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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pride Weekend 

Friday night, KT & I were invited to a wine & cheese party to celebrate a friend's graduation and entrance into the President's Fellowship. (Oooooo!)

I've always known that drinking/enjoying wine is an acquired taste. I've been trying to enjoy wine but haven't had much luck. I had tried Merlot before but we have a love/hate relationship. Some days, I'll love it. Other days, I'm like "yuck!"

Well, I was introduced to the right wine to start off. Boy, that helped! Next thing, I know, I'm like drinking different kinds of wine and actually enjoying it! Loved reisling (sp?), apple and white merlot wines.

Anyways, had a great time with friends. Met a blogger in person. Officially met a couple of Gally alumni that I had seen around campus. It was one of those events where you know you need to leave because of plans/duties for the next day but you don't wanna leave.

We'll have to do that again!

Saturday, KT & I, along with a friend, went out shopping in Bowie. Gawd, the weather was beautiful. It's been fantasic, for June, lately.

Then, we headed over to Chinatown to watch X-Men: The Last Stand.

I enjoyed the film. Of course, being an X-Men fan, I'm gonna enjoy the film whether it was great or lousy. However, you could tell the difference between the directors' styles of X:1/X:2 and X:3. Nonetheless, it was a good film with more focuses on Storm, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Jean Grey, Colossus and Beast. Cyclops appeared only in the beginning. Rogue and Angel had sporadic apperances. Wolverine got the same amount of appearances as before.

I have to say that Storm's hair is way better in X:3. In X:1 and X:2, she looked like she had on this fake white wig that you could buy at the local Halloween stores (like Party City and Spencer's). Loved her hair in X:3.
However, I'm not sure if I liked Storm's spinning in battle mode. It was as if she was a hurricane herself. Let's leave the spinning to Wonder Woman.

Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix was awesome. I loved how the director chose to darken her face whenever the Dark Phoenix emerge. However, I was disappointed when there was no flaming phoenix to accompany Jean Grey, as shown in the comics. In X:2, towards the end, you could see a faint image of a phoenix in the lake. I guess I expected the phoenix to be shown in X:3. Nope!

Anyways, the film was enjoyable, along with some cool special effects. Go check it out! By the way, when the movie is over, stay in your seat. There is an additional scene after the credits.

After the movie, we headed to Dupont Circle for the gay pride parade. Now, I hadn't been to the parade in about 3 or 4 years. To me, the gay pride parade in DC has been quite lame and short. At a friend's urging, we decided to go.

Well, it's still lame. There was nothing that really stood out. There were no eye-catching floats. Nothing truly flamboyant. (What the hell happened to the Results float?!?) Beaded necklaces and candies were the most common items thrown to the spectators. Uh, can we get a little more creative? There was a truckload of dancing cowboys. Then, about 10 floats later, there was another truckload of dancing cowboys. Again, creativity is lacking.

I believe DC can do a lot better than their previous parades. Hello, this is the Capital! Show them that you know how throw a fabulous parade. There were more organizations/associations that could have been involved in the parade but were absent, such as Lambda Rising.

After the parade, KT and our friend left to go home. KT had to get up early the next morning to teach. So, I went over to Jeremy's for a little cocktail party. Had a good time, with a glass of white merlot in hand.

Then, headed over to Green Lantern to meet Philip and other Deafies. However, Philip left early. Lawdy, Green Lantern was dead, except upstairs which was having an underwear party. It was obvious that it wasn't successful because only a few guys were in their underwears.

I guess everyone was partying their asses off at Velvet Nation. VN will close its doors on July 15th.

So, with Green Lantern dead, I metro'd home. When I got off my stop, I hailed a cab. The cab driver kept looking in the rearview mirror and winking. I was like, do I have some rainbow sticker on me that I didn't know about or what? We pulled up to the house. He told me the fare. I shelled out money and handed it to him. He tried to grab every opportunity to touch my hand whenever money was exchanged. He kept smiling this big toothy grin. O........k!

Hmm, that's the second time a cab driver flirted with me. The first one, back in San Antonio, was a lot more aggressive and vocal about his desires. That's another story for another day!

Sunday was the gay festival on Pennsylvania Avenue. KT & I had a good time with booth-hopping and collecting freebies. I sampled the Diet Ocean Spray, cranberry flavor. Taste just like the regular cranberry juice! I couldn't tell the difference. Sampled the banana coconut frappuccino from Starbucks. Eh! Not so good. I tasted the coffee more than the banana.

