Goettafest

The goetta ring toss

After the movie, a group of fellas trudged through the intense heat of the night to check out the mini Goettafest in Newport, KY. Not familiar with goetta? It’s meat and oats rolled up like sausage and you’ll find its a staple of Cincinnati area cuisine—particularly greasy spoons. Wikipedia has a great history of it. I quite prefer the vegetarian version.

So there were rides, and vendors selling geotta ruebens, goetta balls, geotta pizza, geotta burritos, geotta hoagies, goetta pancakes, goetta fudge brownies… I could go on but I have to mention the goetta vending machine.

Photos Here’s a handful of really dark photos poorly capturing the mayhem.

Current music: GBV “Sing For Your Meat”

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Aida

Cincinnati Opera at Music Hall

I’ve written before how I’ve never enjoyed opera.

I could be the curmudgeon who compares everything to rock and roll – that bombast with undecipherable lyrics, but I’ll refrain tonight.

It was dress rehearsal for Aida. Dan had a pair of tickets as he’s not only performing, but he’s actually on stage! In costume! [ Go here to view the above photo uncropped—it looks better that way. Hover over the image to see where he’s standing, then zoom in to realize you can’t really see him at all, but all the costumes are awesome anyway. ]

Mom joined me for the evening. I hadn’t known she’d seen this particular opera back when she was a kid—following along with a translation under the guidance of a particularly inspired language teacher. You just can’t shake good learning experiences. (But I wouldn’t want to give up the projected subtitles they have these days)

When Dan’s stint was over, we considered leaving after the second intermission but hem-hawed only briefly. We really wanted to watch the entire performance.

This is a first for me.

Maybe it was having my mom there, or the sets, or the costumes, or having dancers from the Ballet onstage, or the music. Maybe I’m gaining a better understanding of performance in general because of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Whatever the combination, I quite enjoyed this Cincinnati Opera.

2007 Northside Independence Day Parade

Luchadores, Fantasticos de Northside!

Another year, another great parade.

The rain held back. I grilled meats. Mom made green beans. And there was a slew of other tasty tidbits, like these cupcakes (thanks Kate). Coolers were packed. Kids made bubbles. Adults blew horns. Politicians handed out stickers. Candy was thrown. I could go on and on.

Sadly missing, my sis and her family, and my brother Robert – but he sent a little video greeting so it felt like he was almost there. I did get the rare pleasure of seeing other brother Tom (we have the same glare).

Camera charged, there’s some video floating around but I have to piece that together. Until then:

Photos Photos from the parade

Current music: Bloc Party “So Here We Are”

pride, shirts, and movement

Cincinnati Pride 2007 – the parade goes by

Finally, a moment to reflect on this past weekend. This is going to be long (and terribly disorganized).

If you’d rather just see the photos, I didn’t take many – but there’s a small gallery here (with some choice shots for sure).

SMILES

I like Pride. It’s one of the rare times when you can be in a public crowd that probably didn’t vote to take away anyone’s rights. You might think that sounds silly, but voting statistics suggest more than half of the people in my state think gay folk should not have the same rights afforded to others.

Back in 2004, Cincinnati Pride had a large call to action to repeal Article 12 (an amendment to a Cincinnati ordinance that allowed no protection for those discriminated against because of their sexual orientation). That year it was repealed (though the margin should have been much larger).

This year we’re out of the election cycle, so there wasn’t too much ballyhoo from candidates. And maybe it was because the weather was absolutely spectacular, but this Pride seemed free of those heavy weights. It was joyous and fun. Then again, I didn’t catch too much of the festivities as we worked it under the tent selling shirts.

And we saw a lot of smiles.

Folks would walk by and see the big type and break out in a grin. Then they’d get in closer and see some of the details of our work, strike up a conversation, maybe they’d buy something, maybe not. It was all good.

But this is not just about wearing your heart on your sleeve. It’s something bigger and I’m still trying to get my arms around it. Maybe I need to examine that heavy weight.

LAURENCE AND MOVEMENTS

When I first met a fine character by the name of Laurence H. Scott he was 68 years old and welcomed me into his Ann Arbor home for dinner. While his partner created a delicious meal, I toured the house and all the artifacts from their life together. They stood at the front of the lines through gay liberation in the late 60’s and into the next decades.

A button on the fridge lodged in my mind. I’ve mocked it up to the best of my memory over there to the right. It struck me for its simplicity and I perhaps wondered at the time, in my fledgling delicate nature – did I have the gumption to wear that on my lapel?

Laurence passed on in 2005 and man I wish I could have spent more time with him. I would have asked him if he ever felt like his work was done. I’d imagine he would have said no. He witnessed the backsliding—how acceptance for all stripes of orientation was whittled away.

