In other Rangers news, The Onion reports attempts to woo Oswalt with the Round-Up

While everyone is focusing in on Josh Hamilton’s fall off the wagon, The Onion reported today of the Texas Rangers work to bring in popular free agent Roy Oswalt. The guy has stated he wants to play in Texas, so what better way to show him what Texas (Dallas, really) is all about than to take him to the Round-Up? Take that, Boston.

The Onion posted this story today in which the team gives him a unique look at Dallas nightlife with visits to Havana, Zippers, Sue Ellen’s  and the Round-Up.

According to Oswalt, despite the “kind of weird” nature of the conversation, his visit started much as any recruiting visit might. The former Astros and Phillies ace was met at the airport by team officials, including current manager Ron Washington and GM Jon Daniels, as well as two handsome, clean-cut young men who identified themselves only as “Tex” and “Kevin.”

A visit to the Ballpark in Arlington followed, during which Washington and Daniels espoused the benefits of living in an “exciting and open-minded” town such as Dallas, and Tex and Kevin repeatedly asked to see his arm, praised its muscularity, and offered to rub it or ice it down if needed.

“Then,” Oswalt said, “oh, God, then they took me out on the town.”

The last official thing we know about Oswalt is that he’ll likely sign with St. Louis Cardinals, another team he wanted to play in. At least, that’s what this blog speculates. Perhaps they had a better bar scene.

—  Rich Lopez

Lesbian athlete attempting to swim from Havana to the Florida Keys — again

At 61, former NPR reporter Diana Nyad is swimming for the record books.

In Greek mythology, the naiads were, basically, water nymphs, presiding over fountains, wells, springs, streams and brooks.

Lesbian athlete and former NPR reporter Diana Nyad, 61, hopes to conquer a somewhat bigger body of water as she attempts to swim from Havana, Cuba, to the Florida Keys in 60 hours, without a wetsuit or a shark cage. She left Havana Sunday and intends to complete the 103-mile distance sometime Wednesday, according to this report by ChicagoPride.com.

CNN, the only news media outlet that will have reporters in the boats accompanying Nyad, talked with the swimmer before she left Sunday. She told CNN she believes she is in the prime of her life. She said: “When I walk up on those shores of Florida, I want to prove to the AARP crowd that it’s not too late to go back and write that book or adopt that child. … The joke is the 60s are the new 40s, and it’s true. … I want to be there to say we have many, many years of vitality and strength and service left in us.”

Like anybody who has listened regularly to NPR, I had heard of Diana Nyad. But I never knew that she was a world-record-holding swimmer. In 1970 at age 20, in her first distance swim, she set a women’s world record by swimming 10 miles across Lake Ontario in four hours, 22 minutes. In 1974, she set another world record by finishing the 22-mile Bay of Naples race in Italy in eight hours, 11 minutes. The next year, at age 26, Nyard swam around the island of Manhattan — 28 miles total — in seven hours, 57 minutes.

—  admin

Cuba marks IDAHO with drag pageant, parade

When I think of countries that are enlightened and progressive when it comes to LGBT rights, Cuba has never ranked very high on the list. But it looks like I need to rethink my attitudes.

Miss Trasvesti 2011 contestant

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, but Cuba got a jump on the celebration with the second annual Miss Trasvesti pageant, featuring a line-up of truly stunning drag queens, if the photos posted here on Huffington Post are any indication.

You can watch video from Cuba’s 2010 Miss Travesti pageant below.

The article also says that Cubanos celebrated IDAHO with “a colorful parade and other events throughout Havana,” and notes that Mariela Castro, niece of longtime president Fidel Castro (and daughter of current president Raul Castro), is head of Cuba’s National Sexual Education Center and a longtime advocate on LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS issues.

Although IDAHO has been around for seven years, this is the first time that Dallas will have an IDAHO event. Everyone is invited to gather at the JFK Memorial in downtown Dallas at 8 p.m. for a candlelight march followed by presentations by speakers.

