I was in Washington most of last week on business. Lay flew in Friday afternoon, and we spent the weekend touring. We did most of touristy things including the Air and Space Museum out near Dulles that Friday afternoon. Saturday and Sunday were spent mostly downtown around the Mall. I’d not been to the Air and Space Museum so that was cool. This was Lay’s first trip at all.
If it has to do with a geographical location, I will categorize it with this category.
Since the Mayor gave Newt (serial adulterer, family values, thrice married, marriage is between one man and three women) Gingrich a key to the City today, consider me a native of El Bethel. Bad enough my Old Home State is trying to write discrimination into the State’s Constitution, now they are turning over the key to one of the sleeziest people to ever come out of Washington, D.C. And all this on the day he was ending his campaign anyways.
I went to get a haircut Wednesday morning at the Gandy Barbershop. It’s owned by Steve, but Tony, a British guy, is the barber I use. When I was paying and getting ready to leave he showed me a framed article by a local Tampa Tribune columnist, Steve Otto, which talked about Tony and the barbershop. I got me thinking about my earliest memories of going to the barbershop. Of course I know I went before we moved to Kings Mountain, but the first memory I have of going was to Central Barbershop right downtown on Mountain Street, beside Griffin’s Drug Store.
The unfortunate reality is that we simply don’t want to have see this kind of poverty in our own neighborhood. We don’t want to be reminded of how many people are hurting, and how badly they hurt. We are simply afraid to look in the eyes of these people. It makes us uncomfortable, and we want to banish them so we no longer have to see what we have wrought.
Well, Christmas 2010 has come and gone. Nothing left to do but pack up the decorations. I’d have to rate it as a pretty good Christmas. I think I managed to stick to a fairly tight budget, and despite a few arguments with Lay, we wound up with everyone getting something they really enjoyed. I got my shopping and gift wrapping done well ahead of time this year. The decorations were up right after Thanksgiving, and the Christmas Cards went out just after that, so I never felt rushed or hectic.
Pictures of Lay’s family over for the Labor Day weekend. We had loads of fun swimming, and making giant bubbles out of a soap solution. Bubbles are a favorite thing with the nieces, and giant bubbles just secured my place as favorite uncle for a while longer.
You’ll recall a brief post last week about a guy who got hit by a car, which knocked him in front a bus, which hit him. Well, we have a guy run over by a Suburban after he left the cardiac unit of a hospital to go smoke a cigarette, and another guy who got shot and killed the day after he got out of jail.
We’ve got crazies coming out of the woodwork. In Tampa we have a guy calling 911 for phone sex, and another guy taking a tire iron to a Greek Orthodox Priest (because we all know how easy it is to mistake them for Arab Terrorists), and a “Christian” group wanting to try to incite people to gay bash so they can become martyrs charged under the revised hate crimes law. WWJW
Some of you will know that Lay’s been through a two and one-half year experience trying to get naturalized. Of course he had permanent status, and has lived here since he was 2 years old. In fact, he’s never been back ot Laos. So it was past time to go ahead and get this over with, but little did we know what an ordeal it would be. Then, I came away from the Naturalization Ceremony profoundly concerned about the complete lack of competence in how even the ceremony was conducted.
Buju Banton is a Jamacian Reggae star who riled up the gay community with songs like “Boom Bye Bye” which calls for gay people to be shot in the head with automatic weapons, have acid poured on them, and be burned “like an old tire wheel.” He currently has an American tour being roundly opposed by the gay community, and a number of events have been cancelled. Unfortunately, the owner of a concert venue in downtown St. Petersburg, Janus Landing, feels no responsibility to help build an inclusive community.
OK, I know that about this time every year I write something about Autumn being my favorite time of year. I know, Tampa, FL is not the place to be thinking about Autumn. I think we get our Autumn here in January, the time of year when these nasty live oaks dump a big portion of their leaves. Still, there is a rhythm that comes with the seasons no matter where one lives, and I love this time of year for the sense of “settling-in.”