SotW: Just Another Summer by Yehonathan Thursday, Apr 30 2009 

[I’m actually writing this on Sunday, May 3rd, because I didn’t have time to write it during the week, but I’m posting it as if it were written on the day I meant to post it.]

This week’s song of the week is Yehonathan’s “Just Another Summer”:

Yehonathan is an Israeli pop singer who happens to be gay (and totally hot!). He’s just now released English-language music in the U.S. “Just Another Summer” premiered on MTV this week. I especially love how out he is and that he’s foregrounding queerness in his videos. The beach shower scene in this video has to be one of the hottest moments ever in a gay video!

I ran across his music a few weeks ago by surfing YouTube. I’m also a big fan of Ivri Lider, another queer Israeli singer, and one link led me to another until I came to Yehonathan’s music, which is mostly dance music.

After I started listening to his music, I joined his fan page on facebook. A couple of weeks ago, I was surprised to have been added as a friend by Yehonathan too. He’s my second gay, Israeli celebrity friend — I’m also facebook friends with director Eytan Fox and his partner Gal Uchovsky.

I’ll post the Hebrew version of “Just Another Summer” after the break.

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Bea Arthur: What’ll I Do? Sunday, Apr 26 2009 

SotW: She Loves Everybody by Chester French Tuesday, Apr 21 2009 

PJ just suggested that I listen to Chester’s French‘s “She Loves Everybody,” since he thought I’d like it:

I love it! And I love that he knows me so well! And I think this video is amazing. It has everything one could want in a video: cute boys and a kick-ass woman beating them to a pulp (in a humorous, feminist critique of the way in which women are often little more than eye candy in music videos — just in the way the persona singing the song treats the woman he sings about — it’s a great contrast between image and words)!

Chester French’s new album, Love the Future, came out today. After watching the video, I immediately bought it on iTunes. So far, I’m about a third of the way through the album and I like it a lot so far. According to wikipedia, they’re influenced by “classic British Northern Soul,” so no wonder I like them!

Planting Creeping Phlox Sunday, Apr 19 2009 

Yesterday, PJ and I decided to take advantage of the great weather we were having to plant some flowers. He planted some petunias, which he does every year. I planted more creeping phlox. We planted a few bunches of them when my mom visited us a few years ago. Over the years, they’ve spread out and grown. Here’s what they look like now:

Here’s a closer look:

And closer:

You can see that there are small sections of violet flowers. I tried planting that color to add a little variety, but most of those flowers died — I kept forgetting to water them. The green clumps in the first two pictures are the new ones. Hopefully, I’ll keep them watered this time.

I love these little flowers. Several houses in our neighborhood have small clumps of them. I aspire to having the best creeping phlox flowerbed in the neighborhood!

SotW: Try by Nelly Furtado Tuesday, Apr 14 2009 

This week’s song of the week is Nelly Furtado’s “Try” from her 2003 album Folklore. Her label has disabled embedding on YouTube, but here’s a live version of the song that I really like:

I liked this album, though it didn’t do well in the U.S. Since then, Furtado has gone for a more mainstream appeal.(I mean this euphemistically.)

I think “Try” is a great song, and it really fits something that I’ve been thinking about this past week: in all of our relationships — with lovers, friends, parents, children, students, teachers — all we can do is try. Plus, I like it’s acknowledgment that “I’m all I’ll ever be” … “And that’s you, baby / This is me, baby.” (That last bit is my favorite part of the song.)

I think it’s important to see in all these relationships that we all are who we are. We need to see each other for who we are and accept each other on that level. If we can’t do that, then we need to get out of the relationship, whatever it is. We have to love or respect or deal with people (depending on the nature of the relationship) as they really are rather than as we want them to be. This month, I’ve really been trying to do this — to love PJ for who he is, not who I want him to be; to appreciate my friends for who they are; to accept my colleagues and students for who they are; etc. I’m trying to live in the recognition that I can’t change people.

The flip side of that is also accepting and loving an respecting who I am. This is me. Accept me as I am or leave me alone. Even though I can change myself, that process is slow and deliberate under the best of circumstances, and certainly no one else can change me. If someone wants to be in my life (or class or whatever), then s/he needs to come to terms with who I am rather than hope s/he can change me.

