Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

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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Rollin’ on the roadway

May 2, 2021

The mobility equipment piles up. I now have a cool cane (with four feet); an indoor walker (fairly recently equipped with a tray for carrying things around the house); and now a big fancy outdoor walker — a Rollator! — that can, in seconds, be turned into a comfortable seat to rest in on the street.

And now a tour of my assistive devices, as they’re called in the trade.

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Alex Adams

April 29, 2021

(Some bits on sex between men, including in gay porn, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Alexander Adams began as a pseudonym of mine for making restaurant reservations (“Arnold (Zwicky)” over the phone is perilous indeed, especially if the person taking the reservation isn’t a native speaker of English). Which turned out to be so useful that I abbreviated it to Alex Adams, sometimes just Alex, for more informal reservations — at the barbershop, at places where you leave a name with your order at the counter and then it’s used to call you when the order is ready. Eventually, I became ready to answer to the name Alex on any occasion. That was better than having to be prepared for Ronald, Harold, Donald, Alan, Alvin, Albert, Herbert, Robert, or whatever struck other people as being more reasonable than Arnold.

And Alex (Adams) gradually evolved from being just an occasional pseudonym for Arnold (Zwicky — Arnold as a problematic name is as nothing compared to Zwicky) to being the name of an alter ego. Used at first as my sex name: people engaged in casual sex with strangers sometimes exchange (first) names, usually using pseudonyms for these occasions, that is, sex names (partly to protect their identities, sometimes also using names that seem more emotionally satisfying than their real names).

So the name Alex (Adams) was invested with transgressive sexiness for me, and eventually became the name of my alter ego in writing participant-observer accounts of sex between men, as well as continuing as a more innocent pseudonym; in effect, the everyday Alex Adams developed a subterranean sex life that he then began exposing to the world.

Then it turned out that since Alex Adams is such an ordinary, regular-guy name — one like Eric Carter, Chris Tyler, Paul Walker, and Brad Mason, all attested pornstar names — it’s been adopted by gay pornstars at least twice, including one of some fame in the business, who was active in gay porn from 2012-15.

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LSA to announce award for LGBTQ+ linguistics

April 26, 2021

Details still to be settled, but the Linguistic Society of America will be offering a regular award for LGBTQ+ linguistics. With the permission of COZIL (the LSA’s Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics), which proposed the award and will administer it, I am pleased to give a little peek ahead:

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Baxter on language

April 22, 2021

Three more cartoons from the Glen Baxter collection Almost Completely Baxter, all having to do with language in one way or another: the study of vowels as religious observance in the abbey of the fabled town of Brocklehampton; the tragedy of empty speech balloons; and smoke signals pressed into service to spread higher literary culture.

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Queer linguistics blogging

April 14, 2021

E-mail yesterday (4/13) to the Linguistic Society of America’s COZIL (the Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics) mailing list from Archie Crowley:

June and Pride Month are just around the corner, and COZIL is excited to curate our Pride Month blog post series on the LSA website! If you haven’t checked out the COZIL Blog and any of our Pride month posts from last year, check it out here!


(#1) Queer logo from Boon Yong, “Queer Linguistics and Queer Theory”, a posting on the Open Source Studio (at NTU Singapore) site on 4/3/18

We are excited to create more queer linguistics content for this Pride Month [June], and we are looking for people who would like to contribute to the blog. Blog post submissions are due May 1st and will be scheduled to post throughout June. Anyone who is an LSA member is eligible to submit, and we would love a wide range of perspectives!

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A walk around the block

April 12, 2021

… on Saturday morning, slowly, using my walker, in my penguin mask and the company of Kim Darnell (who took some flower photos, to come below). My first such walk since February 2020, so it was a Very Big Thing.

Across the street and through the parking lot of the downtown library (much improved during my lockdown time by the replacement of some decayed fencing festooned with a collection of noxious weeds), to Bryant St., the next street east of Ramona (as we reckon directions locally); then south on Bryant to stop at 740, which has a fabulous garden right out on the street, for the pleasure of the community (picture time here); on to the corner of Homer Ave. (the corner condo planted with expanses of easy-care vegetation, including a big spread of light blue Ceanothus, California lilac); around the corner to go west on Homer Ave., passing two young Chinese elms that had been planted on the street since I last walked this route; across Ramona St., to stop at the condo at the northwest corner and admire its low-water plantings, all of which except one I had previously identified (another picture time here); and then back north on Ramona St. to home, at 722.

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White petals

April 4, 2021

After a very long time away, a visit yesterday (Totally Vaccinated Day + 1) to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden, thanks to Kim Darnell (who also took the pictures). It was the Saturday of Easter weekend, so of course the place was as packed as it could be, given distancing (and masking) requirements. A very high percentage of the visitors were Chinese(-American), many in three-generation groups, almost all of them speaking a Chinese language. Much joy.

It was tulip time, with irises soon to follow. Already many different salvias in bloom (the garden has dozens). And lots of oriental poppies in bloom, dotted here and there throughout the beds, for color. And intriguing things, as always, in the regional gardens — Mediterranean, Australian, South African, Chilean. Two standouts with white petals: Chilean strawberry plants, a Yoshino cherry tree (the ‘Akebono’ cultivar in white).

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TV Day

April 2, 2021

Today’s my TV — Totally Vaccinated — Day, two weeks after I got my second Pfizer COVID-19 shot, the point when, authorities think, the vaccine is fully effective.

So this morning I ventured out in the neighborhood alone, for the first time in 13 months. With a (penguin) face mask, and using a walker (I’m still working on learning to walk again on my own), and only for a block (I still have the dyspnea problem from well before pandemic time — I had to stop two times along the way to catch my breath — and I’m going through a bad osteoarthritis patch, so most of my joints screamed) — but the hell with all that, it felt wonderful, like a fresh start.

I was wearing my GAY AS F🧁CK t-shirt, but it was cool, so the tee was under a flannel shirt. And on that flannel shirt I had proudly pinned my badge:

(#1)

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The fear begins to lift

March 23, 2021

The fear of death, now that I’ve had both shots of the Pfizer vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. And the vaccine will have taken full effect by April 2nd (Good Friday, though either Easter or Passover would have been a better omen), at which time I can feel reasonably comfortable venturing (masked and suitably distanced from others) out into the world, after nearly 13 months in isolation.

The end game involved some waiting in line that was unusually light and easy, as explained in a NYT Magazine Tip “How to Wait in Line”, by Maria Wollan (on-line on 3/16; in print on 3/21).


(NYT illustration by Radio)

Wollan’s subhead:

Distract yourself to pass the time. If you can, embrace the camaraderie of wanting something en masse.

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