Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

This day

October 11, 2021

This is the day. It’s the 2nd Monday of October: Indigenous Peoples’ Day / Columbus Day in the U.S.; and Thanksgiving in Canada. And it’s October 11th: National Coming Out Day; and Jacques and Arnold’s Anniversary (celebrated) — the actual moment would be 45 years in December.

Mostly this posting will be about J&A Day, with affection, silliness, and a certain amount of playful raunchiness (just to warn you, there will be tiny chocolate penises, in Pride Flag rainbow wrappings). I will have a few words on Columbus Day, Thanksgiving holidays, and NCOD, before the main event. But to establish the main context, here’s the Robert Emery Smith photograph of Jacques and me after having been declared domestic partners by the city of Palo Alto on Valentine’s Day in 1996:


(#1) The two husband-equivalents, in their cymbidium garden (the plants themselves being gifts of love)

The third, and most emotionally significant, of our domestic partnerships. The first two were administrative procedures, at Ohio State and Stanford, while this one, though entirely symbolic, was designed to be as much like a conventional wedding as possible: there was a public ceremony and a celebration in front of City Hall, with friends and family in attendance; people wept with happiness; and the city issued a certificate. More below.

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Bang!

September 29, 2021

(Men’s bodies and sex between men, sometimes in street language, so not for kids or the sexually modest)

Back in July, I started a piece that combined the celebrations of the Fourth of July in my country and a personal celebration on having an award for LGBTQ+ linguists named after me. The two parts of the piece take off from the same introductory material, a Falcon Big Bang 2021 sale ad (reproduced below).

Alas, the rigors of these pandemic times and of the twilight of my life being what they are, I wasn’t able to finish the first part of this posting, the Arnold Zwicky Award part, until 9/21. Now comes the second, the vulgar slang bang ‘to have sex’, part.

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Fireworks! Bang!

September 22, 2021

This posting originally came in two parts, united in fact by a sheer accident of timing, that two celebratory — fireworks! bang! — things happened  during a July weekend in the US: the first is a personal celebration, of an honor from the Linguistic Society of America that marks me as officially a kind of famous faggot (I happily embrace faggot); the second is the 4th of July holiday, an occasion as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie, but capable of being hijacked for raunchy purposes. But in the interests of getting something posted while I still live, I’m putting the second part off, to appear as a separate posting (which will require a warning of  irredeemable raunchiness; this part dips into sexual topics with some frequency, no surprise, but needs, I think, no more severe a warning than that).

Notes: I do love fireworks, because there are occasions when only excess will really do the trick; but like a stereotypical queer, I am at best lukewarm on sports (though I have an enthusiasm for the San Francisco Giants when they’re in the World Series — go figure); I enjoy eating the occasional hot dog (for its taste and texture as well as its phallicity), but it has to be kosher (I had my ritual Independence Day Hebrew National wurst on the 3rd); and I also enjoy eating apple pie, but my preference is for Julia Child’s Tarte aux Pommes (another faggy enthusiasm).

The other thing about holidays, the Fourth of July notably among them, is that they are occasions for elaborate advertising campaigns hawking homoware: men’s premium underwear (including oh my, jockstraps), steamily presented, and gay porn videos (not to mention sex toys for gay men), all of these items that I view both as sources of deep personal satisfaction (which I am happy to talk about in detail, in the plainest of street language) and as objects of academic analysis, on several levels.

And then I have contrived to make a more than accidental connection between celebrating my recognition as an LGBTQ+ linguist and celebrating the Fourth of July, by selecting a holiday porn ad that turns on the ambiguity of N and V bang, as referring to noise-making or as referring to sexual intercourse: consider this exemplary text, the Falcon Big Bang 2021 sale ad (for gay porn) that came in my e-mail on July 2nd:

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The flowers that bloom on the 6th, tra la

September 6, 2021

My birthday — 9^2, 3^4 — rolls around again, in its relentless way, and people are sending me flowers. Well, electronic images of flowers. (Meanwhile, I’m wearing my, sigh, gay dinosaur t-shirt, and I had coffee ice cream for lunch dessert, because it’s my favorite and because 9/6 is, whoopee, National Coffee Ice Cream Day, as well as AMZ’s and the Marquis de Lafayette’s birthdays, 1940 and 1757 respectively.) Today, three floral compositions:

