2014 Holiday Gift Guide online special: Getting social on the shelves

Posted on 03 Dec 2014 at 6:30pm

socialite cannisterIn Victorian times, the socialites were the ones always hobnobbing with the right crowd and schmoozing society’s elite. They were a staple at the most exclusive events. Now these Socialites Victorian bust ceramic canisters, designed by Michael Revil Madjus, are available to grace your counters and make sure that your holiday soirees are the must-be-at parties of the year.

Available in both male and female versions, $90 each, at Flower Reign, 3904 Cedar Springs Road. 214-774-9236.

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Wednesday Wine Walk and holiday festivities on The Strip tonight

Posted on 03 Dec 2014 at 1:49pm
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Santa has made it to Cedar Springs in years past. Maybe he will be there tonight for the CSMA’s Wine Walk.

If you are looking for a good way to get in the holiday spirit — while at the same time imbibing a few spirits — head down to Cedar Springs tonight for the Holidays on Cedar Springs Wine and Cider Walk, brought to you by the Cedar Springs Merchants Association.

The event starts at 6 p.m., and the DWF Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will help out with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. There will be live entertainment on the patio at TMC: The Mining Co., including the Oak Lawn Band. Purchase your wine glass or mug from the tent in front of Salon Aura to enjoy the wine or hot cider offered by participating merchants, and get some of your Christmas shopping done by taking advantage of the Wine Walk discounts.

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A snippet about circumcision

Posted on 03 Dec 2014 at 10:34am
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Is one of these images more a-peel-ing to you?

Probably more in the gay male community than anywhere other than mohel school, circumcision is a topic almost everyone has an opinion about. And with us being in the ‘hood, I figured we could have an uncut discussion about it right here.

Think of it as group therapy: Are you foreskin or anti-skin?

Totally upfront here: I’m one of the majority who was bris’d as a babe. Hey, I was born on an army base, and the guvmint docs did it pretty much without asking permission. Anyway, it was the ’60s (1960s, haters — I wasn’t born in the Confederacy … well, I was, but only in the minds of the rednecks in Georgia at the time). As a kid, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t “miss” it (if memory serves, my dad was circumcised as well, so I “looked” like him). It was only as I got older that the subject came up at all. I was probably in my mid-20s before I’d ever seen an uncut male in person. It was kind of exciting.

Which brings up a point: A lot of guys I know have a near-fascination with uncut men. Mostly, they themselves are cut. It’s like some kind of taboo. Here’s the thing, though: I’ve never had strong feelings about it one way or the other. I’d imagine roughly half the men I’ve been with in a state of arousal were uncircumcised (in general, many of the African-American and Latinos I’ve dated). The ages of intact vs. untact varies significantly, as well. It’s not like only older men are cut and younger not; there seems little pattern to it.

Do I enjoy a circumcised penis? Hey, I’m not one to criticize any penis that shows an interest in me. I’ve had good experiences with cut men … and no-so-good. The same with the uncut. I try to judge on a wiener-by-wiener basis, without painting all tools with the same brush.

But I also have a strong libertarian streak in me. And news breaking this week that the Centers for Disease Control weighed in this week, for the first time, about the benefits of circumcision “health-wise” made me pause. The argument I heard mounted by one author of the policy explained how there are “few risks” involved in circumcision (swelling, bleeding, etc.) and that the benefits included a substantial decrease in rates of HIV contraction.

This, to me, is muddle-headed. The cut/uncut debate has nothing (or little) to do with health. It is first and foremost an issue of personal autonomy and, to an extent, aesthetics. It is a decision made by parents (often brand-new to having a son) about a tiny infant that ultimately affects a huge psychological issue he may have in his later life. For Jews, it is a sacrament that precedes inclusion in a faith community, which I don’t have a problem with. But what about people like my folks, who were basically told, “We’re snipping your newborn — be right back”?

And if the health benefits only manifest themselves when the child becomes sexually active — at a time of presumed physical and emotional maturity — why not leave it up to him, as a teenager, to decide for himself? Or just teach proper hygiene? Speaking from experience, that’s a good thing for anyone who’s sexually active.

There’s even the possibility that telling men (and their parents) that circumcision decreases the transmission of STIs leads to a false sense that cut men can be less careful about having safe sex. That’s not true — cut or uncut, you shove your willy in enough places unprotected, you’re gonna risk a disease. (And what about guys who are total bottoms anyway? Who’s thinking of them?!?!?)

So, let’s talk about it. Are you cut or uncut? Prefer one or the other in your partner? Have any mental scars from your parents decision?

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide online special: Waking up easy

Posted on 02 Dec 2014 at 6:30pm

JBL_horizon_hero_WHTAre you a morning person living with someone who isn’t so perky in the a.m.? Then you might want to consider the JBL Horizon alarm clock/music player as the perfect gift for the night owl in your life. The LED ambient light brightens gradually to wake them up gently and they can set two different alarms. The Horizon also offers dual USD ports for charging up your portables, plus FM radio and Bluetooth music streaming, al with that fabulous JBL sound.

$99.95. Availble online at JBL.com.

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Remembering Brandon James Singleton

Posted on 02 Dec 2014 at 10:51am
Brandon James Singleton

Brandon James Singleton

NOTE: Newly announced memorial arrangements listed at bottom (revised).

