Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

Forty facial years

May 20, 2022

More precisely, 1958 through 1995, so not quite 40 years. For my face, in 8 shots, the last two providing more of my body as well. Today just the visuals, with little commentary, beyond locating the photos in time, place, and occasion. (My day was consumed by labors of an non-writerly sort. Not at all unpleasant, though mighty sweaty, but unexpectedly time-consuming.)


Romper buddies

May 14, 2022

Taking off from a delightful ad for Romperjacks on Facebook back in November and December:

Here I give you the ad photo, and inventory some of the things it inspires me to write about in future postings (several being themes from earlier postings on this blog).


Three responsibilities

May 12, 2022

Voting, a duty to my country; supporting those in need, those who do good works, and those who make art, a duty to my society, to be fulfilled by charitable donations and service; and giving blood, a specific form of service, through which I could help to save lives.


Three occasions

May 10, 2022

Three occasions, the first deprecable in intent, though with some charms in the local execution of it; the second earnest in aim, but distressing in its commercialization and its substitution of a day’s dose of sentimentality for any lasting celebration of mothers (plus, it interferes with Ann Daingerfield’s birthday):

May 7-9: Palo Alto’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo on 5/7  (it has to be on a Saturday)

Mother’s Day on 5/8 (the punctuation of the name is merely the one I fancy; don’t get all riled up about it)

Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s 85th birthday — she died in 1985 — on 5/9 (this is Arnold Zwicky’s Blog, so you get my occasions)

And then three sub-occasions:

family breakfast (a weekly event, this week a three-generation affair for me, Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, and Opal Armstrong Zwicky) on 5/7

Masturbation Day on 5/7 (a major celebration in my one-person household) (I put the responsibility for the choice of date on Good Vibrations in San Francisco, and specifically on Susie Bright, though she will probably demur)

AMZ’s return to Sacred Harp singing on 5/8 (only via Zoom, but still)


The chirosexual moment

May 8, 2022

(Men’s bodies, masturbation, not suitable for kids (according to the — inexcusably, harmfully puritanical — sexual mores of current American culture) or the sexually modest.)

The image from a 5/6 TitanMen ad for the 2022 Masturbation Month sale of their gay porn:

(#1) A pants-pulled-down cock tease, plus an eyes-narrowed slant-eye cruise face (the expression is hard to pull off: it’s supposed to be invitingly sexy, but to my eye here it verges on silly)

Celebratory days, and the whole merry celebmasturbatory month of May.


Angel Band

May 6, 2022

(At various points, there will be moments of plain talk about men’s genitals and man-on-man sex, so this posting is dubious for kids and the sexually modest.)

Yesterday in my posting “Joyous praise”, about joyous praise of God, joyous praise for military victory, and joyous praise for victory over death:

in this vein [of joyous praise of God] … is this exulting carol by Jeremiah Ingalls, “Glory to God on High”, Andrew Parrott leading the Taverner Choir and the Taverner Consort (Warner, 1989), link here. And it has angels: give me angels (muscular angels, angels of power, not delicate or cute angels) or trumpets (equally powerful) or both, and I’m in

The angels and trumpets then took me from the music of joy to music expressing a quite different emotion through similar means: the music of hope. Such music expresses longing for the release of death — release from the pains and tribulations of earthly life — and for the reward of eternal life in heaven with Jesus / God, this reward achieved by rebirth, by resurrection and transportation to heaven. This is gospel music.

And despite the fact that I don’t hold any of the beliefs that undergird gospel music, I am passionately attached to much of it, for reasons both narrative — the (metaphorical) stories that gospel music tells are wonderful stories, deeply satisfying emotionally (oh, to be carried away on the wings of angels to a world free from pain and full of delight!) — and musical — much of the music is fabulous, in both tune and text.

You get angels in both the music of joy and the music of hope, but they serve different functions: for joy, the angels announce the good news to you, as in the Ingalls fanfare; for hope, the angels provide a means for you to satisfy your longings, as in the gospel song Angel Band (which is what this posting is mostly about). In both cases, the angels are resplendent, bathed in light, and robust, loudly trumpeting the good news or sturdily bearing souls away. They are beautiful; they are powerful; they are intense, awesomely so. (Cue the archangel Michael.)