— a sidewalk-crack garden (on the street in Dovercourt Village, Toronto), posted by Randy McDonald on his Facebook page on 9/3 and sent to me by e-mail on 9/4 to cheer me up (despair lurks in doorways, ready to pounce on me and rob me of joy): cleomes and snow-on-the-mountain

— from Benita and Ed Campbell (outside of Denver), a Jacquie Lawson electronic birthday card, “Golden Chain”: laburnum (yellow), drumstick alliums (purple and blue), plus seven parrots and a peacock

— from Rod [Williams] & Ted [Bush] (in Oakland), a different Jacquie Lawson card, “Birds and Flowers”: an arrangement of flowers to be identified, plus several little chirpy birds, with the accompaniment of a much-abbreviated orchestral arrangement of Chopin’s Grande valse brillante

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If you squint, you can see Switzerland

July 31, 2021

The last of my buzzcut photos: #5, in honor of Swiss National Day (August 1st), with occasion-appropriate t-shirt and athletic shorts:

The wearied old professor, squinting into the sun in Ramona Birdland (where the squirrels and, alas, roof rats also play), at the controls of his excellent — maneuverable and very sturdy — outdoor walker (photo by Kim Darnell)

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Sacrilegious puns for Pride Month

June 10, 2021

… on t-shirts from the Hear Our Voice on-line store (“empowering feminist clothing” — also clothing on Black, LGBTQ+, kindness, and disability rights themes), in a Facebook ad today (I believe the shirts are available from other sources as well). In the ad, a complex pun (both verbal and visual) on the song title “Proud Mary”; and then, elsewhere on the site, a pun on the religious exclamation amen.

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Harnessing up for Pride

May 21, 2021

(Plain-talk references to men’s bodies and sex between men, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Just 10 more days till Memorial Day, one of the two secular holidays bracketing the summer holiday season in the US (Labor Day is at the other end). This year Memorial Day is on the latest possible day, May 31st, so that we’ll move immediately from Spring into Pride, from May into Gay.

For Pride Month, the Daily Jocks DJX Trough line — as in piggies at the trough — now offers an annual ensemble of rainbow-themed homowear: a harness, a bottom garment of some sort, and some big butch socks.

This year’s ensemble, which came in my e-mail on 5/3. Then last year’s. And then some other rainbow harnesses, to go along with the rainbow underwear I’ve posted about over the years (there’s an inventory of these in a Page on this blog).

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Two holidays in one

May 8, 2021

Falling together this year on 5/7: No Pants Day (the first Friday in May); and, now that you have your pants off, the way is smoothed for you to celebrate a May 7th event, Masturbation Day, if you have a mind to.


(#1) An appeal from Comics Kingdom (an on-line platform for King Features Syndicate), with Dennis the Menace as their spokescharacter for the occasion; note the usage in the name of the day — AmE pants, referring to outerwear, vs. BrE pants ‘underpants’

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Musical numerology: two days in May

May 5, 2021

5/4 (yesterday; yes, I’m late, but I was without internet access for about six hours and couldn’t finish assembling the materials for this posting); and 5/9 (Ann Daingerfield (Zwicky)’s birthday, and, this year, Mother’s Day). About the occasions, but also about the dates as 54 Day and 59 Day — in the pages of the Sacred Harp.

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5/1

May 1, 2021

It’s a new month, so: 🐇🐇🐇

In a moment I’ll reprise “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” and other 5/1 associations in a posting from last year, but before that I’m going to suggest a new association: in the tradition of 3/14 as Pi(e) Day (from 3.14 as the value of pi / π) and 4/20 as Marijuana Day (from 420 as slang for smoking pot, or otherwise consuming cannabis), I suggest that 5/1 should be celebrated as Alien Encounter Day, in honor of Area 51 in Nevada. (There already is a World UFO Day, celebrated by some on 6/24, by others on 7/2.)

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