Welcome to this site and web log. Your host is Papa G

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Van Jones

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Fergie's Pub 27

Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 23rd Fergie's Pub

Come and hear the great sounds of South Philly's Giovanni @ Fergie's on Wednesday March 23rd @ 8:30 pm send payment in advance to [giovitaco-at-aim.com] PayPal ~ all purchases in advance $10.00

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Thursday, October 08, 2015

After the Prom: Giovanni's Diagnosis


Quality of Life ~ difficult to define and, at the very least, an elusive phrase. It comes to mind when diagnosed with a terminal disease. It is often used when someone is near the end of the journey.

 I think about it everyday, although I am not sure how long my diagnosis with an aggressive form of prostate cancer will keep me here. I am on a mission to keep at least this end game on a qualitative level.

The current go-to treatment is periodic Lupron injections. It is no day at the beach.  These links will give you an indication of what it’s like.




My oncologist is fond of saying that men diagnosed with prostrate cancer tend to die of something else. I think he may not have had an anti-androgen experience. I am not quite sure what he means. Do we all get hit by buses while experiencing a crying jag? My guess is some of the side effects get to my brethren.

 As I write this I am experiencing my second (or is it, my third?) hot flash of the day.

Very ironic that it is the suppression of androgen and testosterone which leads me to the end of the road. It can be said that hormones have been at the heart of the motivating factors in my life’s journey. I was aware of my homosexual feelings at the tender age of 4. Thank you, Guy Madison: http://www.guymadison.com/images/396_DarkGuy202.jpg

My unfortunate incarceration in the arms of Holy Mother Church was a hormonal suppression which didn’t work because the Franciscan Order was not in the habit of dosing Lupron to the brothers. It was combined with the post-adolescent desperation for love which finally ended at the age of 55 or so.

I celebrated my senior prom in 2010 at The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street when I turned 62. It is now After the Prom when I am safely ensconced in Philadelphia where I was born.

Living with incurable prostate cancer hasn’t suppressed the incurable teenager within me--Sometimes not so within. I can now look back on the hormonal adventures which I experienced in many places on two continents. If somewhat lacking in quality, it was a very quantitative life.  There are still a couple of things I want to do~ Now! On to the quality …

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Save the Date

Monday, December 15, 2014

Darlene Love "Baby, Please Come Home" .... one more time

We do this every year just like David Letterman:
Darlene Love continues to make her mark on David Letterman’s yearly Yuletide show with her perennial hit, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” which made its debut in the watershed year, 1963.
It was the year before the arrival of the Beatles and the memory which serves well brings to mind “Heat Wave,” “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “Cry Baby,” “He’s Sure the Boy I love,” and “One Fine Day” among so many other hit songs that year. President Kennedy provided the world with its first movie star world leader with his classy First Lady. The Cuban Missile Crisis and The Bay of Pigs Invasion were behind us. Oh it wasn’t idyllic but the young baby boomers at least had everything in its appropriate place and were optimistic.
Darlene Love was hard at work on what was to become a Christmas music stalwart with the above standout original piece. Here is what she herself tells us about its inception in her autobiography, My Name Is Love:

The summer of 1963 was especially hot, and we were holed up in Gold Star almost the entire time, until two, three, four in the morning. For one we all welcomed Phil’s slave-driving schedule. The more we did the songs, the more the whole project took on its own life, personality, and history. We didn’t know we were building monuments in those days, except when it came to the Christmas album. Early on we knew that this was a landmark, that once in a lifetime opportunity that God bestows on some to change the course of events.
Jeff [Barry] and Ellie [Greenwich] really delivered the goods … proving one more time that the best Christmas songs, like the best love songs are about loss … “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” was so good that I just assumed it would go to
Ronnie [Spector, of the Ronettes].
But poor Ronnie didn’t have enough circuits to handle the high voltage that Phil [Spector] wanted, and so he gave [the song] to me, and it turned out to be the record I’d been waiting to make with Phil in the year I’d known him. This song was even more powerful than “He’s A Rebel,” and this time it would have my name on it. As with all the sessions Phil didn’t want us to be too prepared, so we never even knew what keys we were going to sing in until we got to the studio … The more we worked the greater it all sounded. One night it got so late that my head just dropped behind me and my big old red wig fell off! All the musicians were happy because that finally ended the session.
…. Leon Russell was on the piano, and by the last takes he was playing so hard it was almost like a concerto. He played himself right off the bench and onto the floor and kept on playing. Cher was on background and has this to say: “Darlene started to sing and the hair stood up all over my body. It was a performance that made time stop. When she finished Fanita [one of The Blossoms] fell over with both her hands up in the air.”

… We didn’t finish the album until the end of September … Phil was going to make his first concept album a classic. It was set for release on November 22, 1963, a Friday. A little late in the game, but Phil was banking on an out-of-the-box smash that would sell for years to come.
… in the kitchen, cooking dinner, doing some ironing with the TV on in the living room … I froze over the stove, wooden spoon in hand. … And even though the reporters didn’t say that the back of his head had been blown off, I knew … that it was pretty bad. I probably picked up a napkin to wipe away some tears, and with them all thought of the Christmas album.

Darlene goes on to explain how the album was released and then withdrawn because of the dark cloud that hovered above the nation. The album, of course, has gone on to be released and re-released resurfacing every year as does Darlene’s magnificent performance. Darlene continued to work throughout the decade but those who admired her and her talent had to look hard for her. There was never enough of her.
Phil Spector's Christmas opus emerged as America journeyed across a piece of time that changed it forever. America was on the threshold of the British Invasion and the Vietnamese Escalation. Five years down the line 1968 would explode. Then as now there is the yearning for those who are far away and the loss that makes for classic artistic expression. The album and Darlene's song persist as does the loss that dogs us across generations

"Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)"

It's Christmas

Baby, please come home
The snow's coming down
I'm watching it fall
Watching the people around
Baby please co
me home

The church bells in town
They're ringing a song
What a happy sound
Baby please co
me home

They're singing deck the halls
But it's not like Christmas at all
I re
member when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

Pretty lights on the tree
I'm watching 'em shine

You should be here with me
Baby please co
me home

Baby please co
me home
Baby please co
me home

They're singing deck the halls
But it's not like Christmas at all
I re
member when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

If there was a way
I'd hold back these tears
But it's Christmas day
Baby please co
me home

Baby please co
me home
Baby please co
me home
Baby please co
me home
Baby please co
me home
Baby please co
me home

Monday, June 02, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

General Hospital: There You Go Again, Carlivati #GH #General Hospital

The fans of One Life to Live General Hospital may be experiencing déjà vu as they adjust their screens while they are watching the current goings on. Friday’s episode, the most watchable of recent vintage, gives a glimpse of what might be if. Ron Carlivati has already ventured into cartoon land in previous episodes and there is fond hope that he can get his viewership out of it and onto more realistic territory. Hope does indeed spring eternal.

David A Gregory Ryan Paevey’s addition to the cast fulfills the Valentini/Carlivati penchant for strikingly handsome young men. On General Hospital One Life to Live those shoes were filled by talented actors portraying the Ford brothers. Their presence came to front burner status on the heels of the gay story line, which the Brass blamed for low ratings. No one seemed to notice the ridiculous story line featuring the very talented Robin Mattson Rosco Born nor the ridiculous subplot featuring Kathleen Gati Robin Strasser’s Dorian Lord proclaiming her homosexuality to get elected mayor. There was indeed a great gay triangle with supporting player Parry Shen Nicholas Rodriguez and Ryan Carnes Brett Claywell.

To forget history is to fall victim to its mistakes.

The first time was the charm for One Life to Live's gay oriented plots when the young Ryan Philippe played a gay teenager and the plot meshed with a story about the AIDS Quilt. General Hospital’s history doesn’t even have that.  It was all downhill since. Even when the likes of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati were at the helm of the Kyle and Oliver story telling, it got sabotaged through ridiculous subplots—the gay marriage and mayoral race scenario and the loony tune main plot centering around Mitch Laurence’s shenanigans. A lot of good will was lost by the abrupt truncating of Kyle and Oliver’s love story, which became either the sacrificial lamb or the scapegoat depending on whose lens you decide to peer through. 

Ryan Carnes is a solid, attractive actor who embodies those same qualities in the character of Lucas Jones, an adult gay man. There were many a happy dance when his return to the role was announced and how great was it that this story was going to be told by a writing and producing team who truly understand gay men. Oh, wait …

It is also a good thing that mature, talented women are working actresses thanks to the show. General Hospital is blessed with the likes of Robin Mattson and Kathleen Gati among others. If only their supervising team respected their talents. If only their supervising team respected their audience.

All of the actors of this venerable series are loved by their respective fans. If only it were validated by the writing,

The fragile state of Soap Opera keeps getting more fragile. It is becoming a caricature of itself. Historically shows like Santa Barbara and, even, All My Children gained a lot of momentum when stories were done tongue in cheek and when lines were delivered letting the audience in on the joke. A little bit of camp goes a long way. It works when the circumstances permit it and it is done intelligently.

Messrs Valentini and Carlivati, it is not working on your show.

Here is an opportunity to tell a grown up gay story, General Hospital, featuring a great actor who has clout with gay viewers in the person of Ryan Carnes. Do not squander it.

It seems the same recipe which helped bring down One Life to Live is being cooked up again. A lot of good will was established in the 50th Anniversary edition of General Hospital. There is fear that it is capital being badly spent and the gay story will simply get smothered in the overwhelming stupidity of the main story. Other watchable story lines will also lose their value in the circus which currently portrayed on ABC’s surviving Daytime Cartoon Drama. Many fans declare that the FF button is their friend.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Center City Crowd Funding

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Immaculate Mary, Our Hearts Are on Fire

The Immaculate Conception (Feast Day: December 8th) is one more nod of Holy Mother Roman Church in the direction of Goddess Worship. Non-Catholics and Catholics alike tend to believe that it has to do with Jesus Christ rather than his Mother but that is not the case.

Mary, the Gate of Heaven was according to dogma in the Roman Apostolic Tradition conceived without the taint of original sin, that very human burden passed on to the other children of Eve. It is no accident that mariologists and other theologians refer to her as the New Eve. She is by virtue of her motherhood and the absence of sin called Co-Redemptrix which doesn’t make her a stage door mother precisely but does place her very close to the divine level like her son and his Father. The religious concept of the Goddess giving birth to the God in a cyclical ritual that parallels the seasonal changes did not originate with Xtianity but it was Xtianity that put a different spin on it.

The Immaculate Conception, therefore, is not the Virgin Birth it is Mother Mary’s actual conception without the taint of Mother Eve’s sin. It is a common scriptural tale of the barren womb suddenly becoming fertile; in this case it is Saint Anne’s womb.

‘Tis noteworthy that Mary’s Conception Feast is celebrated in close proximity to the Feast of Saint Lucy, December 13th , a Goddess revered in such disparate places as Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

Lucina, the Goddess of Childbirth was incorporated into the Roman Martyrology as Saint Lucy the Virgin whose eyes were plucked out before her martyrdom. Coincidentally there was a statue of the mother Goddess Juno whose eyes had been made of rubies and were stolen right out of their sockets.

Digression, as interesting as it is does take this narrative away from its focus – coming into the light which is what a good Goddess of Childbirth helps us do, eyes or no.

Many, if not all, of the world’s major religions base liturgies, rituals and celebrations on the natural progression of life and the Seasons: December in the Northern Hemisphere, it is well noted is the darkest time of year and it is the time when humanity yearns for yet celebrates light at one and the same time.

The mythology and rituals associated with Lucina (Lucy) vary from place to place but always involve light. Without delving into the concept of the Solstice and the shortest day of the year which occurs in about a week, suffice it to say that Lucina as a Midwife of sorts and a Mother will shed light on the Human Mystery which is one of the many things spirituality does.

We are reborn on a regular basis and Lucina’s influence leads us in the direction of self-realization no matter what stage of life we find ourselves.

The more we see ourselves the more we evolve. It is Lucina who sheds light on our “higher” selves.

"Saint Lucy" Digital Print, Thomas Wynn 2001
Fleckenstein Gallery

Friday, December 06, 2013


Thursday, December 05, 2013

My Two Dads: Nashville

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Pitching Center City

In the long history of the development of Center City there existed idea of pitching it to ABC and SoapNet with Frank Valentini as the Executive Producer. Agnes Nixon's creations, All My Children and One Life to Live were based in a fictional suburban Philadelphia where the inhabitants were often going to Center City, which is what Philadelphians call their downtown area.

The critical success of General Hospital's Nightshift was the inspiration for the idea. In an earlier incarnation Center City was called Between Two Rivers. We decided to draw on the history of the wonderful characters in Pine Valley and Llanview and have them crossover to interact with the Fontana-De Marcos and other core families who live in a fictional Philadelphia.

It's unfortunate that it looks like Agnes Nixon's "stories" will be no more even in their Prospect Park forms. SoapNet, too, will be going away permanently at the end of December. We believe there is a strong, solid market for storytelling with a long story arc. While Center City is not precisely a Soap Opera in the sense of Daytime TV's "stories" it is a serial drama with a long story arc and rich back story. We're convinced there is a place for it and we continue to pitch it where we think appropriate and continue to look for "names" to attach to it. The biggest hurdles seem to be to get the right people to look at the solid pilot script and the unique story behind it.

It could also be something of a mini-series in the vein of NBC's Dracula, i.e. a series extending for ten episodes or so. The Bible is complete in the sense that we know exactly where this story is going.

