Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Who will be this year’s Schützenkönig?

September 14, 2022

I now attempt to advance on the the topic of Knabenschiessen, roughly Boys-Shooting, my previous approaches to the topic having foundered on Monday 9/12, as feelingly reported in yesterday’s posting “Knabenschiessen!” (inspired by a Frank Yellin Facebook posting on 9/12).

The basic facts, as assembled in a compact Wikipedia entry:

Knabenschiessen is a traditional target shooting competition in Zürich, held on the second weekend of September each year [the 2022 event started on Saturday 9/10 and ended on Monday 9/12].

The festival, officially held for the first time in 1889, is one of the oldest in Switzerland, dating back to the 17th century.

The competition is open to 13- to 17-year-olds who either reside or are enrolled in a school in the canton of Zürich. Originally reserved for boys (Knaben), the competition has been open to female participants since 1991. The shooting is with the Swiss Army ordnance rifle, SIG SG 550. The competition is held in the shooting range at Albisgütli to the south-west of the city center, on the slope of Uetliberg [and is organized by the City of Zurich Rifle Association in Albisgütli.] It is surrounded by a large fair.

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Knabenschiessen!

September 13, 2022

The introductory paragraph below was written in a moment of hope yesterday morning (9/12). But then I was consumed by medical problems triggered by last week’s extraordinarily high temperatures; by hours and hours of making arrangements for medical appointments (one this morning, others on each of the following mornings this week, some in the future); hours of doing work-arounds for the continuing non-renewal of my Adjunct Professor position at Stanford; and then, this morning (9/13), trying to cope — all afternoon, problem still far from fixed — with Gmail access on my computer (receiving and sending) disappearing entirely. I am crazed, distraught, angry, gasping for breath, afflicted by joint and muscle pains. But Not Dead Yet.

I did achieve my minimal goals for symbolic recognition of the two cultural holidays yesterday, but at 7 p.m. had to give up on explaining Knabenschiessen to you in a timely fashion. But I’m not sure when I’ll be able to craft a posting. Watch this space.

[9/12] In one part of my life, the Chinese-culture-friendly part, this is the third and last day of the Mid-Autumn Festival weekend, for which I will sacrifice a red bean mooncake as the sun sets. In another part, the Swiss-culture-friendly part, this is the third and last day of (as we would say it in English) Boys-Shooting weekend, for which I am wearing (by fortunate accident) my Swiss flag gym shorts (I have four handsome lightweight gym shorts I rotate through by the week — last week’s Pride Rainbow pair just came out of the washer). (I am also wearing a pink Gay as Fuck t-shirt, but that’s untethered to any immediately relevant gay-cultural occasion.)

 

Great age

September 8, 2022

A note from my sister-in-law Virginia Transue (my (late) man Jacques’s (late) older brother Bill’s wife — Virginia and I are the survivors) on Facebook yesterday, in the matter of my 9/6 birthday, this year my 82nd:

VT: Funny how every single year you are 5 weeks ahead of me [her birthday is 10/12]. What a great age we have both reached.

AZ > VT: Yes, always those five weeks. What a great age we have both reached: I’d like to read that as having great ‘of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average’ — at an apogee — but you might well just have meant ‘of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average’ — exceptionally large. Well, whatever, somehow we’ve gotten here.

A little lexicography, some personal history involving my first male lover (also a survivor), and it will end with Elaine Stritch singing.

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The Sprinkles carrot cake caper

September 8, 2022

As reported in my 82nd birthday posting “Three greetings for 9/6/22”, while I was holed up at home in severe and debilitating heat misery on the day, some friends e-mailed me delightful greetings — visual, verbal, and musical — and a hundred or so of them wished me a happy birthday, mostly via Facebook. Meanwhile, I ordered up some coffee gelato (it was also National Coffee Ice Cream Day, and that’s my favorite ice cream flavor) and a carrot cake (which is, well, cake, but very flavorful and chewy and not terribly sweet, and it comes with a lovely cream cheese frosting, all of which suits my tastes). I found no way to honor the Marquis de Lafayette (born 9/6/1757), though here I’ll give my summary from the Lafayette section of my 9/7/19 posting “Big sexy prime birthday gay ice cream”:

A man of enormous physical courage who took up the family military career at the age of 13 and later pursued an extraordinary public career devoted to advocating for democracy and human rights in two countries [mine and his], and managed somehow to live to the age of 76.

Then on the day after came sweet messages from people apologizing for having missed the day itself. But as I said to one of these (an old friend, an admirable person, and one of the small core of my regular readers — so someone whose good words were especially important to me):

I’m inclined to view my birthday as a fairly large region in time, not just one day. The net congratulations largely achieve the purpose of maintaining and reinforcing relationships, and that doesn’t have to happen on just one day.