—  admin

Police blotter: Hit-and-run on Cedar Springs

Valentine’s Day got off to a bad start when a motorist intentionally struck two pedestrians near Havana Bar & Grill on Cedar Springs Road early Monday, according to police reports.

Reports say the suspect and the victim, a 39-year-old black male, got into an argument that became a physical fight at about 2 a.m. at 4008 Cedar Springs Road. After a security guard stepped in to break up the fight, the suspect got in a vehicle and intentionally accelerated toward the victim. The suspect’s vehicle struck the victim as well as a witness, before the suspect fled northbound on Cedar Springs Road. The two injured people were taken to Parkland hospital.

Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse, a spokesman for the Dallas Police Department, said Tuesday that police hadn’t made any arrests.

“Victim is claiming he doesn’t remember what happened,” Janse said. “No one knows the suspect and there are conflicting stories about what really took place. Detectives will continue to try to get to the bottom of what really happened. It is unknown the condition of the victim at this time.”

The suspect’s vehicle is described as a cream-colored, four-door Nissan. Anyone with information can call the Crimes Against Persons Division at 214- 671-3584.

—  John Wright

Hunt, Kunkle to visit LGBT groups next week

Former DPD Chief David Kunkle

The Dallas LGBT community will have a chance to get up close and personal with one announced candidate for mayor — and another possible candidate for mayor — next week.

Local activist Jesse Garcia sends along word that former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, who says he’s running, will visit Stonewall Democrats of Dallas on Tuesday — a day after filing begins for city elections.

And City Councilwoman Angela Hunt, who’s considering a run for mayor but hasn’t announced a decision, will visit LULAC #4871-The Dallas Rainbow Council on Thursday.

Here’s Garcia’s note:

The Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meets Tuesday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m., at Ojeda’s Restaurant, 4617 Maple Ave. Dallas, TX 75219. Guest speaker is Dallas Mayoral Candidate David Kunkle, former Dallas Police Chief. For more information, visit www.stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org. Meeting is open to the public. Voter registration will be available at the meeting.

LULAC 4871 Dallas Rainbow Council meets Thursday, Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m., at Havana’s, 4006 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, TX 75219. Guest speaker is Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt. For more information, visit www.lulac4871.org. Meeting is open to the public. Voter registration will be available at the meeting.

—  John Wright

WATCH: New DPD Chief David Brown talks about the recent hate crime in Oak Lawn

Dallas’ new police chief, David Brown, spoke last Tuesday night during the regular monthly meeting of LULAC Council 4871—The Dallas Rainbow Council. As far as I know, this marked Brown’s first appearance before an LGBT group since he became chief. As you can see from the video, it was pretty dark inside Havana, where the meeting was held. But Brown’s comments concerning the recent hate crime near Cedar Springs are at least worth a listen.

—  John Wright

Help for Haiti

I just got a message from Mimi Casanova over at Havana nightclub here in Dallas, asking that we let people know that they will be accepting donations at the club all day Saturday, Jan. 23, to send to Haiti.

As you know, the island country in the Carribean was devastated Jan. 12 by a major earthquake. Thousands of people were killed and thousands more need medical attentions and the basic necessities of life — food, water, shelter.

If you want to help, Mimi and Havana’s have a way that you can. They will be collecting donations of cash, water, clothing — whatever you have to donate that could be of use to the people of Haiti right now — at the club, 4006 Cedar Springs all day Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

So go by and give what you can.

—  admin

HRC teams with Valiente and Lulac 4871 for double Pride duty tonight

Here’s another Pride event reminder for you.

I heard last night’s Chicken Fried Pride turned out well. The DFW Human Rights Campaign will likely hope for the same with their 8th Annual Salsa Cocktail tonight at Havana, 4006 Cedar Springs Rd. Valiente and Lulac 4871 help out the HRC with this event that kicks off their Pride goings-on as well as celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. See what I mean by double duty?

General admission is free but with a $35 suggested donation, you can partake in drinks and appetizers and walk away with a brand new HRC membership. But the salsa dancing is for everyone. The event starts at 6 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez