Category Archives: General

A Mad Start to the Season

This may become an annual tradition, as I’ve already posted about this scene once before, and it is always worth a revisit. The classics never fade, they become more valuable with age. In this case, a return to a Christmas episode of ‘Mad Men’ – and the workings of two of my favorite characters from that show. It’s Don and Joan – both of them complicated and complex. Each cold in his or her own way, but wanting for warmth, desiring connection, and lamenting the conundrum of their circumstances. 

“My mother raised me to be admired,” she says winsomely. Being admired only gets you so far, especially at the most wonderful time of the year. Maybe, though, that’s enough for the fleeting coziness of the season. Maybe a Christmas cocktail, shared by two beleaguered co-workers is enough. Maybe a Christmas waltz is enough.

Frosted windowpanes… 

 

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Let Us Give Thanks

The older I get (and I’m getting quite old), the more I realize the importance of the quieter parts of days like Thanksgiving, and the opportunity to meditate on the real meaning behind the holiday. It’s more than stuffing turkeys and stuffing ourselves, more than fables of camaraderie and feasts between Native Americans and immigrants, and more than the first official shopping day of the season. It is a day of gratitude – and almost everyone can find one or two things for which they can be truly grateful. Sometimes just taking a breath is reason enough to give thanks. That we are here. That we are alive. That we are still going.

I pause at such moments. In the early light of the day I sit in the quiet of the dining room, looking out at the backyard. The wet and matted grass is dotted with fallen leaves and little pebbles of rabbit scat. On winter mornings the cardinals will visit, gorgeously scarlet against a winter sky – jagged splotches of red in a sea of snow. For now, though, all is gray and brown and still. Another moment for which to give thanks. Another day in which to find gratitude.

As Andy and I are enjoying a meal with our family, I wish you the best in whatever you may do today.

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Give (Early) Thanks To This Recap

Here we go! The next time I post it will be Thanksgiving Day. How did we get here so quickly? I think the warmer weather lingered so long that suddenly it seems the holidays are upon without the usual weeks of build-up and dreary weather. Not sure how I feel about that. Here’s what happened when you weren’t looking.

Climbing the brick.

Wait, who is the Sexiest Man Alive?

Sowing these oats.

A brief break for beauty.

Giving thanks for the past… and the future. 

Draining the pigment.

When the oaks are stubborn.

Summer bunny.

Holiday sparkle.

Hunks of the Day included Shawn MendesGleb SavchenkoDan Amboyer, Cody Christian, & Fabrizio ‘Fab’ Santino

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A Hint of Holiday Sparkle

This is the week we head directly into the holiday season. Are you ready for it? I most certainly am not. With the greatest of intentions, I’d planned on being closer to finishing with my holiday shopping, and like most years I’m not quite there. To get myself in the mood, a little sparkle always helps, as does the promise of some heartwarming holiday traditions

Whether on scarf or robe, jacket or sock, a splash of sequins works wonders for the soul. It’s the little things that matter most when the holidays turn to high. 

 

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Summer Baby Bunny

Yes, I know, it’s too soon to miss summer. There’s nothing but heartache in that kind of wishful thinking. But on a November Sunday, when a chill is in the air, I’m indulging in this view of a summer visitor. He or she made the most of the clover in the backyard, returning to it as a regular feast. Andy and I would recognize the white spot on its forehead, and watch as it filled its mouth with a steady diet of greens and clover blooms. We will see it in the winter too, just not as much. 

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Right Before the Draining of Pigment

Caught between the early morning light of a car’s back end and the already-passed descent of winter temperatures, this was our Judas tree right before the world went cold and the leaves froze to a chlorophyll-drained brown. It’s a ghostly picture, made more-so by the fact that it no longer exists.

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Hunk of the Day: Shawn Mendes

Canadian singer and songwriter Shawn Mendes takes his bow as Hunk of the Day. In a throwback to the 90’s (the decade in which he was born, in the year of our ‘Ray of Light’) he recently released an MTV Unplugged album. I didn’t even realize they were still doing that. This is a pleasant reminder. 

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Is Blake Shelton Really That Sexy?

People Magazine, long past its pop-culture relevance expiration date, just named Blake Shelton as the Sexiest Man Alive. I guess it’s reflective of the world in which we live. Not that I find Mr. Shelton all that objective on the physical front, I just think I’d be able to find a gazillion guys who are far sexier. (And I guess it’s ok since Adam Levine already won that title a while back. David Beckham too.)