Music of joy

May 5, 2022

A sort of appendix to my 4/20 posting “Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen!”, which was centrally about the expression of joy in music (and also a very many other things). As I noted there, joy is a big thing in my life; I seek out occasions where I can experience joy (like conversation, dancing, and, of course, sex) and things that display joy (as in joyful smiles; I collect images of pleasurable smiles, mostly by men) or embody joy (as in hymns of joy) or evoke joy (as in kissing; I have another collection of same-sex kisses, mostly men). Since music is also very important to me — has been woven into my daily life since I was a child — some years back I started assembling (on my computer) albums of the music of joy.

Eventually, there were two little albums, Joy 1.1 and Joy 1.2, of what was categorized (on iTunes, now Apple Music) as classical music (which includes, among other things, hymns, especially those in the shapenote music tradition of the Sacred Harp). Pieces of music that struck me as joyful when they came by in more or less randomized play from my huge collection. Strongly tilted towards chamber music, because chamber music is conversational; and towards piano music, because I was once a pianist. Selected with some care to sample the different tonalities of musical joy: bright, celebratory; intense, even ecstatic; playful, delightful (scherzos!). And then ordered in an attempt to offer shifting and contrasting pleasures to the listener.

Just the beginning. I’ve avoided some of the obvious items — people ask, Where’s Beethoven’s Ode to Joy? Where’s “Joy to the World”? Well, they’re so familiar and loom so large that they’re likely to overshadow the rest, so I haven’t figured out how to work them into another album. But I’ll talk about them here. And I continue to collect candidates for Joy 1.3. (Separately, and with difficulty, I’ve been working on Joy 2, with popular music of many kinds, but it turns out that unmingled joy — joy without darker emotions mixed in —  is not all that common in pop music. But I’ll show you what I’ve got.)


Go revel ye Cupids, the day is your own

May 5, 2022

Another chapter in the music of joy, encountered in the middle of the night on my Apple Music (playing stuff, while I sleep, from my classical music library of about 15,000 tracks), during an old man’s brief whizz break. Oh, that’s wonderful, what is it?

On this occasion, last week, it turned out to be more Henry Purcell, who set off my last round of posting on the music of joy — in my 4/20/22 posting “Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen!” — with “They shall be as happy as they are fair” from The Fairy Queen. Now, in a 1994 recording (by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the chorus of Clare College, Cambridge), two numbers from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas: “Fear no danger to ensue” (duet, chorus, and dance) and “To the hills and the vales” (a triumphing dance), from which comes my title above.

(This posting begins with Purcellian singing and dancing in joy, and will end — in a bonus section on Nahum Tate — in singing as a doorway to ecstatic joy. Out-of-your-head ecstasy. My ecstasy.)


A moment of joy on waking up

May 3, 2022

A few weeks back, I woke up to my Apple Music playing the joyous 2nd number (a chorus) in Handel’s oratorio / serenata / masque / pastoral (opera)  Acis and Galatea (c. 1718): “Oh, the pleasure of the plains!”. I let A&G run on for a while while I did morning things, and then was treated to the even more fabulous first-act closer, the duet “Happy, happy we!” for Galatea and Acis.

Not just wonderfully joyous — remember that joy is One of My Things (see my 4/20/2 posting “Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen!”) — but also a sweet recollection of coming across Handel’s work with Ann Daingerfield (Zwicky) 60 years ago.


The Merry Homomonth of May

May 3, 2022

(Men’s genitals, man-on-man sex, lots of street talk about them, entirely unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest.)

The Merry Homomonth of May on my two male calendars for 2022: the Tom of Finland calendar (which is mostly free of naughty bits) in my living room, where visitors (I do have an occasional one) can see it; the Cocky Boys / CockyBoys / Cockyboys calendar (which is all about the naughty bits) stashed away in my bedroom, where it can be viewed from my bed and so can provide me with an inspirational penis boost as called for by the exigencies of the moment.

So, in order: the ToF, which turns out to be primarily (though not exclusively) about gay men’s nipples, or tits, as we usually call them (metonymically); and then three months of CockyBoy cocks (April through June).