enjoyed her work immensely.

possibly the most fab of all the homes we saw.

possibly the most fab of all the homes we saw.

the museum is small, so an hour later we were back out on the street and walking the avenues of bluff park. many of the homes had been fully renovated and brought back to (or maintained) their original glory, but there were a few that could’ve done with a coat of paint and a bit of tidying up–said the gay man. (i hate stereotypes, don’t you? but really, it is a marker, don’t you agree, that gay man like to prettify their surroundings? i’m sure there’s the exception to every rule…but none who would admit it.)

who wouldn't want to live in a neigborhood with a honor library?

who wouldn’t want to live in a neigborhood with a honor library?

we decided that even though it was suggested that everyone in the neighborhood helped maintain the ‘neighborhood book swap’, the reality was that the owners of the home this cart and sign sat in front of did all the heavy lifting. still and all, a sign of community such as this, is a blessed thing in our world today.

hollywood regency plopped into the middle of arts & crafts--perfection!

hollywood regency plopped into the middle of arts & crafts–perfection!

we plotzed when we saw this hollywood regency home cheek and jowl next to a queen anne on one side and a greene & greene on the other. <3!

and finally...

and finally…

i’ll leave you with our favorite of all of the homes we saw yesterday. if you look closely, you’ll see me waving to you from the second story window on the left.

 

11
Dec
15

Just Published! A Photo for Your Wallet

Exciting news! A chapter, “A Photo for Your Wallet”, from my memoir-in-progress, “The Photo Box” has been published online by Bull Men’s Fiction and is currently headlining their home page. Click here to read it!

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03
Oct
15

what went wrong

tabor_iowafrom this distance, it’s hard to tell exactly what went wrong. it–our relationship–seemed to the outside world and to my internal self to be straight forward and simple. we had mutual friends. we liked to go out dancing and bar-hopping. we shared an aesthetic (which, by the way, i read today is the “new” mid-life crisis, not knowing what your ‘aesthetic’ is. to laugh.) the sex was terrific–i loved his dark, hairy body and the fact that he was nearly as tall as me. he had ambition. we both loathed burt lange, the nasty old queen who owned the antique store at the corner of state st. & oak and was always swanning around in a mink coat regardless of the weather and for whom this love of mine worked. but, once he quit, and rented a space on armitage, west of halsted, and opened “Morehouse Antiques”, it, our love, seemed to peter out. (should ‘peter out’ conjure images of dribbling, then i’ve succeeded in successfully describing how it came to end.) what better way to recover than a road trip with my mother. we drove from springfield to rapid city with stops in shenandoah, iowa, where there were graveyards a-plenty packed with dead relatives that called out to us–inveterate cemetery-hounds that we were–and where this photo was taken when our car broke down one hot summer day in 1976. the look on my face a reminder that sometimes even your loving mother can’t make things right. sigh.

07
Oct
14

chelsea station magazine (published)

a chapter, “sic gloria transit [jason]”, from my memoir, “evelyn & son, ltd.” has been published in today’s chelsea station magazine. click through to read. as a bonus, the art illustrating the piece was created by yours truly in 1980 — contemporary to the story.

"allegory of fortune" by dosso dossi--image courtesy the getty center

“allegory of fortune” by dosso dossi–image courtesy the getty center

02
Dec
13

getty center, 1 (a day with/without art)

DSC08086we spent the day at the getty center in l.a. yesterday, consciousness of “a day without art”  filtering in and out of our time with an old friend from chicago. it’s hard to live life without realizing that art is all around you, all of the time; it’s our job (or the job of artists) to make you/us aware of art’s presence in our everyday lives and it’s power to evoke passion, thought, and action.

DSC08087what to do then at the getty center? even the most callous among us would be hard-pressed to not see the beauty in the setting, the buildings, the gardens, the art. it is such a grand meeting place, whether or not you’re there for the art–which i believe most people are–but also for the ease of sociability, a rare commodity in l.a.

DSC08090 in a brief essay on the getty.edu website, artist and educator, david gere, shares how art can transform the world, “MAKE ART/STOP AIDS demonstrates how art can make things happen in the world, how it can teach and goad and shift and protect us. It’s a reminder, on World AIDS Day, of the most exceptional thing that art can do: save lives.  [italics, mine] you may read the full essay here.

06
Nov
13

when night falls (without prejudice)

i don’t ever want to be blasé about it, accept it as “the price of doing business” or be blind to it (because my eyesight is too important to me.)

DSC07841it’s possible that i’m less tolerant of it now that i’m older or that it’s become much more subtle–which i believe is the result of continued acceptance–(marriage rights? inconceivable, no truly, it is something i didn’t even know i wanted–it’s that inconceivable.) all of this rightness driving the blatant bigots to become even more subversive, ever more present. will they always be a part of our lives? <sigh>

DSC07843they believe that the world is tilted in their favor, everything slips down to them, still, and i imagine it’s hard to see your world leveling out — righting old wrongs, adjusting its skirts (mixed metaphors my specialty).

it used to be, “hey, faggot!” yelled at you from a passing car, or at a bar on the main drag of catalina island while you and your friends had a beer after a wonderful day exploring the island and before boarding the catalina flyer to go back to the mainland, when a bar patron turns and looks at us, then turns back to the bar and says loud enough for us to hear, “when did you start serving faggots, here?” that was as an adult, before then, when you’re a child, it’s “stop being such a girl,” “robert’s a sissy,” “you’re queer,” so often that you start to believe there might be something wrong with you, when you know there’s not. but if so many people think so…

now, it’s so much more subtle, more insidious, so part of the weft and warp of the cloth of society that you could be forgiven for missing it–life’s dizzying pace both a blessing and a curse (trite phrases also a specialty.) now, it’s the idea of being perceived as gay that’s the worse thing that could happen to any straight man, usually wrapped in a joke among ‘bros’. and if and when you do speak out against it in the public forum they’ve chosen to express their bigotry, their sense of entitlement immediately becomes a shield of “what? it’s not about you all the time, robert,” when, in fact, if their statement demeans you, supports the continued belittlement, degradation, erosion, of who you are, it is about you–and you and you and you, all of us.

and then you might say, “i call it as i see it,” which you may question the rightness of — polite society being what it is these days — you may think to yourself, “should i have just ignored it?” writing it off as their problem, not yours. but if you do that, aren’t you supporting their hate? and how can you do that, if you’re a sentient human being? and so you accept the consequences–their anger at being called out for their homophobia–their righteousness, “i am not!”, “this still isn’t about you,” well then, who the fuck is it about?

it’s all i can do then. call it out, point at it, make a scene about it and walk away from it. i can’t hope it will change anything, but then again, i never thought i would be able to marry my lover and benefit from the laws of the land that most men and women accept as their inherent right.




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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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