Friday, December 30, 2005

Year In Review

Well I'm going to join everyone in their year end retrospective of their blogs and list my top posts from this year. This year my blog came to fruition and here are the posts that I think were the best.

I. Growing Up Gay

II. A Boy and His Squid

III. Shoplifting Porn

IV. Yearbook Inscriptions Freshman Year

V. My Favorite Quote of The Year!

VI. The Enigmatic Turk

VII. Tracy Takes on Dallas

VIII. Scientific Humor

IX. Things you see when you're stoned

X. Abortion Curio Shop

Thanks for reading y'all. Thanks for a great 2005 and here's to a fabulous 2006! I'll be podcasting to you on New Years Day. Happy New Year!!

Here are the pignoli cookies I made from Martha's Baking Handbook. Very little flour in these cookies, mostly almond paste and sugar. Very Italian and very delicious.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

One thing though. Question #6 asks "What is the electric charge of a neuron?" It should be neutron. Everything does have an overall electrical charge but calculating that number for a single neuron seems a bit advanced for eighth grade.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Obligatory Brokeback Mountain Post

I saw it. Just like the short story it was very moving. I still don't quite understand all the fuss everyone is making over it, especially over the impact its going have on society. Stogy tight-lipped wrinkly republicunts hate hollywood as it is. Its not like rednecks are gonna say, "Hey. Them cowboys was gay and they wurnt so bad. Theyz jus in lerve. Guess we aught not be so mearn to 'em fags naw."

I can't decide if its due to the fact that Ennis' character is far more complex than Jack's but Heath Ledger was the star of this movie hands down. He acted circles around Jake GyllenhaalI. I have to give nods to Ann Hathaway and the old woman who played Jack's mother. They really stood out in their supporting roles.

I didn't cry. You probably think I have a heart of stone for not bawling like a baby but it didn't get to me that way. So just to prove I'm not an ice queen...

Some movies that make me cry:
The Color Purple
An American Tail
The Godfather Part II & III
Angels in America
Cinema Paradiso
Todo Sobre Mi Madre
Terms of Endearment

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On My Own Time

What a lovely day. I have the entire week off courtesy of the director of the institute. Bottom line is that I don't have to go back to work until Jan 3rd. I woke up, went to the gym, ate some lunch, and farted around at home.

The gym was delightful. I don't normally go at noon during the week but it was nice being one of the only five people there. I suspect that in the coming days there will be a mass migration of people that I've never seen before suddenly using their memberships. There will also be those who are going to be making the annual pilgrimage to try and make good on some resolution to get into shape. Normally I'd welcome all the fresh meat but let's be honest here, those that are already hot are not going to be joining a gym after the holidays. Sigh.

Farting around at home entailed me making some new music in Garage Band. For those of you that don't know what Garage Band is, it's an application by Apple that allows you to mix various instrumental samples together into a song. You can also hook up a keyboard and make your own original music as well. Today I made a latin song. I usually restrict myself to making songs with the dark synth sounds or the cheesy 70's ballad piano loops. This is my first foray into the latin loops. I think its kinda hokey but I'll share it with you anyway.

Click to listen

Last night we visited our local Crate and Barrel because now that we are going to be living in a larger space (from 850 sq. ft. to 1240 sq.ft.) we need stuff to fill it with. I love C&B and I think every one of their stores is a photographic treasure trove. Since I have become that annoying nerd who take his digital camera with him everywhere I snapped a few shots. Some were to capture some items that we liked and others were just for fun.

I liked the colors of these bowls and I also have a thing for concentric circles.

Like Warhol I have a penchant for items that are mass produced and the aesthetic of repetition.

If you stare at this photo long enough, especially the largest version on my flickr account, the frame of the mirror starts to look like a long room and my hand with the camera almost looks like an alien waiting at the end of the room.

Monday, December 26, 2005

KrebsCast #4

Post Christmas thoughts, rants, and musings.
In conjuntion with Say it Sunday KrebsCast #4: Click to Listen

You can also download and subscribe to my podcast on iTunes. Search for "the krebs cycle" in the podcast directory of iTunes and subscribe!


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Brad and I had a great time at his parents house last night. As usual they bought us many things off of our Amazon wish lists and went above and beyond what they needed to get us.


I wanted many books this year and that is what I received as you can see. I have never read the classics "In Cold Blood" or "Walden." I have read LOTR and I asked for a hard cover of "The Hobbit" and got it. That the the one with the green cover and the gold runes all over it. I now have the latest Harry Potter book as well. Its good that I got that so now I am motivated to finish the one that precedes this installment. Finally, I got Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I am so excited about this book and I cannot wait to get started on the recipes. My parents gave me some gift cards from Banana Republic as well.

In Cold Blood, Walden, and The Hobbit are fantastic books aesthetically and I'm really pleased and impressed to see that publishers are still making quality bound books. In Cold Blood has a typewriter-esque font and the paper is cut unevenly on the sides giving it a really authentic feel. The edition of Walden is annotated and the cover has various leaves imprinted into it. The Hobbit just looks magical and the illustrations were all done by Tolkien. I read the preface to Walden and I am so excited to read that book!

Brad and I just got each other stocking stuffers this year. Our gift to each other is the condo. He was so cute and got me a terrific copper cookie cutter in the shape of Texas. Yee Haww! A very bountiful Christmas indeed! Hope y'all had the same.

I'm interested in seeing what everyone else got this year so don't be shy and tell us what you got.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve Thoughts

Well its Christmas eve. I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday with family and or friends. I want to say to everyone that I have met through blogging and to those who read my blog that you have made this year really special for me.

A couple of years ago I had an intense desire to write and express my thoughts. I kept a journal but it seemed futile because I wanted to get feedback on my experiences from other people. It seemed then that the only way to accomplish this was to get a column in some rag or write a book; avenues that require a reputation in the field of writing and money. I stopped keeping the journal but still had many ideas, thoughts, and emotions in my head that I wanted to get out.

Two years ago I started this blog. At first i was sporadic in my posts and nobody read my blog but I was finally able to express. This year I began to explore other blogs, comment, and participate in the lives of others. In turn you participated in my life. We've laughed, cried, guffawed, and winced as each one of us has lived vicariously through the vignettes of our lives that make us who we are. This exchange has been an amazing experience for me and look forward to maintaining it for many years to come.

Blogging has allowed me to share aspects of my personality that would have remained silent, allowed me to explore my interest and passion for photography, and has given me a platform for voicing the ideals that are at the core of my being. Henry David Thoreau said "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the gave with the song still in them." I am thankful that we are all able to sing our songs and that we have each other to listen.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Photo Credit: Brad took this picture last year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Holiday Bounty

The past two days have been rather plentiful at work. Yesterday the institute had our holiday lunch. Everyone brought their favorite dish but the director of the institute outdid everyone. When I cast my eyes onto the long buffet table in the institute's dining area they completely ignored all the homemade dishes and focused on the massive spread of French cheeses.

I. Love. Cheese.

The director of my institute must have paid at least a thousand dollars on the array. One of the blocks cost $75 and there were several ramekins containing Saint Felicien. Saint Felicien is one of the best French cheeses. The salty white rind of this cheese is the compartment for the delicate but bold creamy inside. I cannot explain the flavor sensation of this cheese but its fantastic. I was also amazed that our director had acquired enough to feed the entire institute. Because this cheese is raw and unpressed they are not supposed to be imported into the US because it doesn't comply with FDA and USDA requirements. It made the cheese all the more delicious. One of the other investigators went to a local fine foods market, Eatzi's, and purchased an amazing array of artisan breads for the cheese. It was a really nice gesture.

Today one of the other investigators I work with, Michelle, decided that we needed to do something fun. She gathered a bunch of us and treated us to a terrific lunch at Bread Winners complete with dessert. Bread Winners is one of my favorite restaurants here in Dallas and if any of you reading come to visit you must dine at the McKinney avenue location. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and they bake all of their breads, cakes, and cookies in house. I have never had a bad meal there but the best thing that I have had is their Brie Stuffed Range Chicken.

Its a striking difference from where I used to work and the best part is that I can tell that it's sincere appreciation for the work we all do.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Laboratory Soap Opera

I found out today that my name has been removed from research that I worked on at my old lab while working for the Evil Queen of the Amazon. When I worked at the lab I was a primary author on manuscript for this work. Upon my termination there was no discussion or mention of me being removed as an author. Today I found out (I wont say who from until Judy Miller reveals her source) that I was removed as an author from that work. So I emailed the Evil Queen of the Amazon.

Evil Queen of The Amazon,

I realize that you were very upset about my departure from the lab in
August. However, I thought that the work that I did for you in the
lab would be sacrosanct from all other issues.

It has come to my attention that you have removed my name from the
work regarding SSEA4 and the isolation of mesenchymal stem cells from
murine bone marrow. I think that omitting my name is not in keeping
with the collegial spirit of scientific research and breaches the
boundaries of ethical behavior. Additionally you expressed to me
several times that I would have authorship on this work and we never
discussed anything to the contrary. Therefore, I ask that you put my
name back on the paper as an author. I performed a large portion of
the research for this work and was involved in developing the sorting
strategy, culturing the cells, differentiation experiments, real-time
PCR and RT PCR analysis of the cells that the research focuses on.
This is fully documented in my lab books and corroborated by the fact
that I gave a talk on the subject to the Center for Developmental
Biology on February 4, 2005.

I hope that you and I can resolve this together in a civil manner. I
simply ask that you give credit where credit is due.


I waited and then got this in reply:

Dear Adam,

I hope that you are doing well in your new position, and let me first say that you are truly mistaken if you believe that I am upset that you left. I wish you all the success in your new position.

Regarding the SSEA4 manuscript, it is at my discretion to decide whether people who did technical work should be listed as co-authors, and I have decided not to. You performed the experiments that I asked you to perform, and were paid for this work. Since you had no conceptual or intellectual input into the research, I am not listing you as a co-author on the manuscript. However if you would like to be acknowledged for your technical contribution, I would consider listing you under the acknowledgements section of the manuscript.


Note how she says that she was "mistaken" that she was upset when I left the lab. Let me direct you to these blog posts: Thick Animosity and Emancipation. I did some research and she does have the power to remove me but I couldn't just leave it at that. So I wrote this:

Evil Queen of the Amazon,

I realize that it is at your discretion to put technicians on manuscripts that come from your lab. The fact remains that my name was on the manuscript when I worked in the lab and even when you sent the manuscript to Via Cell for review. Additionally you asked me to present the work that I had done regarding the SSEA4 manuscript to the Center for Developmental biology. I find your use of discretion quite spurious.

The facts are that when I was working for you my name was on the paper and you thought that I contributed enough to justify authorship. It is now the case that I am not an author without any kind of good explanation except that authorship is at your discretion. I find it difficult to believe the matter is so trite.

Lets be frank with each other. You took my name off the manuscript because you were angry that I left your lab, in your own words "betrayed." That is unprofessional and unethical.


I want to clear up that ViaCell is a company that she was legally obliged to send the manuscript to for review because she did some of the work there. I have also referred to this person as Dr. P in one of my podcasts. She is the wife of Dr. K, the man who wanted to deport Gagan upon learning that she took a new job.