I still want a kilt from Utilikilts. However, every year, I ask myself if I would actually wear it. I'm like, I dunno. With the prices attached to these kilts, I'm like I can wait until I'm sure I'll wear them more than once a year.

Other than that, it was a beautiful day at the festival. However, I was saddened to learn that the funding of the HIV Prevention Program at DeafReach has been cut. It will be suspended on June 30th. I think we all know who's cutting the funds from these important HIV programs. (Hint: POTUS) Please, if you can, make a donation to the HIV Program at DeafReach. I will ask to see where specifically one can make a donation and let y'all know.

Anyways, that was my weekend. It was fun. The weather was just fantastic. It still is!

Below are reviews that I've seen or read over the weekend:

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Havoc was interesting. It's about this group of white rich teens, who tried to be gangsta. They feel that this rich kid lifestyle is so lame and want to do something "real". So, this group from West L.A. cross over to East L.A. to get a taste of life in the Latino communities. However, things go wrong when 2 girls want to be initiated into a Latino gang. The white guys return to avenge the girls. Someone gets killed. However, you'll never know who.

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The City of Ember is geared towards young adults but can be enjoyed by readers of any age. Ember is the only lighted city in the dark world. The Builders created this city and provided enough resources for 220 years. They left instructions in a time-locked box for the people of Ember to adhere to find a better life in another city. It was the responsibility of the mayors to pass on the box to the successors. However, over time, one mayor misplaced the box and it was lost somewhere in Ember.

240+ years later, people are still residing in Ember. Power outages are more frequent. Resources are low.

One day, Doon and Lina, both 12 years old, discovered the box of instructions from Lina's toddler sister. The instructions are faded because Lina's younger sister had found them and stuff them in her mouth. Doon and Lina worked endlessly solving the gaps in the instructions. Some words are not comprehended by them because they knew no such things, such as 'pineapple', 'boat', 'candle', etc.

Their schooling education stops when they reach a certain grade level (I belive 8th). Upon graduation, they have to draw a slip of paper from a cloth sack, held by the mayor. The paper will determine their lifelong career. Lina is a messenger. Doon is a plumber for a pipe system.

Anyways, Doon and Lina have solved the instructions. However, the mayor and the guards do not want the public to know about the instructions or where it might lead them next and tried to capture them. Doon and Lina escaped, along with her sister, wherever the instructions led them. When they got to their promised destination, they learned why Builders created the city.

The City of Ember is part of a series. Apparently, this book is the middle one.

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I truly enjoyed reading The Death of Friends by Michael Nava. This book is part of a series of a gay Mexican lawyer, Henry Rios, doing some sleuth work on the side in Los Angeles.

One morning, after an earthquake, Henry discovered a young man, Zach, waiting for him on his front porch. Zach was a boyfriend of Henry's friend, Chris. Chris was a state Superior judge, whom Henry has known since law school, and was recently murdered. Henry is kinda shocked that Chris had a boyfriend because he knew that Chris is married, with a wife (also known since college) and a kid. Things are complicated for Henry because Chris and Henry had a fling before Henry discovered that Chris was engaged.

The fact that Zach was a former hustler and appeared in a porn film doesn't look good for his credibility. The fact that Zach had discovered Chris' body and touched the murder weapon made things worse. Henry has had to investigate to find out who is lying and who is not. Among those suspected is Chris' wife, which has caused a friction on their friendship.

Meanwhile, Henry has been taking care of his lover, Josh, who is dying from AIDS. Josh was already HIV+ when they first met, which was after Henry had "dumped" Chris. However, when Josh got AIDS, he felt that Henry didn't understand what it was like to have and suffer AIDS. So, Josh left him for another guy with AIDS. However, that lover died and Josh returned to Henry. So, at this point in this series, Henry and Josh have mended their relationship and have been dealing with the severe illnesses that Josh has been suffering.

Henry is just overworking himself, dealing with Josh, Zach, Chris' wife, the aftermath of the earthquake, the investigation and the much publicized trial. He's just like a normal person dealing with various aspects of life at once.

It's a good book that I'm sure you'll enjoy and try to figure out who did it. I was disappointed to learn that Michael Nava has since ceased the Henry Rios series. He has written a total of 7 books for the series. So, I'm gonna collect them all.

Ok, I'm done for now. Ta ta...