The Majesty of the Moose

At first I thought it was a horse. I was traveling along the Massachusetts Turnpike, a road I’ve taken hundreds of times, and on the opposite side was a dark mass rising out of the grass. As I got closer, the antlers separated themselves from the background of trees, and I realized I was looking at a moose.

What struck me most was the size of the creature. It was gigantic. Even from afar its immensity was impressive. The rounded massiveness of the antlers, the dark majesty of its fur, and somehow, even as my car whizzed by, the soulful portals of its eyes. It moved slowly. When you’re that big, there is no need to rush. Yet far from plodding or cumbersome, its gait was more graceful than clumsy, and suddenly, somewhere between Boston and Albany, that glimpse of grace brought its own sense of peace.

Majestic. Magnificent. Miraculous.

A moose in Massachusetts.

(I always thought it would be in Maine.)

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The Monday After A Moose: A Recap

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There is some debate over whether today or tomorrow marks the first day of fall but I’m going with tomorrow, so for now I bring you the usual weekly recap. Tomorrow I’ll do the big summer round-up and the big events (and hot guys) that the season of the sun offered.

The Bible of Madonna books may have a comprehensive updating (my fingers are crossed.)

A fragrance to bridge summer and fall, courtesy of the devil.

Music for fall, and it’s oh-so-dreamy.

The eye candy of David Gandy.

A trio of poems: one for morning, one for afternoon, and one for night.

Hunks were in healthy supply, thanks to  the studly likes of Patrick WilsonJonathon Nason, Tyler Glenn, Brendon Urie, Tom Varndell, and Gary Lucy.

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Eye Candy Gandy

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Male supermodel David Gandy has been featured here time and time again, and as long as he keeps up the underwear front he’ll be featured here in the future. There’s a comfort and a thrill in that, the perfect encapsulation for the spark of fall just around the corner. Previous postings include his initial crowning as Hunk of the Day, his naked ass (and a peek of more), looking dandy in the sand, this sexy work-out GIF, a gratuitous crotch shot, a relatively classy black-and-white bonus, and a bit of bush and backside in one. A few more appearances like this and he may make it into his own category, a la David Beckham or Tom Daley.

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Hunk of the Day: Gary Lucy

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Another gift from across-the-pond, this is Gary Lucy, our Hunk of the Day. While largely unknown on these shores, he’s a major star in the land of ‘Hollyoaks‘, ‘Footballers‘ Wives’, and ‘EastEnders’ – British dramas where he often disrobed for love scenes or showers or other integral plot devices. Currently he’s starring in ‘The Full Monty‘ (where there was recently a lighting snafu which resulted in theatergoers getting to see Mr. Lucy’s, well, full monty.) The possibility of that no doubt caused a bulge in ticket sales.

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A Poem for Saturday Evening

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Night and the River
By Mary Oliver


I have seen the great feet


into the river


and I have seen moonlight


along the long muzzle


and I have seen the body

of something

scaled and wonderful


slumped in the sudden fire of its mouth,

and I could not tell

which fit me


more comfortably, the power,

or the powerlessness;

neither would have me


entirely; I was divided,


by sympathy,


pity, admiration.

After a while

it was done,


the fish had vanished, the bear

lumped away

to the green shore


and into the trees. And then there was only

this story.

It followed me home


and entered my house —

a difficult guest

with a single tune


which it hums all day and through the night—

slowly or briskly,

it doesn’t matter,


it sounds like a river leaping and falling;

it sounds like a body

falling apart.

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A Poem for Saturday Afternoon

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Mozart, For Example
By Mary Oliver


All the quick notes

Mozart didn’t have time to use

before he entered the cloud-boat


are falling now from the beaks

of the finches

that have gathered from the joyous summer


into the hard winter

and, like Mozart, they speak of nothing

but light and delight,


though it is true, the heavy blades of the world

are still pounding underneath.

And this is what you can do too, maybe,


if you live simply and with a lyrical heart

in the cumbered neighborhoods or even,

as Mozart sometimes managed to do, in a palace,


offering tune after tune,

making some hard-hearted prince

prudent and kind, just by being happy.