I'm not that bummed about the paper. The experiments were shit and very flawed and she tried getting it into Nature and Science. They flat out rejected in less than a week after she sent it. Thats pretty pathetic actually. It will probably be published in some sixth tier journal. When it comes out I will read it very carefully to see if the flaws suddenly fixed themselves.

Its a smaller world than you think and you should be nice to people.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dinner Conversation

Brad and I are always going off on trains of thought that lead to amusing conclusions. Tonight we we started talking about oral sex. I said that there ought to be a man douche, something for the whole shebang. It would take care of the frontal and backside and it could be scented according to gender preference. I insisted that there was a market for this especially amongst the faumosexuals (i.e. metrosexuals). Man douche of the hetero variety could have a pleasing potpourri scent that could appeal to the feminine senses. The homo variety could have a more masculine appeal. I guess something along the lines of musky hues of odors.

Then Brad brought up the fact that the whole idea of hetero oral sex is about humiliation. If you look at hetero porn the latest rage is ATM (ass to mouth). Its all about making the woman do something horribly uncomfortable and degrading. Man douche would totally defeat that purpose so nix that. No straight man wants a woman enjoying his fellatio, all the eroticism is lost.

So then I thought about the extremes in gay sex. The leather bondage scene in particular. I thought out loud to Brad, "If extreme sex is about making the other person do something that they really don't want to do, really degrading them, then I don't see what's so extreme about a bunch of queens parading around in leather calling one another master, daddy, boy or bitch. If you want to get really extreme make a gay man have hetero sex."

Brad paused a minute and eventually concluded, "The most twisted gay sex is hetero sex."

Monday, December 19, 2005


In conjunction with Say it Sunday, KrebsCast#3.

Listen to KrebsCast#3




I'm here all. This weekend was hectic and I am decimated. We got the sellers of the condo to agree to a price that is reasonable to us. We got it under our maximum we were willing to pay also. All the negotiating, my dad being in town, a party on saturday night, and King Kong on Sunday night consumed most of my time. I'll be making a KrebsCast on Monday and posting it as my SIS/KrebsCast post.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Ghosts

Around this time of year I think about holiday seasons past and how great they were. The best memories are when I was growing up in New York. It was a given that I would see all of my family in the 48 hours that is Christmas Eve and Christmas. The Eve was always hosted by my parents at our house on Staten Island. My mother in her infinite wisdom and superb taste opted for our family to live on the older north side of the island in the neighborhood of West Brighton, far away from the garbage dump and the rest of the island populated with soulless ranch style homes that came out of a house factory. We lived in an old house built at the turn of the century heated solely by coal stoves, one in the kitchen and the other in the library. The charm of the house was multiplied by a factor of ten at christmastime when it was decorated.

As a child it was my job to greet our guests at the front door on Christmas Eve as they arrived for the impending feast. The moments of each relatives arrival are securely locked in my memory. I am the youngest child of five and am fourteen years apart from the next youngest in age. Essentially I grew up like and only child and seeing my family assembled together, all of whom were older, was a rare and welcomed treat. Each year I'd see the faces of my aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and sister smile and enter into the house from the cold. At this time of year each one of their faces, just as they were then, flash in my minds eye.

Being completely Italian our family always had the traditional seven different kinds of fish on Christmas eve. It is said that this tradition originates from the Seven Sacraments in the Catholic faith or the seven hills of Rome. In hindsight I think it was the food and not the opportunity to spend time with family that drew everyone to our house. As soon as the guests arrived they would be assaulted by the fragrant odors of shrimp scampi, calamari, mussels, clams, baccala, polenta and a myriad of other traditional Italian dishes. Food is a powerful thing and every year it brought our family together. I would be so happy when I'd walk into the kitchen to see everyone standing around the harvest table grazing on all of the delicacies prepared by my mom and dad.

Of course this scene would not be complete without my parents in the kitchen arguing about how to cook each dish. Any guest that night that wasn't a part of the family eventually would ask if my parents were having marital problems. Insiders would laugh heartily and reply to them in an Italo-Brooklyn-Staten Island accent accompanied by hand gestures, "When they're not yelling at each other, that's when you know there's a problem."

One person in particular that I have the fondest memories of around this time of year is my grandmother. She was the only grandparent I knew and she and I were very close. Being the matriarch of the family she didn't feel the need to have to mingle with everyone but they all made sure to approach her and kiss her as they all entered. Being the youngest of the family I had the same kind of reception. Everyone was too old for me to talk to or play with for the entire evening but they all said hi. My grandmother was an indefatigable companion and we relished in each others company. I was always by her side in the library and as each person departed after delivering their salutation she would annotate each person with some kind of commentary, "Your cousin got fat," or "I don't understand how these kids dress." I loved every minute of it and I was thrilled to be her companion for the evening. When it came time to eat I would bound into the kitchen and prepare a plate of calamari for grandma and me. She and I had a penchant for the tentacles, or fangs as she called them, and we'd sit by the coal stove in the library and enjoy our fried treats.

When you're a child the forces of time and change seem inconsequential. I always thought that every Christmas would be like they were when I was a child. As I got older Christmastime was subject to the ravages of time and change. We moved to Arizona and thus no cold weather or charming coal stoves to warm the house. The family couldn't gather for Christmas Eve anymore and acquiring seafood in the desert was a trial. I'd lose a brother and my grandmother. However, time and change has also brought me nieces, nephews and Brad and his family. For me, and so many, Christmas is a melancholy time for me. I am filled with joy for the company of friends and family that are with me now but my heart aches for the Christmases of my childhood. Each year the memories get a little cloudier but the emotion associated with each is as strong as it was then.