I do think these sentiments are freeing, as the song ends by saying. I’ll post the lyrics after the break.

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HotM: Humfrey Wanley Sunday, Apr 12 2009 

Humfrey Wanley (1672-1726) is April’s hottie of the month.

Originally apprenticed to a draper, Wanley developed an interest in old books and handwriting after a visit to Oxford. He then taught himself the fundamentals of paleography. His talents in this field soon attracted the attention of the right people, and he was able to matriculate at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, in 1694. During his second year, Wanley moved to University College and became an assistant librarian at the Bodleian Library.

Wanley left Oxford in 1699, taking a post as assistant to the secretary of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He was soon promoted to secretary, nearly doubling him income, but he craved work as a librarian. When he was unsuccessful in his attempt to become the curator of the Cottonian Collection in 1702, he got on as a member of a commission hired to study the collection.

By this time, Wanley was becoming an expert on Anglo Saxon. He had become friends with George Hickes, a vicar who had written a study of Anglo-Saxon grammar in 1689. The two men took up a correspondence that Clare A. Simmons describes in her essay on Wanley for the Dictionary of Literary Biography (Vol. 33) like this:

his early letters to Hickes are written in florid Latin but include interesting discussions of Anglo-Saxon studies, while others show indications of a genuine warmth between the two men. In 1699 Wanley confided in Hickes, for example, a plan for gaining financial independence by marrying his cousin Elizabeth Phillipps, who had inherited some property: he describes her as “young, well-bred, vertuous, honest, good-humor’d, & not very ugly.” The scheme suggests a certain lack of romantic feeling on Wanley’s part, and scarcely surprisingly, his cousin seems to have refused him.

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SotW: Deeper Into You by Johnny Hazzard Thursday, Apr 9 2009 

This week’s song of the week is Johnny Hazzard‘s “Deeper into You” from 2006:

Hazzard is a superstar in the gay adult film industry, who, like so many other adult performers, has been branching out into other aspects of the entertainment industry. I first saw him on YouTube when he made a video of himself dancing to Sherrie Lea’s “Spellbound,” a great dance track:

“Deeper into You” was his first single. He’s also an actor and acted in season two of The Lair. He also has a blog, where he recently posted a cooking video.

The dance remixes of “Deeper into You” are also great. You can get them on iTunes.

2 Rudds & an Eisenberg: 3 Movie Reviews Wednesday, Apr 8 2009 

In the past couple of weeks, PJ and I have had the opportunity to see three movies, I Love You, Man, Adventureland, and Role Models, but I haven’t had time to write reviews. So, I thought I’d quickly try to catch up.

I’ll start with my favorite of the three: Role Models, which stars Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as two men sentenced to community service work with children. Here’s the trailer:

Rudd plays Danny, who’s fed up with just about everything in his life. When his girlfriend dumps him rather than accept his marriage proposal, Danny goes off the deep end and causes an accident. The judge sentences him and his sidekick, Wheeler, played by Scott, to work at a big brothers kind of program for kids called Sturdy Wings. Danny is paired with a kid named Augie, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who loves Medieval fantasy role-playing, and Wheeler is assigned to Ronnie, played by Bobb’e J. Thompson, a precocious, potty-mouthed Black kid.

Of course these two men learn to grow up and take charge of their lives. It’s all very predictable, but I really enjoyed it. Rudd is excellent as the sad-sack prude, and Scott is great in the role of irresponsible playboy.

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SotW: Can’t Have It All by Jay Brannan Wednesday, Apr 1 2009 

Our friend Wes gave us Jay Brannan‘s CD, Goddamned, when it first came out. Since then, it’s grown and grown on me, and I find myself liking it more and more. For example, the video for “Housewife” was my favorite video of last year.

Now Brannan has put out a new video, “Can’t Have It All,” which has long been one of my favorite tracks on the album. In fact, it was number 8 on my list of favorite songs for 2008.

Like “Housewife,” this video is simple and effective. I like that Brannan doesn’t need to do a lot in his videos — the music stands for itself and the video serves as a support for the song. I’ll put the lyrics after the break.

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