Over the years, I’ve worked with dozens of writers and freelancers. The best ones, you remember. And it was easy to remember Brandon Singleton.

Brandon and I were already Facebook friends when he messaged me in the summer of 2012. He was soon to turn 30, he told me, and wanted to write a series for our InstanTea blog: A kind of bucket list of things he wanted to accomplish before this milestone had passed. We worked out the style of the series together, picked a name — Tex’n the City, as he was a native of the Metroplex but living then in Los Angeles — and about every week for 13 weeks, we ran one of Brandon’s stories online.

They were marvelous. Brandon was introspective but not afraid to be upfront about his failings and superficialities. The series was as much an exploration for him working out his own preconceptions as it was a recitation of desires. He discovered, as we all eventually do, that what we think we want isn’t always what we need.

The series culminated with Brandon actually turning 30, on Dec. 15, 2012, and reflecting on what that meant. The series was full of promise and hope and honesty and good writing. I always wanted Brandon to write more for me, but he was busy and we never found the time. The last installment ran on Dec. 28, 2012.

Then yesterday, I learned that over the weekend Brandon died in Los Angeles. That’s all the information I have at this moment. He would have been 32 in just a few weeks.

I have to say, I find it almost painful to read Tex’n the City now: He speculates about turning 40 one day, and what his new set of hopes are. Knowing those will never happen is a lot to comprehend and cope with. But I do read them — and I want you to as well; I’ll put up a link at the bottom — because they also demonstrate what a sad loss the passing of this young, funny, smart, ambitious and friendly man is to all of us.

Brandon’s family is in the process of having his body transported back to Dallas for burial. They have told me they will share the details when they have been finalized, so that I can pass it along here. But until that day, let us all reflect not only on our own lives and dreams, but those on a fine young career-oriented man who had so many friends, and how he raised up those who knew him, and left a legacy that’s too brief but also too valuable to forget.

Here’s a link to one of Brandon’s last posts; there are hypertext links throughout so you can start at the beginning and read them all. Take your time. Savor them. And think of Brandon.

Wake: Golden Gate Funeral Home, 5701 Loop 820 South, Fort Worth. Dec. 5 from 7:15–8:15 p.m.

Funeral: Golden Gate Funeral Home, 5701 Loop 820 South, Fort Worth. Dec. 6 from 1–3 p.m.

Flower arrangements may be sent to the home.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide online special: Gifts for the gifted from Gifted

Posted on 02 Dec 2014 at 9:30am

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Looking for a gift for that special someone who knows how to follow the trends without following the crowd? Then the GMan line of jewelry from Treska has you covered, with bracelets made from a variety of eclectic components including agate, semi-precious stones, glass beads, shell, ceramics, metals, plastics, resin, fabrics and wood.

$5-$20, available at Gifted, 4001 Cedar Springs Road.

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Fido wants to be fashionable this holiday season, too, and the right necklace — uh, collar — can be the perfect accessory to finish off that perfect ensemble. Made from jacquard woven nylon with welded steel D-rings and heavy-duty side-release snaps, and available in a variety of patterns — including several Christmas prints, these 1-inch wide collars from Mud Puppies are perfect for medium- and large-sized dogs. But a little dog can rock the fashion, too!

$6.99. Gifted, 4001 Cedar Springs Road.

 

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Everyone has that special “frenemy” to buy for at Christmas. And what could be more fitting than the Nemesis White Triangle watch? With Japanese quartz movement, a durable mineral crystal to prevent scratches, a stainless steel case and a leather band, the Nemesis White Triangle watch may last longer than your friendship.

$169. Available at Gifted, 4001 Cedar Springs Road.

 

 

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide online special: Bluetoothsome

Posted on 01 Dec 2014 at 6:30pm

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini - Lifestyle (2)Give them the gift of music wherever they go with the Harman Kardon Esquire Mini, the wireless, state-of-the-art, Bluetooth-enabled speaker that provides the best quality sound in its category. It also doubles a conference phone system, with dual microphone and built-in echo and noise cancellation technology, and comes with a USB port to recharge your phone and other devices.

$149.99. Available online at HarmanKardon.com.

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WATCH: Beyonce … meet Boyonce

Posted on 01 Dec 2014 at 11:32am

Got the 7/11 for yaLast Christmas, Queen Bey surprised all her fans with the release of a surprise album, which contained the hit “7/11.” Well, just in time for the holidays this year, some enterprising gay folks (I mean, they gotta be gay, right?) put together this video set to the song. It’s hilarious, fun and sexy — and a perfect distraction on Cyber Monday while waiting for your online shopping cart to load. Enjoy!

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide online special: Let ‘em see what you’re after

Posted on 01 Dec 2014 at 9:30am

capsWhatever it is you’re looking for, Goorin Bros. Hat Shop has you covered — literally. These trucker caps are made of 100 percent cotton with soft mesh backs and adjustable back closures, and the fronts feature bold pictorial statements that leave no doubt what you’re hunting. $25 each, available online at Goorin.com.

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide online special: Fleet of foot

Posted on 30 Nov 2014 at 9:30am

137321-1_3QLet your athlete know you know they can handle the attention by gifting them with these GBX Holt sneakers, inspired by high fashion but built for the streets. The sneakers offer trendy high-top style and a vulcanized rubber outsole.

$70. Available in black and dark brown at GBXShoes.com.

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