Whatever happened to Christmas? It's gone and left no traces,
Whatever happened to the faces or the glow,
Whatever happened to Christmas, to Christmas way of living?
Whatever happened to the giving, the magic in the snow?
Remember the sight and the smell and the sound,
And remember hearing the call,
Remember how love was all around, whatever happened to it all?
Whatever happened to Christmas, bells in the streets were ringing,
Whatever happened to the singing, the songs we used to know.
Whatever happened to this Christmas, and when did it disappeared from view,
Where was I, and whatever happened to you?
Whatever happened to Christmas and you?
-Frank Sinatra

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dark Days

I cannot believe how the media is ignoring the news of how the Diebold voting machines can be tampered with and votes can be reversed. You have to really dig in the news to find the AP articles that report that in Leon County Fla. the machines have been pulled after testing that showed voter fraud is possible with the machines.

This is the second time that the Diebold voting machines have been shown to be faulty and this is the second time that the media has largely ignored the issue. Diebold insists that their product is reliable even after flaws were found by a third party not for profit organization headed up by Herbert Thompson, a computer scientist and strategist at Security Innovation. Diebold responded to the first test as "a very foolish and irresponsible act." To me only someone who is hiding something would make such a statement.

Diebold is the company that makes the touch screen voting machines without a paper trail. They insist that their machines are unbiased, secure, and reliable without a paper confirmation of the vote. If the machines are so reliable then why are they so resistant to making it so that the machines print a copy of your vote? In 2003 the CEO of Diebold, an Ohio based company, Walden W. O'Dell wrote a letter to a fundraiser for the re-election of Bush saying that he planned to help "Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the the president." Ohio was a close call in the 2004 election and Diebold voting machines were used in several areas of the state. If John Kerry had won Ohio he would have taken the presidency. A lot of people have said a lot of things about the election but none have dared to call it stolen.

The Miami Herald seems to be the only large news organization reporting about this. I personally think that this issue should be all over the news and people should be up in arms. I hate to think that we are all just ambivalent to this.

Check out this site Black Box Voting
Diebold poster image is from this site.

Thursday, December 15, 2005



We are addicted to home shows and our TiVo, like any good drug dealer, always makes sure that we have something to indulge in. One of our latest obsessions is Small Space Big Style on HGTV. The show, as you would guess, is about small spaces that are efficient but also stylish. There are a host of commentators that wipe in and out of each of the featured homes. One of them is Libby Langdon. She has this really deep raspy mannish voice and sounds a lot like Demi Moore. Its just weird to hear her talk about interior design and it cracks me up.


There is the hottest hottie ever, Eric Villency. What a dreamboat. He has that look that is hot, sexy, and cute all rolled into one. I haven't investigated thoroughly enough but I think he's straight. I have seen the face of god and I think I would commit hare kare for him

Oh, he gives ok decorating tips too.

Project Runway

Last nights episode was ok. I didn't really care for the challenge because it was too commercial. How many times did I have to hear Barbie and Mattell over and over again? One thing that I thought was funny is that the new "My Scene" Barbie is all ghetto fabulous like the highly successful Bratz dolls but they are all lily white and have long blonde hair.

I'm glad Nick Verreos won. Not only is he really cute but talented as well. I loved his Barbie outfit. Santino is a prima donna asshole and I hope he gets his ass kicked up and down the block.

I will get to the meme that I was tagged with by many a blogger on tomorrow's post, I promise!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005



Click To Listen To KrebsCast#2
I've made some art for my podcast and I've registered it with iTunes as well. As soon as it gets reviewed by the Apple people it will be in the podcast directory on iTunes. Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2005


I've gone wild with photography lately. My most recent adventure was in the kitchen taking pictures of various objects on the white metal surface of my stove. Have you ever really examined the things that we have in our kitchens? Taken them out of context of their function and examine them as they truly are?

An electric heating element:

An espresso pot:

A meat tenderizer:

A wine glass:

A magnetic chess board:


The househunt was most fruitful. We saw seven properties and we were easily able to limit the group down to three that we really liked.

Favorite But Not Practical

My first choice though would be too much of a stretch for us as it is just out of the upper limit of our price range. Its unfortunate though because it has an almost 400 sq. ft. enclosed yard area that is off the living room and a 400 sq. ft. patio off the master bedroom on the second floor. To some that live in the burbs that might not sound like much but it is given the area that we are looking in. Most places have 80 sq. ft. patios and thats it. The interior of this place was outstanding too. My favorite part was that on the second level there was an office that was on a split level so the cieling was lower. I loved how cozy it was. The only thing I could think that was not so good about the place was the kitchen only had three drawers. Not cool. Oh there is also the fact that the house is so much larger than what we have now, we'd have to buy a whole lot more stuff to fill it.

A Very Live Option!

So the next place we saw was quite similar in its layout as the one I just described but it was smaller and soooooo much cheaper. Its way cheaper than what were planning on spending but its a very very NICE option. It had maple floors and nice galley kitchen. The carpet upstairs needs to be replaced and the bathrooms need updating but at the price we would definitely have enough money to do that later on. The owners of this place also had some amazing works of art including what I think is an original Lichtenstein.

The place that is best in terms of ammenities and price was an unexpected surprise(not pictured). The decor of the people that live at this place was totally not my style but the layout of this unit is awesome. We loved that the kitchen had an area for a table so we could eat in the kitchen. We loved that the living room has floor to ceiling windows and a fireplace that is see through to the dining room. The dining room is open to the loft landing above and one of the bedrooms has a fireplace. The bonus is that each of the two bedrooms has its own bathroom and its own patio. There is also an amazing patio off of the living room as well. There is a unit identical to the one for sale that we saw and for much less and we're going to see it this week. I'm so excited to see it and hope that its as good as the unit we saw.