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A Poem for Saturday Morning

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A Note Left on the Door
By Mary Oliver


There are these: the blue

skirts of the ocean walking in now, almost

to the edge of town,


and a thousand birds, in their incredible wings

which they think nothing of, crying out


that the day is long, the fish are plentiful.


And friends, being as kind as friends can be,

striving to lift the darkness.


Forgive me, Lord of honeysuckle, of trees,

of notebooks, of typewriters, of music,

that there are also these:


the lover, the singer, the poet

asleep in the shadows.

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Hunk of the Day: Tom Varndell

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Another across-the-pond hottie stripping for a good cause, this is Hunk of the Day Tom Varndell. A rugby player for the Wasps, Mr. Varndell had some matter-of-fact words to describe his naked shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine: ”I’ve never done a full nude shoot before so it was a bit nerve wracking. But rugby players work hard and train every day, we have to be in decent shape and we are kind of entertainers on the pitch anyway so we like to show off!” There’s nothing this website likes more than a good show off.

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The Beet Goes On

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Andy is a magician in the kitchen, as evidenced by this recent beet and goat cheese pizza. A somewhat unorthodox pizza combination, it was supplemented by peppers and red onions, resulting in the riot of warm colors you see here. Food is about more than taste – it’s about texture and temperature and, yes, presentation. While pretty dishes don’t necessarily translate to yummy eats, when the two combine it makes for a merry moment, and a merry meal.

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Hunk of the Day: Brendon Urie

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Brendon Urie, lead singer for Panic! At The Disco, is our Hunk of the Day, brought to my attention by this scorching rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – which manages to rise to the Freddie Mercury occasion and do more than justice to the Queen classic. Mr. Urie carries an impish sexiness with him as demonstrated in his lively performance. Of course, music always adds a dash of sexiness to everything. [See Adam LevineJustin Timberlake, Lenny Kravitz, Jon Bon Jovi, Jake Shears, Enrique Iglesias, or Adam Lambert.]

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Dreamy Music for a Diner, And Other Scenes

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If there was one character I related to most on ‘Twin Peaks’ it was Audrey – the young, sexy vixen who had the hots for Agent Dale Cooper, who was supremely uninterested in her. I know that song, I know that dance, and I know that no matter how silly and sophomoric it may seem, those feelings can rip apart the heart, rending it doubly difficult of loving later on. Audrey managed to be seductive and sad, a sex-pot who didn’t so much have sex as inspire it, someone who longed for the one man who wouldn’t long for her in return. Not that way. Never that way.

You can have the eyes and the desire of the world, but what good is it when the one you want doesn’t even notice? Sometimes I think that’s what drives us – the elusive other, the one who got away, the single person who will only ever like you, not love – not love in the way you need and crave and want, not love in the one way that will mean everything and turn you inside out and bring the world crashing down so they can build it all back up. No, not that kind of love. Not for her, not for me.

The breezes of fall rustled through the pine trees in my childhood backyard. The abyss of darkness, and the safety and the danger of night, stretched out unseen and unknown. I could only feel it, even when I reached out and stepped over broken leaves and matted grass. I could only listen to the rush of it, pulsating with the quickened beating of a heart – a single heart – the aching sound of loneliness. Longing is louder, but loneliness rings deeper.

The soundtrack to ‘Twin Peaks’ brings it all rushing back to my mind. I was in high school then. Practicing marching band music after school, fumbling with math proofs, and squeezing a frozen juice box into a messy accordion. On certain Friday nights, we had to perform in the football halftime show, running out into the middle of the surreal, unforgiving illumination of the football field, blaring ‘Fanfare and Entrance’ while the majorettes kicked their legs and waved their pom-poms in the air. When the halftime show was over, and Friday night fun was just beginning for others, I traipsed my way through a darkened field back up to my home. I passed dimly-lit baseball diamonds, and a patch of blackened forest that beckoned with the fate of Laura Palmer. I did not know fear then. I did not know what it was like to be unloved. I did not know how lucky I was.

