The 1st of July

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The random nature of this blog is about to get even more-so, as project work keeps me busier than a privet-drunk bee. There’s just not enough time, and too much to do. When that happens, we like to go a little crazy. Vainglorious, ridiculous and fabulous thoughts that cross the weary mind…

On decadent nights or rainy days, I like to wear ‘Un Jardin après la Mousson’ by Hermès.

The most important items you wear may be your socks.

Mistakes make the world perfect.

Remember that time Zac Efron grabbed this guy’s crotch?

I get high off linden trees. (And the aforementioned privet. I just do.)

Smells like skunk.

Go on and beet it. Just beet it. Whoo!

And then make a change.

To this one, for Michael.

No, Michael.

I said Michael!

Not that one, this Michael!

No, I’m not high now. Linden, privet or brownie-wise.

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Turn Me On

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I don’t feel like doing a Hunk of the Day today. Instead, a flash of silliness for the foot enthusiasts. A double flash, in fact, courtesy of Cherelle and Robert Palmer. Which do you prefer?

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Taming an Unruly Monster

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I don’t know how this pretty-but-dangerous sweet pea found its way into my garden, but she’s been a beautiful bastion ever since she arrived, despite her inherent danger. I’ve only planted sweet peas once – the fancy, frilly annual variety – and after that this stood in their place. I’m not sure if it came in with that group, or if some bird deceptively dropped a seed in to confuse the situation. It’s the wild perennial version, the one that’s taken over hillsides throughout the area, and one that can be tenaciously invasive in tendency and sprawl. Confined and controlled, it makes a refreshing sight in first bloom. After that it gets extremely straggly and untidy, and I usually cut it down drastically in mid-summer to get a fresh crop of leaves later.

I say it’s dangerous because it will reseed if given the chance, and if left untended those seeds will grow into pesky plants with root systems that just won’t give up. This is one that requires constant vigilance. The single specimen I maintain would have become ten by now (and there are two or three that have taken hold in inconvenient-to-reach spots that will need to be eradicated sooner rather than later.) I like the single plant we have, and it’s a colorful focal point covering a free-standing trellis. But we have to be wary, and certain beasts, no matter how deceptively gorgeous, need to be kept in check.

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Hunk of the Day: Darius Ferdynand

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I don’t know what it requires to be named ‘Britain’s Best Bottom‘ but I’m almost certain I wouldn’t have what it takes. Apparently Darius Ferdynand does, and he is being named the Hunk of the Day. As ‘Britain’s Best Bottom’ he’s got a lot to live up to, but that smile goes a long way toward fitting the billing.

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A Rainbow Recap

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It was a week in which the Supreme Court ended our heretofore-lifelong battle for marriage equality, and for that I am supremely grateful. Strange that I should be so appreciative of a right that should have been ours from the beginning, but I guess that’s the strange jubilation that arrives when justice is delivered. I’m far too cynical and smart to think this is going to change the minds of ignorant homophobic assholes, but it’s a beginning. And though it doesn’t change my love, nor my five-year-old marriage, it does galvanize it in some way, because it is now recognized throughout the country. Thank you to the five Supreme Court justices that saw fit to grant all of us our dignity. (I’ll deal with the four disgraces who were against equality another time.)

The growing season at its start is the best part.

Music to the eyes and ears was provided by Hunk of the Day Chris Botti.

Proving that his new guardian still has impeccable taste, the guy that Madonna featured in her latest video is Jon Kortajarena.

The lazy season is underway.

Fashion spunk of the highest order was brought to life by Kyle Brincefield.

So pretty I could eat it up.

Broadway Barer Casey Lee Ross, in the bare.

Flowers came in magenta, white, and sundrop yellow.

Making a mockery of it all.

Luke Casey was such a hit his first time around as Hunk of the Day, he’s already earned his second.

These guys have also been honored previously, but one can never have enough nude Adam Levine.

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Sexy Men of Summer

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Actually, these guys are sexy year-round, but since we’re in summer let’s give it a seasonal slant. We begin with the always-entertaining Adam Levine, who recently dropped a towel to show off his naked ass. When Adam Levine gets nude, you sit up and take notice. He’s been here more than once, with the featured photo making waves and tingling hearts and nether-regions for some time.

Mr. Levine has a gay brother and has long been a proponent for gay rights, so it’s doubly nice to show him some love today.

The body of an angel, in this case Ashley Parker Angel, whose Instagram account is one shot away from full-frontal male nudity. Not that anyone has an issue with that. Beautiful people can get away with nudity that the rest of us just can’t get away with.

Straight ally Julian Edelman (who recently changed his FaceBook profile pic to the rainbow filter that is now gleefully ubiquitous) raises himself up, and us in the process.

I believe he’s kicking off a gay pride celebration somewhere, which goes to show you just had far we have come as a country. When a straight football star plays such a prominent role in a gay pride event, things have changed for the better.

A man of beauty, Mr. Mark MacKillop recently performed in this year’s Broadway Bares show, and a few months ago released his scorching coffee-table book Rm. XIV. As the photo below proves, MacKillop knows his way around the camera lens.

Across the pond, Shayne Ward is still setting hearts aflame with poses like this, and the power of his voice. The power of his underwear is pretty apparent here.

Finally, bringing up the booty is sexy beast Matthew Camp, who has been featured here in a number of previous posts, all worthy of admiration and adoration. Mr. Camp exemplifies the fact that being sexy is not only a superficial act, but an internal one as well. His good-natured spirit matches how hot he is, and that’s pretty cool.

