Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Dalla sua pace

December 6, 2023

Today (12/6: St. Nicholas Day, Finnish Independence Day, and Mozart’s death day) my morning name was the Italian phrase dalla sua pace ‘on his / her peace’. From a Mozart opera. The music playing on my Apple Music when I awoke was indeed from opera in Italian, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, so if the phrase had come from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro — Figaro being the barber in question — the appearance of that phrase in my morning mind would have been easy to explain. Alas, Dalla sua pace (On her peace) is an aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, quite a different plot, entirely barber-free and Figaro-free.

It is, of course, possible that my unconscious mind is not as up on the details of opera in Italian as my conscious mind, so it made this distant operatic association. Or maybe I was just reviving an interest in the preposizioni articolate ‘articulated (i.e., articled / arthrous) prepositions’ of Italian, of which dalla — combining the versatile preposition da (expressing source ‘from’, location ‘at, on’, and goal ‘to’) with the definite article la — is a prime example; here it is in a display of the articled prepositions (versions of this chart are found on many sites):

Prepositions down on the left, definite articles across at the top

(Articled prepositions are found in many European languages, as in French du = de ‘of’ + le ( and German zur = zu ‘to, towards’ + der (, with very different details in each language.)

But the aria from Don Giovanni, what of that?


Rehab return day

December 5, 2023

It’s a foggy day in Palo Alto town, on the anniversary of my return home from a Palo Alto rehab center on 12/5/20, after having given up drinking several weeks before, a decision that impelled me into Stanford hospital with alcohol withdrawal syndrome on 11/11; I was moved to the rehab center on 11/17, and then discharged into the world on 12/5, as a recovering alcoholic beginning a new life. So 12/5 is a kind of rebirth day for me.

12/5 comes in between the death days of two remarkable musicians: Frank Zappa on 12/4 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on 12/6. This year Zappa’s death day was anticipated by Kyle Wohlmut’s posting, on Facebook on 12/3, this inspired digital creation honoring FZ:

(#1) Seeing nothing like this on the (delicatessen food company) Dietz & Watson site, I assume that the Zappa Franks billboard is the work of ingenious bots.

It occurred to me that FZ might have composed the thing himself, that would have been so FZ, but I can find no evidence that he did. So this will be our “Eat Me” homage to him now.


Naked men in Santa caps

December 4, 2023

(Rampant nakedness, juicy description of man-on-man sex, definitely not for kids or the sexually modest)

A piece of sheer raunchy frivolity. Two naked lads, a hunky bottom and a twink top, both wearing Santa caps, meet in a 12/1 mailer ad for a scene from Falcon’s gay porn flick Cum All Ye Faithful. Bottom Beau Butler has a package, a box, to offer top Trevor Brooks, who has pulled his briefs down to show what he’s got available to put into Butler’s package:


Waxed amaryllis

December 3, 2023

A sweet and cheering gift from my old friend Kathryn Burlingham in the mail yesterday: two waxed amaryllis bulbs from Holland Bulb Farms in Milwaukee WI, plants that should bloom in the later winter here, promising spring and Easter.

(#1) The solid-white variety Grateful Heart; you can see the wax coating on the bulb and the attached metal ring on which the plant sits

(#2) The variety Gingerbread, white with red stripes

Waxed amaryllises are a new thing for me, but apparently they’ve been around for some time (an invention of Dutch bulb growers, though I haven’t found any sources about the history of wax coating for flower bulbs).


ToF’s December 2023 Santa Claus

December 1, 2023

(Hey, it’s Tom of Finland, what do you expect?  — it’s dripping with raunchy suggestiveness; not to everyone’s taste)

🐇 🐇 🐇 rabbit rabbit rabbit to inaugurate December, and time for some seasonal sexy silliness. Meanwhile, it’s World AIDS Day, a moment of retrospective grieving and prospective hope.

For the month of December in my 2023 Tom of Finland calendar, this b&w vintage Santa (from 1982):

(#1) A pleasant smile, admirable pecs and abs, and a gigantic ToF erection

And now, three more ToF Santas, in vivid color.


A flagrantly gay Black Friday offer

November 24, 2023

(You can tell from the title that this posting will clearly not be to everyone’s taste, even if technically it doesn’t have to be shielded from kids.)

This striking composition of bodies (advertising flagrantly gay men’s underwear from Andrew Christian) in a HUNT Magazine e-mail offer today, 11/24:

The two men are posed as strongly differentiated in their roles, the black guy on the left as dominant, in charge, symbolically (and probably sexually) on top; the white guy on the right as submissive, subordinate, symbolically (and probably sexually) on the bottom — but evidently quite comfortable with his place, maybe even proud. If The Advocate magazine (“LGBTQ+ since 1967”) had an avant-garde wedding announcements section, this photo could be published there.