And from one of the Aging Life Care of California folk (who, among other things, take me to medical appointments, of which I have a great many), who recently began reading this blog. Full of apologies for having missed the actual day, which I countered with the Region Theory of Birthday Time (above), and then bearing a gift box of four Sprinkles muffins, from the company’s Palo Alto store (in Stanford Shopping Center). A box notably including

dark chocolate (Belgian dark chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting, in curls)

carrot (walnut-studded carrot cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting)

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Three greetings for 9/6/22

September 6, 2022

For Woo(l)ly Mammoth’s #82: a fresh greeting formula, a morning hummer, and a fairy woodland bouquet. To which I’m adding some carrot cake and coffee ice cream: it’s not only my birthday, it’s also National Coffee Ice Cream Day, which I’m honoring all aslant (with coffee gelato), as I do so many things. To alter a family saying (If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly): If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing eccentrically (for other occasions: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing outrageously).

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Bedroom eyes

September 2, 2022

(Below the fold, a hot guy flashing bedroom eyes in nothing but a white low-rise basic brief that leaves little to the imagination: a matter of taste.)

A Daily Jocks flash sale — their term — for the Labor Day weekend. Work it, thick Nipaman!

I post this here for Nipaman’s lean, muscular body (very much to my taste) and of course for his remarkable bedroom-eyes performance, but also as a playful release at the end of a 9/2 day that began with a 12:30 am automated message informing me that my adjunct appointment at Stanford (and my use of Stanford e-mail, library services, and more) would be terminated on 9/4 (actually, the library services — access to the OED! — had already been terminated on 9/1), setting in motion 8 hours of heart-pounding Woo(l)ly Mammoth Crisis Time, temporarily resolved by my department’s paying for a year of these services for me while the issue of my appointment by the dean is settled.

But now I am yours, Nipaman. Work your sex magic on me.

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Sacred Harp numerology for my birthday

August 29, 2022

That’s where this is going, aimed at SH82t (Bound for Canaan) and SH82b (Edgefield) — ’cause I’m about to be 82 and so have been posting about 1982 — and SH96 (Few Happy Matches) — ’cause my birthday is 9/6. All of this triggered by someone’s having chosen to lead SH82t (which I’m fond of; it’s a Joy of Death and Transfiguration song and a shouting song: Hallelujah! I’m going to die!) at yesterday’s Marian Bush Memorial Half Day Singing in Palo Alto, which I participated remotely in because of my medical conditions. So I’ll have to tell you about my birthday, about Marian, about my afflictions, and about this weekend’s singings (Saturday 10-4, Sunday 1-4). But the numerology is the point, so I’ll talk about that first, but save the actual 82 and 96 songs for the end of this posting.

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Moon Over Palo Alto

August 26, 2022

Facebook ads alert me to the fact that the Mid-Autumn Festival is fast coming — mooncakes! mooncakes! time to get your mooncakes! —  and that it’s on the early side this year — Saturday 9/10 (with the holiday extending over the next two days) — so comes just a few days after my 82nd birthday, Tuesday 9/6, which this year is the day after the American end-of-summer holiday Labor Day (also a MascMeatHol, that is, masculine meat holiday, though this posting will be meatless).

I have decided to more or less wrap most of  these things together into a Moon Over Palo Alto event, with red bean mooncakes (no yolk) that I have already ordered, on a day during the 9/3-9/10 period (day, time, and place still to be determined) in honor of 1982, which has lots of good associations, including red bean mooncakes (acquired in San Francisco’s Chinatown that spring for Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky’s 17th birthday, Valentine’s Day regularly coming close to Lunar New Year — another mooncake holiday).

What I’m about to acquire:


(#1) A box of 4 Imperial Palace red bean mooncakes (no yolk); the red beans in question (here, in the form of a sweetened paste filling the mooncakes) are not the red beans of the New Orleans dish called red beans and rice, and the objects called mooncakes are (full-)moon-shaped but are not in the CAKE category of foodstuffs (instead, they’re in the PIE category)

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I am a good Boy for you, Daddy

July 4, 2022

(Men’s sexual bodies and man-on-man sex discussed in street language, so not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest)

Gay Pornlandia celebrates the American commercial holiday Fathers / Father’s / Fathers’ Day with annual sales on wares explicitly featuring Boys and their Daddies, or gay male roles and relationships in that sociosexual neighborhood (running the scale from temperamentally contrasted boyfriends to subs / slaves / boys vs. doms / masters / sirs in BDSM practices).

