Canasta for a good cause, this Sunday at Tony’s Corner Pocket

The American novelist Mary McCarthy once quipped that Canasta has the advantage of “doing away with the bother of talk after dinner.” But the classic Uruguayan card came popular among the aged and experiencing a rebirth among hipsters has much more to offer. While Canasta may not have the high-stakes glamor of Baccarat, or the back-room luridness of Poker it harkens back to the halcyon days of the 1950′s when it was first introduced to the United States, with smartly dressed men and more smartly dressed cocktails. It’s that paen for a more stylish age that has caused this once nigh-forgotten game to experience a rebirth of late.

If you’ve caught the Canasta bug there’s an opportunity this Sunday, Feb. 12, to indulge in all the melds your heart can muster at Tony’s Corner Pocket  (817 West Dallas). Brunch and registration start at noon with “Pick a Partner” at 12:30. Then at 1 pm single elimination tournament play kicks off. Canasta is played with teams of two, but don’t worry if you don’t have a partner to come with you. Single players are welcomed. Registration is $10, with half of the proceeds going to the tournament winners and the other half benefiting Montrose Grace Place, a non-profit helping homeless youth.

Register early by e-mailing houstonglbtcanasta@yahoogroups.com

—  admin

REVIEW: “Albert Nobbs” and the mystery of identity

Unlike The Crying Game, where the sex of a character is a major twist about halfway through, the genders of the characters in Albert Nobbs is not much in doubt: Glenn Close is a big star with above-the-title billing — her butched-up face is the ad campaign. And yet there is just as much mystery here, albeit of a different kind. This is a story of identity that’s almost impenetrable.

Albert (Close) is a gentlemanly servant at a high-end boutique hotel in Ireland. Everyone admires Albert: The women appreciate his respectful demeanor, his male co-workers his work ethic, the boss, Mrs. Baker (Pauline Collins), his reliability. But no one really knows Albert, who lives in a small room in the attic and squirrels away his money and dreams of something else.

But really, Albert doesn’t even know himself. He has been living as a man for decades — who knows how long? — and cannot even remember a time when he (or she) was not Albert. He has become so repressed, he almost doesn’t have a personality anymore.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

What’s Shakin – Houston Pride Band’s Guilty Pleasures, Haute Boys of fall

Artistic Director Skip Martin

Pride Band Artistic Director Skip Martin

1. The Houston Pride Band presents “Guilty Pleasures,” a concert featuring the favorite guilty pleasures of the Pride Band members, tonight at 7:30 at the Hobby Center.  The concert marks the premier of the Pride Band’s new artistic Director, Skip Martin.  Martin chose the feature favorite’s from the bands 30-year history. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from the Hobby Center.
2. The “Haute Boys of Fall II” gather at James Craig Furniture (4500 Washington Avenue), since their founding in 2010 the Haute Boys (which includes quite a few girls) have raised over $15,000 for area AIDS charities.  Tonight’s event features complimentary signature cocktails by Harmonie, an array of neighborhood bites, elements of design and fashion, music and more. Admission is an unwrapped toy, gift card or $20 donation for Houstonians in need.
3.  Voter turnout held steady for the ninth day of early voting in Harris County.  So far 34,329 people have voted, only 80% of the 42,968 who had voted by this point during the 2009 municipal elections.  Montrose’s own Multi Service Center on West Gray broke 400 voters for the first time since voting began on Oct 24. Early voting continues through November 4.  Election day is Nov 8. A list of all early voting locations and sample ballots  are available at harrisvotes.org.

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Wine walk on Cedar Springs kicks off Pride

The September Cedar Springs Wine Walk takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The theme is Pride.

“We’re expecting a large crowd to kick off Pride at this week’s First Wednesday Wine Walk,” said Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association.

Purchase a wine glass for $10 and then visit any of the participating stores and businesses from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Glasses can be purchased by Buli Cafe and Hunky’s.

Many of the stores are running specials. Everything is 30 percent off all day at Skivvies. At Nuvo, all purchases over $20 are 20 percent off. OutLines is offering 25 percent off all shorts, tank tops and swimwear. Union Jack is awarding double UJ points all day and sales in various store departments.

Restaurants and bars are also offering drink and food specials, including half-price appetizers at Black Eyed Pea.