The center of the action is an Italian restaurant in Rittenhouse Square. A divorced Sicilian American mother of two grown sons struggles with the disappearance of her fraternal twin and co-owner of the restaurant she now runs to keep the family legacy alive.There is a diverse cast of characters depicting the tapestry of the Philadelphia ethnic landscape. In addition to the Italian matriarch, Anna--we had fond hopes to get Annabella Sciorra involved--there is a strong Black matriarch in the person of Marlena Festa.

Our stage readings have been memorable. General Hospital's Lisa LoCicero brought Anna to life at West Hollywood's Celebration Theatre last Spring.

Our hope is to bring a "name" into the fold, especially in the characters of Anna, Marlena, Nick and Gaetano. We have some exceptional talent attached to some of the other roles. Actors love it: "I just finished Center City and I’m really impressed. Your dialogue is real and witty and often moving– it rolls off an actor's tongue. On a personal level, its so refreshing to a read an authentic story about a piece of my beloved hometown … you have juicy, interesting, three dimensional characters living in a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with me." ~ actor/playwright Mark Borkowski (Boardwalk Empire) Contact: papag at center-city.net

Friday, October 11, 2013

Coming Out: We're the Lucky Ones

No reason left for living, still there's a lot to do.
New tears to cry, old songs to sing.
And feel forever blue.
And be forever.... Blue
-- Chris Isaak

The episode "Forever Blue," featured on the CBS forensic drama, Cold Case picked up some buzz on the internet back in December 2006.  The quote from Chris Isaak's "Forever Blue" in homage to the episode's title and the sadness that envelopes the tale of two policemen who love each other with the love that dared not speak its name. Once again prime time television has spoken its name and placed it before our eyes.

AfterElton interviewed Shane Johnson who portrayed one of the lovers:

I think it’s a necessity for people to understand that gays and lesbians did–and do–get beaten and murdered just for being gay. (The show went out of its way to ask if things were really that much better for gay cops today.) Besides the aforementioned kiss, the show not only portrayed the two men as being deeply in love, but in fact being “the lucky ones” because they truly loved each other. The show also showed the horrible damage wrought by living in the closet. And despite Coop’s death it even managed to end on a happy note as Jimmy, now an old man (Chad Everett) went back to where he had last been with Coop and saw themselves walking away together holding hands. It was quite touching and something millions of Americans tuned in to see without knowing they were going to.

Brian Hallisay played the young Jimmy Bruno.

The ending for the episode actually featured Dylan's "My Back Pages" performed by The Byrds with the refrain, "I was so much older then I'm younger than that now." That phrase might be applied to the portrayer of the older, surviving officer, Jimmy Bruno in the person of Chad Everett.

The presence of the 70 year old, quite handsome Chad Everett who at the time was also a host on Trinity Broadcasting Network's Master's Theater and who is also well known for his Republican leanings and a public disagreement with Lily Tomlin in 1972 on The Dick Cavett Show during which Ms Tomlin walked off the set. Chad Everett was the last actor who had a contract with MGM and one of the last who had a relationship with Henry "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson" Willson. His phone conversations in those days "invariably ended with 'And God Be With You.'" Still he was connected to the homosexual par excellence, albeit closeted, Henry Willson.

His participation here is quite noteworthy and may be another milestone of sorts.

This episode resonates on National Coming Out Day and National LGBT History like few others. It reminds us how long a road it has been.



Friday, October 04, 2013

An Instrument of Peace, the Feast of Saint Francis

In these times, difficult and otherwise, it helps to reflect on the time when the Christian World went careening toward Capitalism and The Holy Crusades during the 12th and 13th centuries. A voice went out and upward to call humanity toward a more humane and simple direction.

Giovanni Bernardone, the son of a merchant and one time soldier/knight experienced metanoia, a change of heart. Many would call it conversion. His message encompassed simplicity as a virtue, working for daily bread, and celebrating nature as a manifestation of the divine. His mother was French, although he was born in Italy and he became known as Francesco. He kissed lepers. He went to speak to Moslems and although he did not convert them, the experience blessed all involved. His original followers were simple brothers who wandered throughout Central Italy celebrating everyday life.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sweets, Good for the Sweet Caucasian, Anatoly

Maple Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

           COOK: 12-14 mins

           2 cups Rolled oats
           1 cup Whole wheat flour
           1/2 cup Unsweetened shredded coconut or 1/3 cup more flour
           3/4 tsp Baking powder
           1 cup Raisins
           1 cup Almond slices
           3 tsp Chia seeds
           3/4 cup pure Maple syrup
           2 large Ripe bananas mashed
           splash of Vanilla extract
           pinch of Sea salt
           1 tsp Unsulphured molasses
           1/2 cup Coconut or live oil
           Juice of 1 small lemon
           Zest of 1 small lemon

     1.   Preheat the oven to 375F

     2.   Mix the first 6 ingredients together. Gradually add all other ingredients. Using a large spoon, place drops of cookie dough on parchment paper-covered cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges turn brown or until the tops begin to brown.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumnal Equinox today 16:40 EDT

What Happens at the Equinox?