From my 6/21/15 posting “My hard-on belongs to daddy, for Fathers Day (which always comes in the middle of Gay Pride Month), on daddy – boy films (taking off from the 2011 Catalina flick Daddy It Hurts!):


(#1) Spencer Reed as a muscle-hunk daddy — and calliphallic top — and Cole Harvey as a twinkish boy — and callipygian bottom (naughty bits cropped for WordPress modesty)

In this world boy and daddy name “types”, personas, or social roles — and also relationships; these can be more or less conventionalized or ritualized and so framed as identities (in which case the talk will be about a Boy and his Daddy)

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Ultimate Queen Day

June 30, 2022

🐆 🐆 🐆. (That’s a ritual tiger-tiger-tiger for the last day of the month; details below.) Today is Ultimate June, the final day of a month packed with occasions of considerable emotional content, also (etymologically) a month dedicated to the Roman goddess Juno: queen of the gods (in fact, also called in Latin Regina ‘queen’), counterpart to Greek Hera; protector of women and motherhood; also embracing warlike features of Greek Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war (the deities of classic times were marvels of intersectionality, as we would now put it), and oh yes, wife of Jupiter, the counterpart to Greek Zeus.

So I am suggesting that 6/30 be recognized as Ultimate Queen Day, especially celebrating men who are flamboyant (in any way) and those who are effeminate (in their presentation of themselves). Stereotypically, these two bundles of characteristics are manifested together, in the cultural type the queen (not to be confused with royalty, with the drag queen, with X queen used to label tastes or preferences of many kinds — imagine a white-cross queen, a man who prefers Swiss men as sexual partners, or a fan of Swiss things — or with various other uses of /kwin/).

To come: on the content of the month of June; a bit more of etymology; on flamboyance; on some queens; and, yes, on 🐆 🐆 🐆.

The month of June. Relevant for everyone: June has the Summer Solstice in it, and Midsummer Day quite close to that. The Summer Solstice Day is often labeled “the first day of summer” (in the Northern Hemisphere), but no ordinary person talks that way; folk (and commercial) usage treats the season of summer as embracing June, July, and August, with exact starting and ending dates a matter of local custom. There are ways of thinking about summer, but June is, first of all, a summer month — time for exposing the body, in minimal (or no) clothing; playing in the water (in swimming pools or, especially, at the beach ); randy sex (all over the place, by day or by night); and, in the US, baseball.

I must confess that I have a 🐇 🐇 🐇 posting for 6/1 that looks at this summer-month stuff, still not finished and polished after about 30 hours of work; I am overwhelmed by life. As a place holder, vividly illustrating June As Summer, the image (Hot Water) on the June page in the Tom of Finland 2022 calendar:

(#1)

Then, relevant to various parts of my life:

— June is Gay Pride Month

— and has Juneteenth in it, a US holiday celebrating the end of slavery in my country

— and has Flag Day in it, a US patriotic occasion, memorializing the adoption of the US flag in 1777

— and has the commercial holiday Father’s Day in it, which functions as a gender event, celebrating conventional masculinity in all its forms — in particular, it’s a Masculine Meat Holiday (see my 6/17/22 posting “Be the Master of the Meat!”) — and also as a sexuality event, through being hi-jacked by gay porn studios as a vehicle for Daddy – Boy sex films.

A little more etymology. If I read the OED right, the month of June (in English) gets its name from the month name in Classical Latin, the masculine noun Jūnius, which is the masculine version of the feminine name Jūnō — the goddess Juno.

Flamboyance. Queens are flamboyant, etymologically  ‘flaming’. Then from NOAD:

adj. flamboyant: 1 [a] (of a person or their behavior) tending to attract attention because of their exuberance, confidence, and stylishness: a flamboyant display of aerobatics | she is outgoing and flamboyant, continuously talking and joking. [b] (especially of clothing) noticeable because brightly colored, highly patterned, or unusual in style. …

On flamboyance in action, consider, among others: flamboyant entrepreneurs (Malcolm Forbes, Richard Branson, Jack Ma) and flamboyant musicians (Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler). Here’s Freddie Mercury (of Queen), queening flamboyantly in performance:


(#2) Note armband on the right arm, indicating a sexual receptive or subordinate

On flamboyance in dress, consider, among others: historical dandies, peacocking by men, extravagant fashion models, and the costumes of some flamboyant musicians. Here’s Freddie Mercury again:

(#3)

Meanwhile, I’ve posted often about flamboyant items of apparel: underwear and gymwear in fabulous colors and patterns, loungewear, and shirts of all kinds. I bought my first gorgeously patterned shirts at the B. Altman flagship store on 5th Avenue in NYC in 1958; I was 17, and you can see, from the fact that I remember so many details, that it was a moving experience. Many others followed.