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Hunk of the Day: Tyler Glenn

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Lead singer for the group Neon Trees, Hunk of the Day Tyler Glenn is also openly-gay, which is neither here nor there. It feels like we’ve been on the threshold of not having that matter for some time. With every day, and every person who comes out, it’s less of a big deal. A small but integral part of what makes a person who they are. Still, the struggle is not quite over, and Mr. Glenn is a welcome dose of Mormon-raised honesty. Add him to the hot gay musically-inclined ranks of  Tom Goss, Steve Grand, Brett Gleason, Eli Lieb, MikaChris Salvatore and Aiden Leslie.

PS – I am in love with his style.

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The Devil May Wear It, And So Do I

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When Prada introduced one of its first colognes onto the market, I drove breathlessly into Boston to purchase it. I was ready to buy it scent unsniffed, but this was my first lesson that no matter how much you may admire a brand, it doesn’t always automatically register into a love of its fragrance. As I sprayed a generous spritz onto my wrist, I instantly recoiled: it was awful. Well, maybe not awful, but awful on me, and awful to my olfactory receptors. At the time, I wasn’t ready for the complexity of such a fragrance. There is a learning curve involved in developing one’s appreciation for cologne, and at that point Prada was too much.

I revisited every new launch, but for some reason the magic of Prada always eluded me. There was something too floral about it, tinged with a chemical note that I found slightly repellant. I’m not saying they were bad, simply not suited to my taste. Yet times, and tastes, change, and the challenge of Prada that I could not quite answer years ago can be taken up and conquered now.

Pictured here is Luna Rossa – one of the new Prada fragrances. If my years of Latin are recalled correctly, I think it roughly translates as Red Moon. Perfect for a fragrance to bridge the gap between summer and fall, when the nights turn cold, and only a red moon is there to remind you of the heat that came just days before.

Part of my prior Prada reluctance was due to the fact that I was making quick decisions based on sample sticks and hasty dry-downs. This time around I boldly spritzed some on and let it linger on me for a while, and that’s when the transformation took hold. Those chemical aspects dissipated quickly, replaced by warmer shades of something richer and earthier. Spicy notes crept into the mid-section, and the evolution of this cologne on the skin restored my faith in the Prada name. Patience and perseverance are often rewarded, particularly when it comes to fragrance. For that reason, Luna Rossa may not be for everyone, but if carefully employed can be an elegant addition to a gentleman’s cologne arsenal.

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Hunk of the Day: Patrick Wilson

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From his booty-baring Broadway turn in ‘The Full Monty’ to his booty-baring role in the HBO version of ‘Angels in America’ Patrick Wilson has done more butt-flashing than many a Hunk of the Day, and so it is with great fanfare that he gets to be named a Hunk now. Recently he caused a sexy stir in his turn on ‘Girls’ – a show which I have not yet seen, but which I’m told is as sexy as most of what he does. When researching these shots, I was more impressed and delighted to learn that Mr. Wilson plays in a band with his brothers on occasion. That’s the sort of real-life experience that instantly makes a celebrity more relatable, and endearing.

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A Book A Double Decade in the Making

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There’s something special about Matthew Rettenmund‘s relationship with Madonna. I first wrote about that moving connection here, and to this day Matthew will always remind me of Madonna, and often vice versa. Far beyond that of fandom, Rettenmund has long connected on a deeper level with the iconic goddess, bringing a sharp and erudite reading to all of her work, calling her out when she’s faltered but mostly praising her work in an intelligent and scrupulous manner.

Almost two decades ago, he wrote ‘The Encyclopedia Madonnica’ – a book that more than lived up to its epic name, and one that remains a definitive record of Madonna’s life and career until that time. Of course, Madonna has gone on to do a great many more things since the publication date of that seminal tome, and Matthew Rettenmund is making moves to update that in this brilliant Kickstarter pitch.

Forget ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ or ‘The Godfather 2′ – this one looks to be the definitive sequel that surpasses the original. Much of Madonna’s richest work has come after 1995 (witness ‘Ray of Light‘ and ‘Music‘ and ‘Confessions on a Dancefloor.’) The best has yet to be written, and Mr. Rettenmund is the ideal man to flesh it out in print. While it’s an ambitious undertaking, Matthew (not unlike another certain ‘M’-monikered icon) has the drive, determination, skill, and talent to pull it off. Support his noble efforts here – there are a number of nifty rewards at every donation level, including some very special Madonna items.

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