Have your wine card stamped at any six participating locations and become eligible for a Scavenger Hunt special. Prizes have been donated by many of the street’s merchants.

TABC rules do not allow anyone to carry wine between locations. Remember to finish your glass before going back out on the sidewalk.

Whittall said to check the Cedar Springs Facebook page throughout the day as more merchants add specials.

—  David Taffet

Do You Have Room In Your Wallet for a Diversity Platinum Card?


Unlike the Human Rights Campaign's Visa card, carrying around the Diversity Platinum card isn't an invitation to rack up debt. That's because it's not even a credit card, but rather a "rewards card" where, for /year ( of which goes toward a charity like the Trevor Project), you can get a "membership to GLAAD, an email newsletter, and oh yeah, some discounts at hotels like Klmpton and retailers like Macy's. Who's behind this thing? Steve Harris, the editor of A Bear's Life magazine, who says he wanted "to think what would support the community, what could we do to support the charities and organizations that were feeling the brunt of the economic downturn. We wanted to reach out to the entire gay community. I created it as a platinum card because I feel that we have moved forward from rainbow cards and rainbow colors. I really wanted to create something that people would be proud of to take out of their wallet and show that they were a part of such an important community." Let me carry it in an iPhone app, and I'll consider.


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U.S. Believed German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Is a ‘Wild Card’ Who Can’t Be Trusted

Germany Westerwelle Gay

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's newly married gay foreign minister, is an inexperienced "wild card" with an "exuberant personality" that prevents him from being trusted, according to a March 2009 cable that dropped among Wikileaks' treasure trove of 250,000 supposedly private intelligence communications. So that's sort of awkward.

CONTINUED »


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NOM Election Report Card: Anti-Gay Investment Continues to Deliver Hate with Mixed Results

Although voters were resoundingly focused on the economy this midterm election – and ranked social issues, to include same-sex marriage dead last– the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a Washington D.C.-based anti-gay, fringe organization, put an estimated million into the 2009-10 election cycle to influence the outcome in dozens of federal and state races, according to campaign finance filings, NOM and press reports.

While NOM made significant investments this cycle, its electoral win/loss record is decidedly mixed. In fact, NOM lost more races than it won. NOM endorsed at least 29 candidates. As of Wednesday afternoon, NOM had lost 19 of these races, won eight, and the remaining two (the Minnesota governor’s race and a New Hampshire statehouse candidate) were undecided. With the exception of a judicial election they hijacked in Iowa, NOM lost its most expensive and high-profile gambits in California and New Hampshire and all of its races in Maine and the District of Columbia. And it fought campaign finance laws all along the way.

Read the full analysis of NOM’s 2010 activities.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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How not to write a coming out card

I’m saddened because I know Ken [Mehlman] and care about him as a person. Homosexuality not only has negative implications for society, it also has profound, well-documented negative physical and mental health consequences for those who engage in homosexual conduct as well.

This unfortunate confirmation helps explain the scandalous failure of many in the Republican establishment to vigorously uphold the values and policy positions Screen Shot 2010-08-26 At 5.42.46 Pmexpressed in the party’s platform in 2004 and 2008, particularly the need to protect the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman nationwide. While grassroots activists succeeded in passing marriage amendments in dozens of states across the country, they received little support and even outright resistance from Party officials at the national level, which contributed to the GOP’s electoral failures in 2006 and 2008. Now we know one of the major reasons why.

With this announcement about his homosexuality, Ken also announced that he would join those who have mounted the assault on marriage through the activist courts. Not only does this run counter to the historical principles of the Republican Party, it stands in direct opposition to the Party’s platform which is clear on the importance of marriage and family. The Party’s unequivocal stand on life, marriage, and family is why many social conservatives have made the GOP their political home.

It is important for the conservative movement that the Republican Party remains committed to its longtime stance on core social issues. The Party and the movement will suffer if the GOP adopts a foolish strategy of seeking votes by pandering to the two-percent of the population who are homosexual or bisexual–and thereby alienating the majority of conservative voters.”

-Tony Perkins, FRC

The say politics makes strange bedfellows. If that’s the case, consider this Tony Perkins’ request for Ken to sleep on the couch.




Good As You

—  John Wright