Now I collect images of such things, rather than the things themselves, and I tend to specialize in floral patterns (well, I’m a plant person as well as a queer person). From the GentleManual site, “Floral Style: A Masculine Guide to Fresh Floral Prints” from 8/1/19, this attractively flamboyant floral t-shirt, worn by a model who’s also to my taste (though not flamboyantly posed):

(#4)

Finally, flamboyance in personality. First, a little study in Going Too Far. From the MentalHelp site on “DSM-5: The Ten Personality Disorders: Cluster B”:

the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster. It includes: Borderline Personality Disorder; Narcissistic Personality Disorder; Histrionic Personality Disorder; and Antisocial Personality Disorder. Disorders in this cluster share problems with impulse control and emotional regulation.

… Persons with Histrionic Personality Disorder are characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking. Their lives are full of drama (so-called “drama queens”). They are uncomfortable in situations where they are not the center of attention.

People with this disorder are often quite flirtatious or seductive, and like to dress in a manner that draws attention to them. They can be flamboyant and theatrical, exhibiting an exaggerated degree of emotional expression. Yet simultaneously, their emotional expression is vague, shallow, and lacking in detail. This gives them the appearance of being disingenuous and insincere. Moreover, the drama and exaggerated emotional expression often embarrasses friends and acquaintances as they may embrace even casual acquaintances with excessive ardor, or may sob uncontrollably over some minor sentimentality.

People with Histrionic Personality Disorder can appear flighty and fickle. Their behavioral style often gets in the way of truly intimate relationships, but it is also the case that they are uncomfortable being alone.

They tend to feel depressed when they are not the center of attention. When they are in relationships, they often imagine relationships to be more intimate in nature than they actually are.

People with Histrionic Personality Disorder tend to be suggestible; that is, they are easily influenced by other people’s suggestions and opinions. A literary character that exemplifies the Histrionic Personality Disorder is the character of Blanche DuBois in Tennessee William’s classic play, “Streetcar Named Desire.”

That’s the bad news. The world is, however, well supplied with delightful flamboyant queens, extravagant but empathetic, fully in control of their emotions while presenting an exaggerated version of themselves. There are, in fact, several subtypes. From my 5/29/22 posting “The pansies and the birds will speak for us”, with Paul Harfleet, author of Pansy Boy, displaying his Tough Queen face:


(#5) This along with illustrations of a tough queen — Emory in the 1970 movie of The Boys in the Band — and a ditzy queen — Randy Rainbow giving his musical commentaries on the news

Both characters [Emory and Randy] are dead serious, with moral agendas behind the apparent superficiality of the personas they project (of eye-rolling, disdainful self-involvement for Emory; of wide-eyed, scatter-brained silliness for Randy). This they share with Harfleet, whose ornamental, often sexualized presentations of himself can’t conceal the almost painful urgency of his aim to rescue the children, honor the despised, and celebrate nature’s gifts of flowers and birds.

There’s more. For several years, my department chair at Ohio State was a good friend who presented himself as what I now think of as an ornamental queen: full of amiable laughter, warm companionship, and energy, with the gay gestures, the gay voice, all the gay eye stuff (side-eyes, wide eyes, eye rolls), all of that dialed up to about 150% of normal. He had a fine conventional three-piece suit that he wore when one of his students defended their PhD dissertation (the suit was a mark of respect for them), but mostly dressed flamboyantly. He went to Humanities College Executive Committee meetings (with the deans and the other department chairs) in very worn denim short shorts that showed off his gym-developed lower body, plus an equally worn Mickey Mouse t-shirt that showed off his upper body. Vibrating energy and enthusiasm.

And it all worked. Well, he was an able administrator, a solid scholar (in Indo-European historical linguistics!), a wonderful teacher, and a tireless, thoughtful adviser. And yes, a treat to look at and a hell of a lot of fun to be around.

The jaguar-jaguar-jaguar goodbye. The counterpart to the rabbit-rabbit-rabbit hello. For which, see these two postings:

from 5/1/17 in “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit: three cartoons for the 1st”, on the ritual

that calls for everyone to greet the new month, upon awakening, by saying “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit”

from 5/1/20 in “Trois lapins pour le premier mai”

So the question became: what’s the opposite of a rabbit? The closest animal opposition to rabbit is hare, but that’s way too narrow. What we want is something opposed to rabbits in a number of relevant features.

Rabbits are small, furry, large-eared mammals; they are gregarious, gentle, fast-moving, shyly reclusive, prolifically breeding, herbivorous prey animals. They are folklorically cunning (in trickster figures) and hypersexual (so serving as symbols of fertility and rebirth, and then of spring and Easter).

So, sticking to the world of mammals, we’re looking for a large fierce carnivorous predator (forget about the fur, which most mammals have, and the ears, since most mammals have smaller ones; and the big broods, since large predators in general have small broods). Jaguars were my first choice, because they’re viciously fierce and much fleeter of foot than even the fastest rabbit (even the Energizer Bunny), and because I just love the name jaguar. Alas, Apple has no jaguar emoji, or even a panther; so I settled for the tiger emoji. Tiger tiger tiger, goodbye, month.