Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Red Menace

Here’s an interesting email exchange I had at work yesterday between our Accounting Tech (the one who pays the bills for our office, but is physically located in another building) and me.

I responded to her a detailed email, highlighting some key points in red. Her response to that email starts below.

ACCOUNTING TECH: I’ve printed these communications for the files but in the future, please use another color for hi-lights. The color RED used in business dealings is insulting. That’s why black and blue ink are the standard choices for written and oral communication. I guess my hi-lights looked red - thought I was using a burgundy………. I’ll refrain from using that one in the future.

[Then before I had a chance to reply to her…]

ACCOUNTING TECH: I’m laughing at myself--- we don’t speak in colors. My bad……………… Sometimes we refer to humans by color which is not cool anyway.

ME: Insulting? That’s the first I’ve heard that. Where do you get that information? We use red all the time – for emphasis, to pull it out from other items in an email. (I just did a Google search for that information, but didn’t come up with anything except that “red shouldn’t be used on a business card in Madagascar”.) And I’ve already heard to never use blue in written communication (that is, on a piece of paper) because it doesn’t copy well. I guess it all depends on the background we come from. I guess everyone has his/her communication preferences.

ACCOUNTING TECH: I was taught that on another job. In the Admin office we don’t use “RED” for that reason. Oh well. Have a great afternoon.

ME: That's cool. No red to you. Got it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Joan Armatrading

One of my proudest musical accomplishment has been to introduce Joan Armatrading to so many people including both my sisters and my friend Kyle.

She is definitely in my Top Ten Favorite Artists of All Time. (Complete list one day.)

I also introduced my sister Christine (an out and proud lesbian) to Melissa Etheridge's music. Christine just wasn't knowledgeable about some lesbian rockers I guess.

While I was in Atlanta this past weekend, my other sister Claudia mentioned that she lost her Joan Armatrading compilation CD that I made her a few years ago. Christine wasn't sure if Claudia meant that she "lost" the CD or if she really lost it. Claudia then started singing Everyday Boy, an obscure song from Joan Armatrading's 1995 CD What's Inside.

I followed up her a capella version with a trip to iTunes to download the song to my iPhone - so we could all four (including Claudia's husband Jeff) listen to it.

Since returning from Atlanta on Monday, it's been a busy week. Tonight is the first night I have had to put together an update Joan Armatrading compilation. Pulling songs from her 20 albums from 1972 until the present to make 80 minutes of music was really tough, but here is the final compilation.

Get In The Sun
Kissin’ and a Huggin’ (see below)
Back to the Night
Down to Zero (see below)
Cool Blue Stole My Heart (see below for a live jazz version)
Everyday Boy
Love & Affection (see below for a live version done at Abbey Road Studios for one of my favorite series Live From Abbey Road)
Kind Words (And A Real Good Heart)
Did I Make You Up - with Mark Knopfler
Drop The Pilot (see below for 2008 live version)
Wrapped Around Her
The Weakness in Me
Show Some Emotion
Can’t Stop Loving You
Me Myself & I
When I Get It Right
Mama Mercy
In Your Eyes
Whatever’s For Us
Flight of the Wild Geese

I tried to mix old, new, hits, non-hits, and so on. I do not have her three most recent CD's - 2004's Live All The Way From America, 2007's Into The Blues, and 2010's This Charming Life - so once I get those, I'll make an updated updated compilation.

Here are the videos of my most favorite songs from the compilation.

Don't know Joan Armatrading, but want to check her out now? Start with this CD and work out from there. You won't go wrong with any of her releases. (When I get some more time, I may go album by album, track by track, to tell you the best of the best.)


I have seen both Melissa Etheridge and Joan Armatrading live. Those stories in a future post. For Melissa Etheridge, picture three guys and 3000 lesbians at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans.

The 50 Best Gay Movies

For those interested, did a poll of the 50 Best Gay Movies.

If you don't want the details on each movie, but only the list, here you go (with the ones in bold the ones I've seen):
1 Brokeback Mountain (2005)
2 Shelter (2007)
3 Latter Days (2003)
4 Milk (2008)
5 A Beautiful Thing (1996)
6 Get Real (1998)
7 Maurice (1987)
8 Were the World Mine (2008)
9 Trick (1999)

10 Juste Une Question D'amour (Just a Question of Love) (2000)
11 Big Eden (2000)
12 The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
13 Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
14 Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom (2008)
15 Broken Hearts Club (2000)
16 Angels in America (2003)
17 Longtime Companion (1990)
18 Jeffrey (1995)
19 Sommersturm (2004)
20 All Over the Guy (2001)
21 Mysterious Skin (2004)
22 Philadelphia (1993)
23 Burnt Money (2000)
24 Birdcage (1996)
25 Edge of Seventeen (1998)
26 My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
27 Boy Culture (2006)
28 Parting Glances (1986)
29 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
30 The Trip (2002)
31 Shortbus (2006)
32 The Boys in the Band (1970)
33 Yossi and Jagger (2002)
34 Another Gay Movie (2006)
35 The Bubble (2006)
36 The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
37 C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)
38 Coffee Date (2006)
39 Making Love (1982)
40 Prayers for Bobby (2009)
41 East Side Story (2006)
42 Love Songs (Les Chansons D'Amour) (2007)
43 Mambo Italiano (2003)
44 Adam & Steve (2005)
45 In and Out (1997)
46 My Own Private Idaho (1991)
47 Rent Count (2005)
48 Eating Out (2004)
49 Mulligans (2008)
50 Transamerica (2005)


How many of these have you seen?

I have been working on my own Top Ten Gay Movies of All Time list for awhile. I'll get around to posting it one day.

Atlanta Trip

My sister Christine and I travel to Atlanta once a year to visit our younger (35 years old) sister Claudia - and her husband and three kids (currently 6, 4 and 2).

Christine and I remark that we're not actually going to Atlanta for three days, but to Claudia's Backyard. This is my third year going (and Christine's fifth), and the furthest we have gotten into Atlanta is to Cosco three miles away to buy groceries. The rest of the time, we are playing with the kids - soccer, baseball, pushing them on the swing, drawing on the ground with chalk, playing in the sandbox, and repeat. For three solid days.

Our schedule is usually get up with the kids at 7 am, eat and relax until 9, play in the yard until noon, naps for all until 3, play until 5, eat then baths and bed at 7. We call Claudia Nazi Mama. She has the kids on such a tight schedule, but the kids love the structure.

All three siblings in my generation are very structured. We think it comes from our parents: They never gave us any structure (no rules, no curfews, and so on) growing up. We think we're compensating for it in our adulthood.


When we were growing up, our parents had three rules for us kids:
1. You couldn't smoke in the house unless you had a friend over.
2. You couldn't go out on school nights - unless you were going to the library.
3. You couldn't have the car out overnight.

We never had a curfew, but usually came home at a reasonable hour because all of our friends had curfews.


After the kids are asleep at 7, the three of us (plus Claudia's husband if he is home from work) retire to the back porch for wine and conversation. All three nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), we stayed up way too late for a morning that we had to face those kids.

But us adults were having such fun. Because Claudia lives in Atlanta and Christine and I live in New Orleans, we rarely have the opportunity to sit and catch up. Whenever I talk with Claudia (or Christine), it feels like we are picking up a conversation we just dropped - though it may have been six months prior.

I probably I don't discuss my sisters enough here (especially Claudia), but they're very important to me. I am very proud of them and, though all three of us are quite different, am glad that our friendships have evolved nicely into adulthood.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paolo Nutini Revisited

Remember Paolo Nutini from this post?

Here's an updated picture of him. Too bad.