Equinox Means "Equal Night"

Translated literally, equinox means "equal night." The Sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are, therefore, about equal in length all over the world during the equinoces. The autumnal equinox will occur September 22 at 11:09 P.M. EDT. This date will mark the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern.
Reasons for the Seasons:
These brief but monumental moments owe their significance to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth's axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun's rays most directly in the summer. In the winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures. If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.

Mabon is very much like Thanksgiving. Most of the crops have been reaped and abundance is more noticeable than ever! Mabon is the time when we reap the fruits of our labor and lessons, both crops and experiences. It is a time of joy, to celebrate that which is passing (for why should we mourn the beauty of the year or dwindling sunlight?), looking joyously at the experience the year has shared with us. And it is a time to gaze into the bright future. We are reminded once again of the cyclic universe; endings are merely new beginnings.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Where is the real Dexter and what have you done with him?

Monday, September 02, 2013

More Sauza

Sauza Tequila

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oh Mary, when we assume

Today is Ferragosto and CoL premiered its first Ferragosto post in 2005. Salve, Diana, Mater Nostra!

Perhaps the best thing about being part of the Apostolic tradition is that it at least allows for a simulation of goddess worship if not actually accepting it, which on some levels it is. The last time a Pope used the power ex cathedra, i.e. infallibility was in 1950 to declare the doctrine of The Assumption and this date (August 15th) is observed worldwide by the world’s Roman Catholics as a holy day of obligation.

Papa Pacelli [Pius XII] proclaimed 55 years ago:

“Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.”

Connecting Mary to the ancient tradition of the Goddess is one of the easiest things to do for those in the know. It would take up a lot of time and space to do so here, but we’ll touch on it. At least we’ll connect this feast to Diana. Ferragosto in Italy which is celebrated this day – the ides of August – is the essential Summer Holiday. The major urban centers there virtually close down for the entire month of August – what a very civilized thing to do! It is ostensibly in honour of the Mother of God. Italy is ostensibly a Roman Catholic nation, yet this celebration goes deeper and farther than mere Xtian observance.

“In 18 BC the Roman Emperor Augustus declared that all of the month of August would be dedicated to the Feriae Augusti, a series of festivals and celebrations; the most important was held on the 13th, and was dedicated to Diana, the Goddess whose task it was to oversee the woods, the phases of the Moon, and Maternity. The services, which were celebrated in Diana's temple on the Aventine, was one of the few occasions in which Romans from all walks of life, masters and slaves alike, mingled freely, and the women, who made offerings to the Goddess throughout the year in the hope that their labor would be safe and happy, offered prayers to Lucina, the guise Diana assumed when she was acting as protectoress of Labor.”

“Aventine Hill, Diana's temple still had an ancient image that depicted her as a many-breasted mother of nature--similar to Diana of Ephesus. Women flocked to her temple at Aventine Hill to request aid in child bearing … Diana is complex and rich indeed: she was known as Diana Trivia: Diana on the earth, Luna in the sky, and Proserpine in the underworld. At her shrine at Nemi, near Aricia, she formed another trinity with her servant and assistant midwife, Egeria the water nymph, and Virbius, a woodland God. One of her epithets was Diana Nemorisis or Diana of the Grove. Diana's feast day … was deemed to be the birthday of the Goddess. Reportedly women would each bake a cake for the household in Diana's honor, around which white candles were set. A procession of women, with hounds on leashes, would journey to Aricia to offer thanks in Diana's sacred grove and request the Goddess's continued aid and a harvest free of storms. Diana's festival in mid August was a holiday for Roman slaves. Whole villages [in modern Italy] participate or watch the procession in which the image of the Virgin is carried through the streets.”

Gay women, (yay, liberated women universally) follow Diana as their mother and protector. The first John Paul, Papa Luciani, declared that we must not only think of God as our Father but also as our Mother. His papacy lasted only 34 days. Assume, good people, assume.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thank You, Soaps In Depth

Thank you to all the fine talent and the wonderful Chris Eades.