Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Prolonged Departure...

Well, it's the weekend! That means I'll be signing off my computer for the next week as I head to northern places. Time to gather my gear, cross that now-fenced Canadian border, and get to Ottawa! So far, it looks like I'll be able to do a bit of investigating at the bed & breakfast. I'm assuming that's what "no problem" meant. Otherwise, I have a long list of other places to check out.

Unfortunately, my laptop decided it doesn't like wireless connections anymore, so I'll have to fill you all in when I get back. If I come back! (Yes, sounds like it might be tempting to "lose" my return ticket, but I have things to do back here in podunk Ohio, so I must...) I'll have pictures for Flickr (hopefully some paranormal stuff too) and probably plenty to spill about. And who knows; maybe other news will happen while I'm gone!

I hope all you dear readers who've tolerated my long absences enjoy the first week of Pride Month. And I shall be back on June 8th with news... if I'm not exhausted from the trip!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Because Milk Would Spoil the Children...

A California school decided recently that milk was inappropriate for children. Harvey Milk, that is. Natalie Jones, a sixth grade student at Mt. Woodson Elementary in Ramona, was inspired by the movie and had dedicated a presentation to the late 'Mayor of Castro Street'. School administrators required children to get parental permission to watch the presentation after labeling it "sex education"... they then proceeded to tell Natalie she could only give the speech at recess.

Her mother, Bonnie Jones, was appalled. "To say my daughter's presentation is 'sex education' because Harvey Milk happened to be gay is completely wrong." And now, the ACLU is getting involved. Sounds like there might be plenty of spilled milk to cry over after all...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cannes You Vote for Voodoo?

Normally, when browsing websites, I don't pay too much attention for people asking for votes for much of anything. But when I noticed this short film trying to make it to the Cannes Film Festival (and the dead-eyed dolls), I had to watch, click, and pass it along.

This pin-pricking animated short was filmed by Joaquin Baldwin, originally from Paraguay and currently residing in California (though he did stay for a while in Ohio for college, so I'll consider him a semi-sort-of-local artist). I have chanced across him online a few times, but never had the pleasure of talking to him directly. Which is a shame. He's very good... and the sort of person I think would be great to spend a conversation with. Besides, I have a few personal thoughts on a few possible hidden meanings/subtle nuances which have crossed my mind.

Check out the video, Sebastian's Voodoo, below and click on it to go to the YouTube site where each vote through May 20th counts!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

When Life's Emergency Break Fails...

Just a little public service announcement: if anyone else has any bad news to send my way, just feel free to toss it at me now. Seriously, I'd like to get it all over with as quickly as possible! Then, just let me have my Sally Fields moment and be back to normal. Ok? Ok. Thank you.

Don't mind me... I'm running on only a few hours of sleep and I think the few brain cells that are conscious are busy trying to figure out how to go back to bed. I'm in desperate need of a shower and the world's largest martini, so, back into my little corner I go where I can rock back and forth and mumble incoherent thoughts. Luckily, I still have my sanity, somehow. And no matter what, I'll find something positive and humorous to make all the rotten situations of life somehow tolerable.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Time Marches Like a Mountie...

I may seem quiet, but in reality, life has been insanely busy. I have a ton of editing work to do on another project (not my own... someone else's) as well as the other more mundane trivialities of life. And this month is going by too fast in some ways... not fast enough when other matters are concerned. But I won't complain. There is enough goodness in my life that even the minor issues fail to bother me.

I do have some things to look forward to, and one interesting matter for this blog which will be an all-time first. In a few weeks, I will be posting about an allegedly haunted bed & breakfast I stumbled across. But unlike my other posts where I either interview the innkeepers via phone/email and give my opinions from afar, I'll have some first-hand experience. That's right: I'm crossing that Canadian border to report directly from the inn itself!

Relatively-speaking. I'm not so sure I'll be connected to the internet during my stay... or even that I'll have the time to give a play-by-play. But at least afterward, I'll be discussing the adventure. I'll reveal the identity of the B&B at that time... though this tantalizing view of the front is a hint...

Yes. This is, indeed, turning into an interesting year. And here I was just hoping for a book deal. Who knew things would get this interesting?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Ghosts and Gays Tour of Southwestern Ohio...

Now that yesterday's severe headache has abated, I can finally spill about my recent trip to Dayton. It was a very eventful and busy week, but one of the more enjoyable excursions of recent past. Earl and Chuck were delightful hosts, as always, and my stay in Germantown was somewhat restful but never boring. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the cord for the digital camera, so my photographic explorations posted on Flickr were quite limited. Eleven photos in one week. Not too much for a shutter junkie like myself.

There were a few interesting highlights of my trip to report. The first was a walking tour of downtown Dayton, following the old Miami & Erie Canal, now buried beneath a boulevard and forgotten by many. The host, Leon, heads the Gem City Circle Walking Tours and offers several different journeys through the city. (You can bet I'll be coming back in the fall for the ghost tour!) Leon is a dear, and quite knowledgeable on the history of the city. I highly recommend that anyone going to the Dayton area take a trip with him. And I'd like to thank him for allowing me to offer up a bit of history in the Ohio & Erie Canal, as well as aiding in answering a few questions from fellow walkers. Most of us had a gay-old time...

I also had a chance to be the audience for the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus as they prepared for an upcoming concert and performance of HMS Pinafore, to be performed on May 30 at the haunted Victoria Theatre at 8:00 PM. My one regret is I won't be in attendance. After seeing the rehearsal, I know it'll be worth the price of admission! They are a sweet bunch of guys, and were very friendly to this passing northerner. The comedy didn't deteriorate with each run-through, either, which is always a good sign. Of course, it did make me want to join in. Who knew I'd find any city in Ohio so inviting and pleasant that I'd consider living there?

Lastly, I spent some time on two separate occasions in historic Yellow Springs, home of the nearly-defunct Antioch College. If an easy-going, motley mix of unique individuals is your cup of tea, this town is perfect for you. Within the first few minutes, I witnessed angry lesbians trying to park, an emo boy waking casually down the street in his skin-tight black jeans, and a woman with impossibly-long blond dreadlocks greeting everyone she passed. But yes... plenty of average men and women as well. Nearly every business has a faded Human Rights Campaign sticker adorning the front door, and for those of you metaphysically-minded, there are several occult shops from which to choose. I stocked up on small colored candles and a small selection of tumbled stones. Had I enough money, I could have easily bought out nearly every store!

It is also quite a haunted little town (not only by ghosts, but by beautiful old homes on every corner), though I couldn't find a copy of the 1943 book on local ghost stories. I did, however, happen to snap a photo of one haunted house from the past, and had a wonderful, inexpensive lunch at the renowned Ye Olde Trail Tavern. The restaurant hosts at least three ghosts, and our waitress regaled us with her own personal ghostly experience only a few days prior. I do believe this would make an excellent stop on a haunted walking tour... perhaps Leon should consider it.

Otherwise, a good time was had by all. I added a new book to my collection: Rhine's New Frontiers of the Mind (1937) found at Dark Star Bookstore. The prefect compliment to my 1937 zener cards! There were a few people I would have liked to see, but it simply wasn't in the cards. Some timing never works out just right. But, such is life. Perhaps next time, everything will fall into place. Regardless, I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. And I'm already thinking about my next adventure. Well, next several. Not only back to the southwestern regions of Ohio, but beyond these borders. As Mark Twain once wrote in Innocents Abroad, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts." So, get out there and explore the world. It just might shock you into happiness.