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Climb the Brick

Climbing up the brick with the first burst of chartreuse freshness as its spring wardrobe was only the start of this ivy’s show. It ripened from that into a deeper green as the summer progressed, waiting out the heat that brick likes to collect in that season. Here we see it finishing out 2017 with a flourish of fall color. Soon, only its spindly structure will remain, the spidery tentacle-like suction cups that so ruefully deface whatever they touch will hold the skeletal branches up through the winter until, if the winds haven’t been too harsh and the temperatures to cold, it was sprout again, picking up where it left off, rising higher than it ever did before. It will run on and on like these sentences, not bothering to see whether it’s a nuisance or not, whether it will bring ants into the interior or cracks to the exterior. Bounding ever upward, to the sky, not knowing that there is a limit to how far it can go, that there is always a limit.

It’s better not to know.

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November Sky Recap

The temperatures have turned frightful, but the sky is still blue. Thus far, November has skirted the usual somber tones of gray and brown. Soon, though, the color will drain from the season, and we will have only the holidays to keep our spirits warm. Until then, a look back at the last week. 

It began with a perch in Boston

Bright flaming pink!

Stranger light

Four hunks vied for the second Triple-Time Hunk of the Day

…But only one HOD could be victorious: Nick Adams

It’s that time of the year: a new Ben Cohen calendar

The dog at the end of the rainbow

Shameless!

Drink up

A Gold Rim Dinner Party

A very Goodfellow (in a Speedo). 

Hunks of the Day included Lars Slind, Dolf Dietrich, & Eric Balfour.

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Don’t Hate, Cross-Pollinate!

This shameless and lazy social media cross-pollination post is only to gain more followers and friends, but when one is so transparent and honest about it, some of the  sassiness gets blunted, no? Here is my please for you to follow me on Instagram or Twitter. Here is my ask for you to friend me on FaceBook. On all three, I’m a little more candid and up-to-date than I am here. Raw. Open. Hard-core. And you thought it couldn’t get any more naked

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Third Time’s The Charm

Tomorrow we crown the next Triple-Time Hunk of the Day. The votes are in and there was an indisputable winner who took the lead early on and kept it (thanks to a kind retweet for his many fans). As I mentioned in the original post, a little promotion goes a long way. In case you missed out, here’s one more brief look at the contenders, because they’re all worthy:

Nick Adams – triple threat of the Broadway stage

Griffin Barrows – adult performer and model

Simon Dunn – Olympic athlete, activist, and model

Philip Fusco – model turned underwear entrepreneur

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Stranger Light

What a strange fall it’s been. The light has been… queasy. I don’t know if that makes much sense, but I do know I’m not about to explain it. I know what I mean. On a recent afternoon, before the world went cold so late in the season, I stood outside as dusk descended. The last light of the day lit up the clouds in shades of amber and salmon and mauve. Slivers of lavender ran through the filament of the sky. The raw and random outlines of weathered pine trees stood silhouetted by the dying sun.

It had been a rainy day, but before the light went to sleep it would have its moment. Raindrops fell from the tips of leaves still confused by the extended warm weather. The spiky seedpods of an enormous castor bean plant looked even more ominous as light continued to drain from the day. I quickly clipped a few of the ones that had dried to a dark brown. They’d already begun splitting and spitting out their seeds, so I hastened indoors to save some of the precious cargo.

That’s the other part of fall – saving things for the future. Putting stock in what will come up next year.

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The Recap with an Extra Hour

We turned back time like Cher could only imagine, and now the nights come earlier than ever. It’s only going to get worse until December 21 or so, and we better get into the holiday spirit to lift that kind of darkness. Thankfully, I’m already in holiday planning and preparation mode. If I get enough done in advance, I can simply lounge in silk pajamas when things get really stressful. A look back at the last week…

Halloween came, and thankfully left, without incident. 

Holidaze by Tom Ford

A shirtless Chris Hemsworth post in honor of the return of Thor. 

Exile by Enya.

From the mouths of babes

A Speedo study

My almost-annual PSA.

A shirtless Locky Brownlie post

It’s a roller coaster

Hunks of the Day included Scott EvansMichal Mike Vavin, Joe Delaney, Nick Hawk, and Brad Bradley

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We Interrupt Your Gratuitous Superficial Programming…

I don’t do public service announcements.

I’m not your Daddy

But for those about to make jackasses of themselves by arguing with the ticket-taker at the movies because you’re so sure your movie is happening now instead of an hour later, this one’s for you. 

Turn Your Clocks Back One Hour. 

 

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