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Drops of Sun

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The other common moniker for these sundrops is Evening Primrose, so-named because of their tendency to close up come evening (which makes it seem like Morning Primrose would be a more apt title). Plant names are sketchy at best, and common ones are even trickier. Why can’t they all be Red hot pokers? A question that I’ve contemplated for years… As for the Oenothera (the scientific name for these bright yellow beauties), they are from a patch at my parents’ home that I originally planted about two decades ago. Through division and cultivation, they’ve gradually moved around the house to their current location standing sentinel by the front door. A harbinger of high summer, they mirror the sun in happy countenance, and shut down in dismay when she slumbers at night. Though the show is spectacular, it lasts only for a couple of weeks. There may be a sporadic flowering following this initial burst, but for the most part this is their glory.

It’s more than substantial, and sets up the golden color band to follow in the Rudbeckia and Hemerocallis. The latter duo will see us through the zenith of summer color, but neither is as pure a yellow as the Evening Primrose. They lean either to gold or to cream, both enchanting in their own way, but nothing beats the clarity of these yellow sundrops. Echoes of sunlight itself.

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A Different Kind of White Party

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For many years, I eschewed white flowers. Too bland, too boring, too dull, too whatever – I always felt they were less exciting than their more colorful counterparts. Why choose white when you could have a bright fiery red? As time has gone on, however, I’ve traded in the need for bold pizazz and find myself enjoying the softness of the palest of shades. Here’s a brief, and eclectic, collection of white flowers. They run the gamut from the earliest trillium to the season-ending anemone. I like being smack-dab in the middle of them.

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This Really Happened Last Night

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As proud and lucky as I’ve always felt to be an American, I’ve never felt more proud than seeing our White House resplendent in the rainbow last night. When love wins, everyone wins.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of  civilization’s oldest institutions. They as for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

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Shooting Magenta Stars

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From a furry gray-green rosette comes these shooting stars of magenta. A variety of Lychnis, these hardy little performers are prolific re-seeders, with poppy-like seedpods that act as miniature salt-and-pepper shakers, dispersing their seeds generously. As biennials, they produce a mound of soft foliage the first year, then send up these powerful bursts of saturated blooms in their second. While I’m not enamored of their spindly form, I am in absolute love with their blazing color. Not many flowers match this sort of intensity, and despite their small size the sheer volume of the hue is turned up so high it can be seen from across the yard. Sometimes little things pack a powerful punch, and at the time of the year when a number of flowers are jockeying for the spotlight, this little lychnis manages to steal the show.

 

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Hunk of the Day: Luke Casey ~ One More Time

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From one hot Casey to another, this is Luke Casey’s second time at bat as Hunk of the Day. Coming rather quickly after his first, it’s mostly due to high demand and the insistence that Mr. Casey be crowned again, and I’m in no position to argue. his attributes remain just as fine as the first time around, so here’s hoping he produces a few more photo shoots to cement his run at number three.

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Mock It Up

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Having praised the virtues of the mockorange blossom over the years, this feels like a largely redundant post, but if the memory and scent is as sweet as those produced by this unassuming plant, it’s a path I’ll happily retread. The shrub itself has a rather non-descript form. Its simple round leaves start out bright green then mature to a deeper shade that all but disappears into the landscape. The stems slowly advance to a woody stage as the shrub eventually reaches higher and higher into the sky, topping out at ten to fifteen feet if you let it.

They tend to get weedy and filled with dead wood after a while, so I cut them back hard every few years, and even then their form is a little too erratic and untidy for my taste. If it weren’t for the flowers I wouldn’t bother at all. Some flowers, though, are worth it. These personify early summer, with a perfume that brings me back to far more carefree days.

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Hunk of the Day: Casey Lee Ross

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Actor-dancer-model Casey Lee Ross has all the hyphenates that matter, and then some. He was one of the highlights of this year’s 25th anniversary of Broadway Bares, as reported in this epic recap over at Boy Culture. (Thank you Matthew Rettenmund!) As for being honored as Hunk of the Day, if he asked me to call him Mr. Ross, I most certainly would.

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Floral Sorbet

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Reminiscent of sherbet or sorbet in shade only, this tree peony bloom actually smells of a spicy tea. Though the scale of the flower is unknown in these shots, it’s immense – the size of a small plate. So big is it that the stems don’t practically support its weight. I always end up clipping the blooms and bringing them inside, where the pungent perfume can be enjoyed up close.

The bloom is an ever-changing and evolving show of its own. Just when you think it’s achieved its full bomb size, it reaches a little higher and expands a little wider, revealing an inner shade of ruby red at the throat of each petal. I love a hidden heart.

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Hunk of the Day: Kyle Brincefield

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Kyle Brincefield is the personification of the fabulousness that is New York City. Edgy, electric, erotic, eclectic – he encapsulates the gritty sparkle that icons like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Stephen Sprouse and Patricia Field brought to life in the 80′s, and well beyond. With his STUDmuffin NYC fashion line, Brincefield is bringing a little of that glory back. Celebrities like Adam Lambert, Missy Elliott, Miley Cyrus, and Emma Watson have each worn pieces by Brincefield, and his work has appeared in Vogue, Paper, Nylon and the New York Times.

PS – He’s also just a genuinely nice guy, and that goes a long way toward cementing one’s Hunk of the Day status. He recently gave me the low-down on who designed that deliciously-studded pink jacket that Madonna wears in her ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ video. I still want it bad.

 

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