“Biggest Black Friday Ever” no doubt is a raunchy allusion to the fabled attractions of the BBC (Big Black Cock) — white guy sez, hey, I’ve got mine. (AC is often entertaining, but never subtle.)


Thanksgiving meals

November 23, 2023

Two special meals today, call them brunch (I had my usual breakfast at 5 am, then this brunch around 9) and dinner (at 1).

Brunch. I was aiming for roasted chicken pieces (a distant bow to Thanksgiving turkey), but Safeway was already out of the roasted chickens by the time I ordered, so they gave me fried chicken tenders instead (to be served with a mayonnaise-based sauce: tartar sauce, blue cheese dressing, or the ever-present ranch dressing; I invented one of my own, with ingredients on hand).

Safeway’s tenders were neither greasy nor dry, actually quite satisfactory.

Dinner. Achieving a satisfactory posole was going to be out of the question (way too much complex advance planning), so I reverted to Singapore-style rice noodles (“angel-hair rice noodles tossed with BBQ pork, shrimp, onion in a light hint of curry sauce”, as Green Elephant Gourmet describes it), with “Chinese green” (baby bok choy) with black mushrooms (instead of the usual Sichuan dry-fried green beans, with an aromatic ground-pork sauce) — chopped into small bits, so easily eaten with a fork by disabled hands; served on brown rice.

Dessert. I am now contemplating a mid-afternoon dessert: cinnamon ice cream with blueberries. A hell of a lot of blueberries. Safeway didn’t have any for quite a while, and then they scored a lot of blueberries from Chile. So I ordered the usual four containers, not noticing that these containers were 18 oz rather than 8. The mantra now is:

Everything is Better With Blueberries



The 2024 Arnold Zwicky Award

November 22, 2023

From the Linguistic Society of America’s Secretariat this morning:

Arnold Zwicky Award: This award, given for the first time in 2021 [as the 2022 AZ Award], is intended to recognize the contributions of LGBTQ+ scholars in Linguistics and is named for Arnold Zwicky, the first [openly] LGBTQ+ President of the LSA. The Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics (COZIL) is pleased to announce that Professor Lal Zimman is the LSA’s 2024 Arnold Zwicky Award recipient [AZ: to be formally awarded at the 2024 LSA meeting in early January in New York City].

Lal Zimman, an Associate Professor of Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara, is recognized as a global leader in the area of trans linguistics. His research on trans language has had a significant impact on sociocultural linguistics, sociophonetics, inclusive pedagogy, and social justice- and community-based linguistics. Zimman has also been active in advocating for trans inclusion in the discipline and the academy, and he has been a mentor to many trans students. He now directs the Trans Research in Linguistics Lab (TRILL) at UCSB, which is dedicated not only to studying trans linguistics but also holistically supporting trans students and scholars.

Yes — a Z to a Z!


Three words to marvel at

November 1, 2023

🐇 🐇 🐇 trois lapins to inaugurate November, the final month of autumn or spring (depending on which hemisphere you’re in), and celebrate the Day of the Dead. A day on which we’ll enjoy three English words that have entertained posters on Facebook (from now on, FB) recently: calceology ‘the study of footwear’; telamon ‘male figure used as an architectural pillar’; and hallux ‘the first and largest toe (on a human foot)’.

At this point, you might admit that these terms are English words but, quite rightly, object that it would be bizarre to talk about expressions that almost no speakers of English know or use as words of English. Certainly, if I asked you whether English has a word for the study of footwear, you’re almost surely going to say no, because part of our everyday understanding of word of English is that such an expression has some currency, and hardly any speakers of English know or use the expression calceology.

On discovering the technical term calceology, then, you might be willing to say that the term is an English word, or maybe even a word in English, but still balk at saying it’s a word of English. It should by now be clear that we’re dealing with distinct concepts here, and grappling, awkwardly, with putting labels on them. At least one fresh label is called for. I’ll hold off on choosing a label to cover the territory that includes words of English until after I’ve looked at three other characteristics of CTH — calceology, telamon, and hallux — separate from their lacking currency.


Three cartoon approaches to the eve of the Day of the Dead

October 31, 2023

Three that have come to me today:  in today’s comics feed, a Wayno / Piraro Bizarro showing a young René Magritte trick-or-treating; on Facebook, passed on by Robert Poletto for Halloween, an Edward Gorey 1973 skull-tossing watercolor with the sly title A Dull Afternoon; and also on FB, reposted by Jeff Bowles for Halloween, an old Charles Schulz Peanuts cartoon in which Linus enthusiastically reconceptualizes the eve of the Day of the Dead as a version of Christmas Eve.