Maybe it was AIDS that gave rise to the ignorance and hatred. Maybe it was the release of Viagra that empowered flaccid self-proclaimed heterosexual males with political clout some confidence to point fingers and shun.

I’m reaching, but the hate – it happened. It’s still happening.

So yeah. It was good to see some smiles this weekend.

THE LADY ON THE SCOOTER

While Wendy and I broke down the tent that evening, and I was coming back from a trip packing up our cars, she asked me if I saw the lady on the motorcycle who just rode through the park. I could see her bright orange shirt some 30 yards away. I waved my arms.

Her face brightened in that distance and she rode back to our spot. “I just wanted you to see how good my new shirt looks” and I asked to make a photo.

She beamed.

It was a perfect ending to the long day.

But the one of the most moving experiences wasn’t mine.

CONFESSION

After it was all over, I sat at home with Dan and had a beer, recalling the good bits while muscles pleasantly ached. He asked me if I ever went into the confessional tent. No, I hadn’t, even though he prodded me to break away and go many times throughout the day.

Since I didn’t, he felt it was okay to share what went down.

It wasn’t a typical confessional booth, like I said it was a tent. He told me it was nice inside – gauzy draperies and a comfortable height. Candles lit. A woman sat opposite him and said (consider it with error as this is a game of telephone):

This is not a confessional for you, it is a confession for me.

I want to confess that, as a Christian, I know that you have been hurt by society and Christians in general, and I just want you to know that God loves you and I love you, and I’m sorry.

I just wanted to apologize for all of the wrongs that have been committed against you.

Dan, who grew up in a Catholic family, wiped away tears and asked why she was doing this.

I grew up in a conservative Baptist family that taught me certain people weren’t deserving of love.

It took a long time to realize that these people were wrong.

She’s been doing this for three Prides so far, and it’s a part of the process to heal some of the harm that’s been done.

Now I’m not one to pick apart anyone’s beliefs (unless it affects me). To hear this, even second hand, was moving.

A movement in the right direction.

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Almost Germany

.Mental note: odd interpolation of pixels on those powerlines

The weather was postcard perfect on Sunday for the set up on the streets of O’Bryonville. This was our first time selling wares direct in meatspace, and man did we learn a ton. The fine folks at MiCA went to great lengths, providing a table, backdrop, tags, and tips.

Shared the sidewalk with Jenny from Three Sheets 2, maker of prints, pillows, and lots more excellent items (like bedding for instance). It brought a ray of hope that there are great people doing stuff they love here in the city of Cincinnati. Hope to cross paths more. Really, go check out her stuff.

I really need to flush out my adjectives, but I personally don’t think one can overuse great, awesome, excellent, or fine – which is a funny word depending on inflection, but consider it drawn out and most positive in these instances.

Ma stopped by for a few and we rejoined later, enjoying dinner outside.

Again, excellent.

Current music: Beirut “Scenic world (Version)”

MiCA and a Celebration of Spring

Selling in the real world

Landed last night, now headed out the door to enjoy this fine day outside on the streets of O’Bryonville for their Celebration of Spring. Carolyn and Michael of MiCA are letting us set up a table to share our shirts with folks and I’m pretty excited. And late! I gotta motor.

Stop on by:
MiCA, 2039 Madison Road – Cincinnati, OH 45208 (map)

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PNC Bank Bldg

I’ll always call it the Central Trust Tower [ + ]

Vantage from a meeting downtown on this gray day. I wanted to go up on the observation deck, but I figure I’ll wait for blue skies and white fluffy clouds.

Current music: Bee Gees “In My Own Time”

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sweet

from favorite bakery, Take the Cake, freshly moved to Northside

Friday was awesome.

Printed up some test shirts, broke out of the studio, and tooled around on what might have been the best day weather-wise yet this year. Blue skies, windows down.

Squared up some music, ate a delicious lunch, topped the latter off with a cupcake from the bakery mentioned above, headed over to O’Bryonville and had my inaugural visit to very neat contemporary craft store Mica.

I’m leaving a few bits out and blaming that on an equally packed weekend with the loss of an hour.

PhotosBecause photos are easier than words

Current music: Soul Coughing “Soft Serve”

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hextych

Even Rocky had a montage

No fog today—in fact, there was lots of nice light and blue skies.

I got to ride around in the passenger seat as a list of tasks were accomplished.

A quick stop at the record store, sandwiches to go, and it was back to the studio for an afternoon of more checkmarks off the list.

One big checkmark has four wheels and a horn, but I’m not jinxing anything until I have keys in my hand. Fingers crossed that’s tomorrow night.

Until then: PhotosThe above photos, separated

Current music: The Grates “Inside Outside”