If all goes well maybe we'll get a house for Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Say It Sunday & KrebsCast #1

Adam's first podcast.

I've decided to take the leap everyone. I mentioned that I wanted to get into podcasting but lacked the resources and the impetus to actually do it, well that changed. I found some software that I like and a site that hosts mp3s for free at least up to 250MB and voila! I'm a podcaster.

So I have a podcast but this will also be the format for my Say It Sunday Post. Although I think Audioblogger is great I can't handle the malfunctions of last week and plus I can mix music into this too. Is that okay Scotty?

Well its my first attempt so don't be too harsh but I absofuckinlutely welcome your input. Also if you want me to talk about something in particular in my next podcasts, email me and let me know! I would love to have this be interactive.

Saturday Slop

Well last night was fun. It was just a quiet night at home and catching up on some TV shows that I missed earlier in the week. I also did some experimenting with some new technology and you will be able to experience the fruit of my endeavors for tomorrow's post.

In other news Brad and I will be going house hunting tomorrow. We had a condo reserved for the past couple of months here in Dallas. It's a new construction and the builder kept pushing the start date for construction back. When it reached two months late we decided to just jump ship. I understand that with new construction you have to expect delays but two months after you say you're going to start is unacceptable. On top of that they never even sent us any kind of letter explaining why they were late. I'm sorry but I need some semblance of professionalism when making a purchase this large.

Anyway we're going to be seeing a handful of properties in an area called Oaklawn here in Dallas tomorrow. Its going to be fun. Brad and I have roughly the same taste and we both want similar things from a home so it's really a breeze. I will definitely be taking pictures for you all to see. Being that these homes are in the gayborhood I'm sure there will be some decor themes that will be too priceless to stay silent on, thus they will be subject to ridicule here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

My Top Ten of 2005

I love music. I mean I really love it. Brad and I have amassed quite a hefty collection and we are always checking out the newest in a range of genres. Therefore I would like to start what I hope will become a tradition.

The Krebs Cycle Choice Cuts
Adam's Top Ten Albums: 2005

#10: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cold Roses
Ryan Adams album after the amazing Love is Hell. He's gone country and many of the tracks beautifully highlight his ability create haunting and beautiful pieces. My two favorite tracks are "How Do You Keep Love Alive" and "Let It Ride."

#9: Madonna - Confessions On A Dance Floor
She scared us for a minute when she tried to get intellectual, don a fake British accent, and produce American Life. Madonna has resurrected herself with Confessions. Madge has returned to her true calling of pop music and has even called upon the god of pop music themselves, ABBA, for some help. Every track is listenable and more importantly danceable. My favorite tracks are "Future Lovers" and "Jump" for the reason that both of them feature Madonna speaking like bitch in heat. Oh and if you use iTunes splurge on the deluxe version and get the video with the album and cast your eyes on the hottest 47 year old ass ever!

#8: Gorillaz - Demon Days
If you are a fan of triphop or just hip hop with groovy downbeats you should own this album. The animated band is excellent at mixing all kinds of sounds and beats into each one of their tracks. This album is great to turn up real loud with your headphones and sit back and enjoy the ride. My two favorite tracks are "Dirty Harry" for its groovy synth beat mixed with the children's chorus and "Dare" for its disco beat.

#7: Erasure - Nightbird
How could any good fag worth his weight in cosmopolitans and cockrings not put this on his top ten list for 2005. I was a fan of Erasure when I wasn't even aware of who Erasure was. I was made aware of this album from a post over at Joe.My.God. Erasure has once again produced an album full of tracks that speak to the plight of he gay man and his search for the ideal of love. Some of the tracks require you be in a certain mood to enjoy them but they don't detract from the album overall. My favorite tracks are "No Doubt" for its ethereal sound and "Breathe" for its refreshing sound and message of optimism.

#6: Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
They're back and they rock! Franz Ferdinand pleasantly surprised me with their debut album but this follow up demonstrates that this group has got the staying power. They continue their distinct sound from their first album but also add some new touches to it. My favorite tracks are "Outsiders" for its catchy Beatle-esque sound and "Do You Want To" because its just so Franz Ferdinand!

#5: Louis XIV - The Best Little Secrets are Kept
Think of David Bowie melding with The Sex Pistols and you will arrive at Louis XIV. This a debut album for this band and it is simply amazing for the first time out of the gates. Earlier this year I thought that music, specifically alternative music, was dead. Louis XIV demonstrated that it is alive. The first track immediately draws you into a gritty aura of rock and roll sleeze and narcissism and then you just have to go with it from there. My favorite tracks are "Pledge of Allegiance" for its modern punk sound and "Finding Out True Love Is Blind" for its beat that makes me want to get up and dance.

#4: Beck - Guero
Beck does no wrong in my book. I consume all of his music with ravenous delight. His latest album proved to be especially tasty. This album was inspired by Beck's days as a young white kid growing up in the hispanic ghettos of LA. The album's namesake comes from the term used by the hispanics in the area for white boys. The sounds are unmistakably Beck but have matured beyond the playfulness of the media darling Odelay but aren't as down in the dumps as Sea Change. My favorite tracks are "Earthquake Weather" for its blythe sound and "Hell Yes" for what I would call a chicano hip hop sound.

#3: The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
Put this album in your player of choice, turn up the volume, light a fatty joint and go with it. I thought the White Stripes had demonstrated their ability to tame the wild sounds of rock withe Elephant but they have made rock and roll their bitch with Get Behind Me Satan. The entire album was recorded with no digital manipulation and what you hear is the purity of their sound. My favorite tracks are "Blue Orchid" for its angry percussive drive and "My Doorbell" for its bluesy roots.

