Atlantis Alumni

Monday, December 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye To Mom As The Year Ends

Photo: Me and Mom in April 2011.

My mother and my best friend Marc both died this past August within a few days of each other. They knew each other and we all had a great deal of fun together a few times many years ago. I wrote about Marc earlier on the blog, but I needed a little more time to think about Mom and begin to get some closure. I loved her and she loved me, but in important ways she loved the son she wanted me to be, rather than who I actually am. While she was a strong and loving mother to all of her children, in my case she could never accept me as a gay person. She was not alone in this. None of the rest of my family could accept me either and they still don't. In no small part, I blame the Catholic Church and their bigoted popes, bishops and priests for this. If there is a hell that's where they belong.

So mom and I related in a strange sort of way, dancing and skirting around the issue of my sexuality for over 30 years. You would think that the passing of that much time would have allowed for some sort of accommodation, but when I married Dan in 2011 mom was not pleased. The best she could manage was "I hope you are happy." Of course this hurt, as did the many years of non-acceptance. Nevertheless, she tried to be a good mother and she was for the most part, the issue of my sexuality aside. She was fortunate to live long enough to see her grandchildren and even her great grandchildren, the offspring of my siblings. Unfortunately, a stroke at a relatively early age left her paralyzed. She spent the last decade and a half in nursing homes. She lived a long life, dying at age 86-1/2. I'll remember the good times and the loving and caring person that she could be and was most of the time.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holidays At Home

I built the clock 41 years ago from a kit. It gets a red ribbon at the holidays. I made traditional Viennese crescents Xmas cookies on December 24th.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Dinner At Friends

Our friends Richard and Brad served a delicious meal on Christmas Day. We are fortunate to have such good friends.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Nice Holiday Scene

One of my favorite holiday displays the lobby of the Wanamaker building.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

No "Grand Bargain" And That's A Good Thing!

Paul Krugman is right: the Republican crazies have saved Obama from himself by rejecting his offers including cuts to Social Security. We should thank them at this point.

"...the Republican crazies are doing Mr. Obama a favor, heading off any temptation he may have felt to give away the store in pursuit of bipartisan dreams. And there’s a broader lesson here. This is no time for a Grand Bargain, because the Republican Party, as now constituted, is just not an entity with which the president can make a serious deal. If we’re going to get a grip on our nation’s problems — of which the budget deficit is a minor part — the power of the G.O.P.’s extremists, and their willingness to hold the economy hostage if they don’t get their way, needs to be broken. And somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen in the next few days."

Pa. Ballet Nutcracker

Dan at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. We enjoyed a performance of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet Friday evening...always a treat at the holidays.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Cheer

A little heartbreaking to listen to these beautiful kids from the Valley Forge Musical Academy with the news lately but they were wonderful.

Outlaw All Guns!

We live in a gun society, which makes us less free, less safe, and less human. If I had my way, I would outlaw all guns and gun ownership. We don't need them, really...none of us needs them.

Firmin DeBrabander...associate professor of philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art:

Our gun culture promotes a fatal slide into extreme individualism. It fosters a society of atomistic individuals, isolated before power — and one another — and in the aftermath of shootings such as at Newtown, paralyzed with fear. That is not freedom, but quite its opposite. And as the Occupy movement makes clear, also the demonstrators that precipitated regime change in Egypt and Myanmar last year, assembled masses don’t require guns to exercise and secure their freedom, and wield world-changing political force. Arendt and Foucault reveal that power does not lie in armed individuals, but in assembly — and everything conducive to that.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Photo: Grand Central Station, New York City.

 28 more victims of America's gun insanity lie dead in Connecticut...will it ever end?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Animals At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

A glass mouse from Iran is Dan's favorite...I was intrigued by the taxidermied deer covered with glass globes in the Japanese wing.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fun Holiday Meetup

Juan, Jim, Michael, Edward and Dan at G Lounge New York City 12-12-12 for cocktails.

Tiffany's Fifth Avenue Windows

My favorite store windows in New York City this holiday season.

Chance NYC Meetup!

I ran into our good friends Mark and Richard in New York yesterday...on the top level observation deck at Top of the Rock! We knew they would be in the Rockefeller Center area but what are the chances of an unplanned meeting in New York in such a unique place?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Marriage Equality Before The Supreme Court

We may get some word this afternoon about the fate of California's Proposition 8 and the various appeals of decisions against the Defense Of Marriage Act. What would make me happy is if the Court let the lower court decisions on Prop 8 stand (making marriage equality legal again in California,) and a decision to accept one or more of the DOMA cases. But the court doesn't often make me very happy with the conservative majority usually prevailing. The Court shifted radically when Thurgood Marshall was replaced by Clarence Thomas. When we will get a chance to radically alter the balance of power in that fashion again...but the other way? If I had to predict what the court will do, I think they will delay justice once again in California by sending the Prop 8 case back to the 9th circuit for further consideration. I think they will have to take on DOMA, however.

Philadelphia Holiday Images

The holiday model railroad at Reading Terminal, and the Holiday Village at Love Park.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dan's Guided Tour At The Philadelphia Museum Of Art

Today Dan gave a tour at the Philadelphia Museum of Art focusing on Impressionism. HE had a good turnout from our gay men's seniors group.

Monday, December 3, 2012

THe Sedgeley Club On Boathouse Row

Dan and I visited this lovely house located on the banks of the Schuylkill River yesterday. The members of this women's club were having an open house. The lighthouse predates the house. The house was built around the lighthouse in 1902. The women's club was originally a sports oriented facility that sponsored women's bicycling, canoeing, and even ice skating on frozen river in winter. The lighthouse is the only one in Philadelphia. It and the house are located at a point called "Turtle Rock." They rent the house out for events in order to raise money to preserve it. It was nice to see it decorated for the holidays.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Supreme Court And Marriage Equality

The Supreme Court meets in conference today to consider the various appeals relating to marriage equality. What are my expectations? My expectations are low for this court dominated by right wing ideologues who are determined to impede justice and equality for all as much as they can. What will the court do? I think they will hold off on making any decision on the Proposition 8 case in California, and they will take one or more of the appeals in the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). This is the best that the troglodytes Scalia, Uncle Thomas, Alito and Roberts can do at the moment in their quest to halt equality for gay people. It will mean that same sex couples in California will continue to prevented from marrying indefinitely. The right wingers will then try to secure more votes on the court in favor of somehow impeding the gay march toward equality. Anything they can do to slow us down and push off marriage equality they consider a victory. So I am not expecting very much positive news from the court when they announce the results of their conference probably on Monday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Downtown Day

Having a delicious brewed decaf at Starbucks at Macy's Phila. The free organ concert starts at 12:10 pm.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Hurricane Sandy Took From Us

I took this photo in September....Surf Walk in Cherry Grove....the town had just completely rebuilt the walkway over the dunes to the beach. In late October during Sandy we lost everything about up to where the dark green growth appears in the photo. Some say we lost 30 years of dune growth.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Time Of Year For Home Made Cookies

I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies the other day. Soon it will be time for the traditional holiday Viennese crescents! ...and I'm dieting currently...great.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Fun

The holiday tree at Liberty Place, of my hangouts downtown.