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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • June 23, 2006


    SF Pride Week (Take 3 - Casual Castro Walk)

    The temperature reached about 90 degrees yesterday in San Francisco. Scorching. Cool breeze that picked up in the afternoon made the heat less unbearable. I was grateful for the sunshine and warm weather. I was sitting in the shade outside Cafe Flore after work, sipping a lemonade Jessie (it's Jessie and Dirk today, Bee must be off showing her mother, who is visiting from Thailand, around the city) poured me, and scribbling some thoughts in my Moleskine notebook on The Pillars on Earth, a story of a devout monk who was driven with formidable determination to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known in the 12th century.

    Fellow blogger cipriano has pointed this 973-page historical novel to my direction and it has proven to be a spellbinding and gripping read: an epic tale of ambition, action, revenge, suspense, tension, greed, violence, dedication, passion, devotion, bravery. I got lost in my thought of the riveting story and memorable characterization when my friend Brent called from Sit and Spin (laundry-cafe on 18th St near Moby Dick). He is staying in SF for the pride week en route to Portland and Seattle, then Oklahoma, Arkansas and fly over the pond to Amsterdam and London. What a lifestyle! I met him at Cafe Flore (where else right? hehe...) one morning over coffee when he timidly broke the ice with a casual comment on the piece of classical music being too dark and spooky! Then I went on babbling about reading and writing along to Telemann's flute and oboe concertos. Ha!

    Brent and I have been cruising around the city in a Bay-Area-Backroad style and shot some of the most spontaneous pictures. He spotted this phone pole on the sidewalk outside Twin Peaks Bar. The pole is infested with staples with which past flyers had attached. He was fascinated by the chronological distances and histories of events that the lonely pole has born and witnessed over the year in the Castro. Countless flyers for rallies, bar happy hours, bath houses, epidemic news, support groups, movie festivals, street fairs must have left their mark at one point or another on this pole. So we tried to find an angle to take a picture that best accentuates the old, rusty staples galore on the weathered pole. Stepping across the street to the MUNI underground entrance, Brent contrived to replicate a picture of the rainbow flag against the blue sky. He also captured the quiet vista and Guy's flower stand on Noe Street west of Market toward Duboce Park.

    So on the way to meet Brent, who was doing laundry at Sit and Spin, which on the store front is a cafe with free wi-fi, I had to negotiate through a crowd of viewers waiting to be admitted into the Castro Theater. I stopped by the hardware store down the street and looked for a lei that is made of glossy colored beads for the weekend--to my surprise, two days before the pride celebration; the leis are yet in stock! I have to go back and check with them maybe tomorrow or the latest Saturday morning. Two doors down at A Different Light Bookstore the frontal display of a copy of Aiden Shaw's biography has driven a drooling threesome who riveted at his bare chest.

    The short stroll down Castro lifted my spirit, probably owing also to the Pride Weekend that is right around the corner. Brent made a comment about how all the men I see on the strip of Castro, whether they are jock, muscle cowboy, drag queen, the guy next door, or the gruffy leather dude, form a brotherhood to which I belong. As we celebrate another gay pride, we have to remind ourselves that we are not fighting among ourselves but a society that offers the ticket to equality on the stake of conformity.


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Good morning handsome :-)

    I read your blog this, you are a craftsman of the written word... Very well done!

    I'm grateful that our paths have crossed and I look forward to knowing you more.

    I will keep you posted on my travels.

    6/23/2006 12:13 PM  
    Blogger DanNation said...

    Welcome back! Can't wait to meet you.

    6/23/2006 12:16 PM  
    Blogger matty said...

    I was all psyched because I am sitting at Sweet Inspiration and saw your post and thought, "Hey, Matt must be next door" I was going to walk over and say "hi" ...then, I realized you posted at 6am or something. LOL!

    Happy Pride, Mister!

    6/23/2006 3:20 PM  
    Blogger cipriano said...

    Great blog.
    That's quite the staplage on that one pole!
    I sometime's fear you are taking my book reccomendation's too seriously! I offer NO money-back guarantees, but I am glad you have enjoyed my suggestions, thus far.
    The best to you,
    -- Cip

    6/23/2006 9:45 PM  

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