#2: Depeche Mode - Playing The Angel
Their first album since 2001 Depeche Mode returns to us with its electro-pop synth sounds in true form. Every track on this album sounds just like a track from DM's older works but somehow they've managed to add something more to make it sound contemporary. Its an album that I can have on while at home whilst relaxing and enjoy every track. My favorite tracks are "A Pain That I'm Used To" for the familiar guitar sounds of DM and "Precious" for the contemporary yet classic synth sound of DM. Again if you have iTunes splurge for the bonus video version and you get the bonus track of what I think is the best version of "Waiting For The Night."

#1: Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise
This album is perfect. I listen to it all the way through and I love picking songs to hear at a whim. Sufjan comes to us from the midwest and he's on a mission to make an album for each of the fifty United States. The album before this was Michigan and was well received but Illinoise is a triumph. Vocal stylings that are reminiscent of Nick Drake mixed with instrumental arrangements similar to Philip Glass this album is a musical milestone. Each track has unusually long names and is representative of a portion of the history of Illinois. I have difficulty choosing only two favorite tracks and for this album I will have to mention three tracks.

My first favorite is "Come On! Feel the Illinoise!, Pt. I: The World's Columbian Exposition / Pt. II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In a Dream." Words cannot due this track justice all I can say is that I love it. Another favorite is the haunting "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." This track is a beautiful telling of the gruesome serial killer who charmed his neighborhood by dressing up like a clown and luring the young boys to their death to satisfy his repressed homosexual desires. The juxtaposition of the macabre tale to the delicate and heartbreaking music is truly moving. My last favorite track is "Chicago" for its optimistic and Who-esque sound. I also recommend the remix of "Chicago" on the iTunes Store.

Well thats it. These are the albums and songs that have entertained and inspired me through 2005. If you get a chance to try em all out I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Soap Opera Meta-Analyses

Monday night we got around to watching Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives that was stored on our TiVo. We hadn't seen last season and had no idea that Bree's strapping young buck of a son was a member of the Empire. The scene with his new beau in his bedroom playing X-Box passing the anticipated moments before homo coitus was hot. I don't care if the characters are underage it was hot (I hope the actors are at least 18 otherwise I'll feel dirty). Then the scene changed focus and we learn that Bree's son is out for revenge on his mom. We got to thinking and we arrived at a conclusion.

All of the characters on Desperate Housewives are flawed but it seems that some are more flawed than others. The white heterosexual characters do terrible things to people. Bree didn't call an ambulance when George Wilson overdosed on pills and thus let him die because she knew he killed her husband. Susan sent that kid to Utah in order to protect her daughter even though he was the biological child whom her boyfriend was seeking to reconnect with. Lynette is always manipulating people at her place of work to the advantage of her and her family. Yes the white heteros on Wisteria lane all have good reasons for doing bad things. But what about the other characters?

Lets take a look at the sultry Gabrielle and her husband Carlos. Together they are portrayed as selfish materialistic social climbing latinos. They care nothing for people or families but only for things to fill their empty lives. Gabby forged a paternity test to prove that the illigitimate child she was carrying was her husbands so that she wouldn't get divorced and left with nothing but her young gardener boy toy. Message: Latinos want nothing but money and they'll use it for depraved purposes.

Then you have the newest additions to Wisteria lane, a single black mother and her son, Betty (played by one of my favorite moral stoplight actresses Alfre Woodard) and Josh. They're secret is that they hide Caleb, supposedly another child of Betty's, who murdered a young white girl. Both are involved in a shady subplot to keep their secret and are seasoned in the art of deception. No motive of redeemable nature is mentioned in their plight though. Message: Blacks are shady and have no respect for the law

Finally you have the gay son of Bree Vandekamp, Andrew. Because he feels betrayed by his mother for not accepting his sexuality, he vows that once he learns a dark secret of hers he will "take her down so far that she won't be able to get up again." We see yet again the emergence of the gay uber-villian who will stop at nothing to not only defeat his nemesis but publically humiliate them. Message: Gays are evil.

I'm just making an observation and I cannot make any conclusion if the framing of the characters is on purpose. I'll leave that up to GayProf. Subliminal messages that are placed in mainstream entertainment that uphold archaic gender roles and stereotypic racial and cultural profiles are damn entertaining though!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Back To Work

I stepped outside of my building and it was cold and smelled of snow but nothing was falling. The wind was blowing and I saw my breath but I had my coat and just a hat on and I was fine. I didn't slip on the way to the car and there was no sign of ice or other weather related obstacles.

Halfway home I stopped at a Subway and gorged myself on a foot-long meatball sub with Miss Vickey's Jalapeno chips. I thought to myself. If the Subway workers have to be here making sandwiches then what makes me so damn special that I get to go home? It wasn't right that I was going home just because it was cold outside! My mom is a high school teacher in Brooklyn and this time of year she usually skids halfway to work and home on the roads. Yup I got back in my car and went back to work. I cannot reconcile that I should go home early when I live eight minutes away and many of my other colleagues live 45 minutes to an hour away. Not to mention all the other people who work at thankless jobs, like retail and sandwich shops, that still have to work regardless of the weather.

Yeah so I'm going to sit here and read blogs at work instead of at home with dignity.

Sent Home

Well the temp here in Dallas is down to 27F right now and everyone at my work is freaking out. There is this arctic blast moving in and its supposed to cause some snow-sleet-winter mix whatever. Anyway it snowed for about five minutes and my lab manager tells me to just finish up what I'm doing and get home. He then made arrangements with a coworker to stay at her house tonight because he has an hour commute to one of the mid cities (any 'burb that is inbetween Dallas and Ft. Worth is called a mid city). It is highly unlikely that he will be getting home tonight. I tried to argue that I didn't really need to go home and I could stay and finish up the work but he wouldn't have any of it. I don't see what all the fuss is but if they insist that I go home then I cannot argue.

At my old old job if you couldn't make it into work because of weather you needed to present documentation along with a treatise to a tribunal of 9 just so you could justify using vacation time for your absence. I'd always sing Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now by The Smiths, "In my life, why do I give valuable time to people who don't care if I live or I die?" I love being at a private institution.

I do feel guilty though. Many of the other staff here have kids that are in school and I believe that if anyone should be sent home first it should be them. I live ten minutes from work by car and if I really needed to I could just walk home if the ice was too much. My other colleagues live out in the mid-ctiies and therefore it is inevitable that they have to cross a plethora of bridges and highway overpasses/interchanges that will most likely be iced over. All I have to do is cross over one freeway overpass and I'm home.

Oh I forgot to mention that its Pearl Harbor Day.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Potentially New HIV Treatment

The research institute where I work focuses on immunology and it has some very notable faculty. Therefore we get many visiting scholars giving talks in the hopes of landing a job at the institute. The focus of the institute is to use cellular based therapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. There were two talks on Monday and because I can only handle so much scientific rambling in one day I limited myself to one talk that was of specific interest to me. Immunotherapy for HIV. The researcher giving the talk works at UT Southwestern, a giant research and hospital facility in Dallas. I thought her talk was pretty damn amazing and I thought many of you would be interested in hearing about this potentially new treatment for HIV that is not based in toxic pharmacological agents. I've provided a diagram cause its easier to understand with the visual. I've put this in laymen's terms but if you have any questions please email me, I'll be happy to answer.
So when you get infected with HIV the virus specifically infects your T-Helper cells. These cells are essential for fighting off opportunistic infections and when the HIV virus obliterates enough of your CD4 cells you get Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS. There is a latency period in which HIV has infected T-Cells but the virus is not yet being produced by the cell. This is depicted by the red latent HIV infected T-Cell. T-Cells with latent HIV infections express a protein on their surface, the purple lumps. This protein is specific to latently infected T-Cells and can be recognized with an antibody. This is where it gets cool. This researcher has coupled the antibody that recognizes the protein on the infected cells to a toxin, as shown by the antibody with toxin. Then the antibody with the toxin attaches to the cell, the cell will ingest it and the toxin will destroy the T-Cell. No more latently infected T-Cell, one less factory for HIV to be produced in. Because the antibody is specific for ONLY HIV infected T-Cells it will leave uninfected T-Cells (Blue) untouched so that they can remain to help fight infection. Pretty cool huh?! I think so.

This method doesnt attack the virus itself but by destroying the latently infected T-Cells you reduce the number of loci where HIV can be produced later on. Less HIV factories means less overall HIV and your remaining T-Cells are available to fight off other infections and the virus.

What's good about this is that instead of taking a drug that has a global affect on the entire body, such as a retroviral, you can have a "drug" that only targets cells that are infected. The results of this therapy in the lab have been very good and the clinical trials are going to be starting soon. This therapy isn't completely foolproof and there are caveats. There will most likely be some issues to iron out in clinical trials but I think this approach has a lot of promise.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Little Cup O' Love

soy latte poured by Shane @ Victrola
Originally uploaded by tonx.
I had the best surprise today when I got coffee at a non-Starbucks cafe here in Dallas named Gachet. When I was handed my latte the foam on top had a lovely flower design in it. At first I thought, "What a happy accident." I even asked the barista if the floral design was on purpose and she giggled and said yes. My jaw went slack and I thanked her profusely for making my latte so special. She giggled with pride in her creation and said thank you.

I told Brad about it when I picked him up from work and he told me that latte art is something that he had read about on the internet. I did a google search and lo and behold there is a Flickr photoset with latte art. Amazing.

If you're in Dallas check out Gachet. Not only do you get a lovely design in your coffee it actually tastes good too; better than Starbucks. Not only that but it has FREE WiFi and you can call ahead and order your coffee so that its waiting when you arrive. No waiting in line in the morning. The only thing extra I've ever gotten in my Starbucks is an unwelcomed shot of attitude.

Gachet Coffee Lounge
1804 Greenville Ave
Dallas, TX 75206

P.S. my Say It Sunday post finally posted along with all the other trials I made yesterday. I've put it down below with Sunday's transcription.

My Brother Exposed

I've exposed myself now its time to expose my family. Last Christmas Brad and I went to Brooklyn to spend the holidays with my family there. My mother is a teacher at a high school in Brooklyn. During the school year my dad and her live in the garden level apartment of an old brownstone in the historic Ft. Greene district of brooklyn owned by my brother and his partner. When school lets out they escape to Scottsdale, AZ for the summer. Trust me the dryness is much better than the humidity.

My brother, Paul, and his partner, Allen, have been together since I was about six or seven years old. That would make them at about 18 years now. Take that Joe.My.God.! My brother is a lighting designer and his partner is a set designer. They have worked on numerous broadway plays, NYC Operas, soap operas (the few that are still filmed in NYC), and commercial displays.

Because they do production design they both have knowledge of how things ought to look according to period. When they bought their house in 1998 it was a wreck. The stairway was falling off the wall. The kitchen was tiny and bathed in the tasteless elegance of the 1970s and many of the home's historic features had been covered up by poor design trends. They are both extremely talented individuals and they now live in a world of unparalleled beauty.


Although their house is not what I would call comfortable or my taste whenever I visit I am in awe of how amazingly elegant their home is. This is my favorite room in their home, the dining room. The mirror is a restored antique from the ante bellum period of which the home was built. Let me just say that everything in this room is of the period that the home was built. The fireplace was made to their specifications. The table and chairs they acquired at an auction in Georgia and were from a plantation home. The wallpaper was custom designed by a friend of Allen's who does wallpaper for theatrical productions. The chandelier was a piece of junk when they bought it but they had it professionally restored.
Wait there's more. Nothing in their house is fake. The garland that you see on the fireplace and the chandelier for the holidays is a string of cranberries that Allen made. The oranges that you see in a crystal bowl on the top of mantle were also hand studded with cloves by Allen. All of the pine garlands that you see are also real. They have such an acute attention to detail that they make Martha Stewart look like a country yokel.

Here are some other photos of their kitchen which is equally impressive. Paul is on the left, Allen in the middle, and my mom is making fresh cranberry sauce. Jellied cranberry sauce in the shape of a can in my brother's kitchen?! NEVER!! Did I mention that he's an accomplished chef as well? They have all the latest modern amenities but have managed to hide them very well.
Being that my brother is so many years older than I am (forty years older than me) I don't have that much of a relationship with him. The year that I came out to my family I spent the holidays in NY, the house had not been finished this much yet. When my dad picked me up from the airport he told me that my brother was upset that I had never spoke to him about my sexuality or my relationship with Brad. I guess he wanted to be there for me but I honestly never knew. That year he and I trimmed his tree together and I was nervous as hell. I was nervous firstly because I wanted to be a good assistant with the decorating. Secondly I was nervous because I so desperately wanted to say something to him about Brad, about my sexuality, and how I was touched that he cared. I didn't say a word to him and we trimmed the tree in utter silence.

Last year he gave Brad and I tickets to see Twelve Angry Men on broadway. He and Allen were the head lighting and set designers respectively. The production had a star studded cast and the sets and lighting were phenomenal. I was so proud of the both of them that I was anxious to see them the next morning after the show and tell them how beautiful their work was. I did but I couldn't possibly express in words to him that I was so proud of his and Allen's work that it brought me to the verge of tears.

My brother is a tempermental provincial New Yorker who thinks that everything outside the city is the hinterlands. My mother is always getting on my case to call him and to have more of a relationship with him. I think in the coming year I'm going to make an attempt to do just that.

I didn't intend this post to be so long or go in the direction it did.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Say It Sunday: Transcribed

Audioblogger seems to be taking the day off so I am going to just write down what I had tried to post twice with audioblogger earlier today.

First of all I never mentioned Scotty over at The Other Side of Straight. I just wanted to say thanks to him for organizing Say It Sunday.

Family Life

I've had more down time than usual this past week at work and of course I've been reading many a blog. I have noticed that several gay bloggers have been recounting stories of familial issues, especially over the holidays, regarding their sexuality. I have to say that these stories make me very sad and my heart goes out to everyone that has to deal with that kind of bullshit. I hate to use such a trite and vulgar term to describe it but I think its appropriate. I am truly lucky to have a family that supports me and my partner and our life together.

Be that as it may I do realize that my situation is unique being that I had two gay brothers come out years before me and that one of them passed away. The lesson that came from that though is that our time here is shorter than you realize and no one should take family for granted. So many people hold grudges thinking that they have enough time to make amends but all too often its too late and they lose the opportunity to let people know that they really cared.

I think the best thing to do in strained family situations that result from sexuality is to always offer the olive branch. Make yourself open to them and put the ball in their court. That way you know that you did the best you could to build a relationship with them.


I wanted to draw attention to a great op-ed post in the Huffington Post that was posted on Friday by jane Smiley. She wrote a response to an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by Holman W. Jenkins Jr. which stated that he thought that people who buy Toyota Priuses are getting duped because they are not getting the most for their money. She defends her Prius and that she buys natural organic foods for the hope of creating more demand for such products so that they no longer are premium; so that everyone will be able to eat healthy foods and drive economical and environmentally conscious vehicles. She also touches on some great points on how deregulation was the worst thing to ever happen to this country. You can check it out here

Pop Life

I'm really excited this week because on wednesday is the season premiere of Project Runway 2. For those of you that missed the show last season its basically The Apprentice for fashion designers. I hope this season has personalities as large as last season's Jay McCarroll, Kara Saun, and the Capote-esque Austin Scarlett.

Have a good week everyone!

Say It Sunday

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mall Excursion

My friend Greg is going to be proposing to his girlfriend this Christmas when he goes home to Paris to see her. Therefore he needed to buy a ring. Kim and I accompanied him to the galleria this afternoon amidst the sea of holiday shoppers. Its rare that I go this north in Dallas and I hadn't been in some time so I was looking forward to seeing how the majority of Dallas spends their weekends. Greg was a bit nervous about the big leap so we did our best to make the excursion fun.

After lunch we encountered one of those kiosks that sells shit that you really really don't need like hair extensions and cell phone covers with your alma mater's logo all over it. This particular kiosk was hocking fake puppies and kittens. They looked remarkably realistic and to top it off they're bellies would move up and down to make it look like they were breathing.
It was especially disturbing that when you picked these faux critters up from their beds they were completely flat on the bottom. I was getting terrible thoughts at that point that maybe these were taxidermy. Dog anyone?
We moved on to Nordstrom where Kim and Greg raided the discount winter accessories. Fabulous darling!
Obviously a mannequin done by a gay employee at Nordstrom.
Not to be outdone by Kim and Greg's display I found a rather fetching hat and posed while Kim worked as my fashion photographer. I think its amusing that this is another photo of me with coffee.
As the day ended we were greeted with stunning anti-war propaganda. There is actually quite a bit of these kinds of flyers posted around Dallas. I need to find who's doing this and join them!