Bill Cosby, Once a Model of Fatherhood, Is Sent to Prison for Sexual Assault

Mr. Cosby was sentenced to serve three to 10 years for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand. He has said he will appeal the conviction.
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Married Once (or Twice) And For All

I was up in the air when the decision came down.

As soon as my plane landed, my seatmate pulled out her phone (I couldn’t bear to look) and her screen lit up with the news: The Supreme Court of the United States had ruled in favor of marriage equality. Love had conquered all!

I grinned. I wept. I pulled out my phone and texted my beloved. “Will you marry me (again)?”

“Sure!” she replied.

As I scurried through the airport to catch my next flight, I couldn’t stop crying. Twenty-six years ago, when my beloved and I married each other for the first time, we never dreamed this day would come. It was September 10, 1989. Two lesbians in love couldn’t legally marry anywhere. But that didn’t stop us from vowing to have and to hold ’till death do us part. Dressed in our finest, we stood under the chuppah, exchanged gold wedding bands, said “I do,” and kissed the brides.

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Our ceremony certainly looked like a wedding. It sounded like a wedding. It felt like a wedding. And it was… and wasn’t. We called it a “commitzvah.” Our union was not recognized by our home state of Massachusetts or the Federal Government. In the eyes of the law, we were still unmarried women.

But despite having to check “single” on our tax returns and lie when one of us was in the hospital (“she’s my sister”), we knew who we were: a married couple deserving legal rights.

Then came May 17, 2004, the day Massachusetts recognized our right to marry. My beloved and I stood outside Northampton’s City Hall and watched hundreds of couples enter and emerge proudly waving their marriage licenses. Bakers handed out slices of wedding cake. Supporters waved signs that read, “Equally ever after.” Newscasters wiped tears from their eyes. My beloved, a diehard romantic, convinced me to wait until September 10 — our 16th anniversary, to re-tie the knot. Wearing the same outfits, we stood in our backyard, recited our vows, re-exchanged our rings and wept as our officiate said the words we never thought we’d hear: “By the power vested in me by the state of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you legally married.”

Once more we were married… and we weren’t. We were legally married at home in Massachusetts, but not when we visited my parents in New York. Or vacationed in Maine. I was, in effect, my beloved’s “unlawfully wedded wife.”

Which brings us to June 26, 2015. Time to take our wedding outfits out of the closet again. My beloved and I know we don’t have to get married again. We want to get married again. Why not seize this moment of joy?

The problem was, I was heading for the west coast and my beloved was keeping the home fires burning. Ah, well. If I couldn’t be home with her, San Francisco was the next best place to be.

And talk about perfect timing: It was Pride weekend and I was in town to promote the new twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Heather Has Two Mommies at the American Library Association Convention.

After signing countless copies of my book, I headed over to Market Street to watch the Pride Parade. And as I stood there, my eyes misted over as I thought about all the ways the world has changed.

In 1983, I attended my first Gay Pride March, which is what we called it back then. We strode up Northampton’s Main Street singing, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Homophobia’s got to go!” We yelled, “What do we want? Gay rights! When do we want them? NOW!” We chanted, “Two, four, six, eight. How do you know your wife is straight?”

I remember marching beside a teacher who wore a paper bag over her head for fear of losing her job. We passed a minister standing next to a wooden coffin he had dragged onto the sidewalk, yelling that we were all going to hell. We turned in unison, pointed our fingers, and shouted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!” The minister was not deterred. He shouted louder. And no one came to our defense. No businesses, schools or religious groups marched with us. We were out there by ourselves. Volunteer peacekeepers warned us not to walk home alone.

What a difference three decades make! As I watched the San Francisco Pride Parade stream up Market Street and cheered for the Gay Straight Alliances, the Apple employees, the poodles in purple tutus, the PFLAG contingent, the churches, synagogues and politicians, I broke down completely. Even though I couldn’t imagine the outcome of Obergefell v. Hodges turning out any differently, I hadn’t realized that for weeks, I’d been holding my breath. And I couldn’t predict how exhilarating it would feel to no longer be seen as a second class citizen. To see thousands of people taking to the streets with joy. To know that today’s LGBT youth live in a new world. To have fought so hard. To have won.

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I used up many boxes of tissues during my week’s stay in San Francisco. I cried every time a librarian thanked me for writing Heather Has Two Mommies and every time an LGBT children’s book author acknowledged me for paving the way. I cried when I visited the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library and gazed at the photo display of LGBT teens all dressed up for their high school proms. I cried when I visited the Human Rights Campaign Activity Center, which occupies the same storefront on Castro Street that had once housed Harvey Milk’s camera shop. I cried as I followed the Rainbow Honor Walk through the Castro, especially when I came upon the sidewalk square honoring Allen Ginsberg, my dearly departed mentor, who would have been so delighted to see this day.

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And of course I wept tears of joy when I spotted my beloved at the airport striding towards me with open arms to welcome me home.

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Afloat Once More on San Francisco Opera’s Show Boat…and in Its Wake, ‘Sweeney Todd’

I just had one of the best opera experiences of my life, attending San Francisco Opera’s terrific production of The Trojans, with its gorgeous music by Hector Berlioz, monumental sets and some of the best singers performing today. (While the run for both The Trojans and Two Women has ended, this summer’s third production, The Marriage of Figaro, has one last performance on Sunday afternoon.) It made my summer, but more on all that soon.

Last summer, the opera-going highlight for me was something entirely different: Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein‘s Show Boat. That production was filmed and is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, so you have a chance to see and enjoy what I did.

Some regular opera goers, of course, were disappointed to find this musical on the short summer lineup. I certainly understand the lack of appeal of many typical Broadway musicals, with their often generic, bombastic, less than nuanced, over-miked voices. But as SFO’s delightful Porgy and Bess, which I saw in 2009, and Show Boat prove, a well-done production, with vibrant sets and costumes, good dancing, engaging acting, a top-tier orchestra (guest conductor John DeMain led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra for both Porgy and Bess and Show Boat), and singers with fine operatic voices, can be absolutely exhilarating. Think of Ezio Pinza on the cast album of South Pacific. Some enchanted evening, indeed!

Thus: Show Boat. Soprano Heidi Stober, who played Magnolia, daughter of the riverboat’s Cap’n Andy, had performed here not long before in The Magic Flute and Falstaff. Star soprano Patricia Racette sang Julie, the showboat’s leading lady, who passes for white until her mixed parentage is revealed, in the same SFO summer season in which she was Madama Butterfly. Bass Morris Robinson offered a show-stopping “Ol’ Man River,” and personally, I can’t wait to see baritone Michael Todd Simpson, who made his local debut as Gaylord Ravenal, the charming gambler who marries Magnolia, again.

A cool thing about this production, though, is that Broadway actors were cast as well. Who wouldn’t want to see the great physical actor Bill Irwin as Cap’n Andy? His hilarious one-man depiction of a fistfight is a showstopper in itself. (Speaking of versatility, Irwin won a Tony in 2005 for playing George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf!). The Broadway vets include Kirsten Wyatt (the lead in Sweet Charity, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls), John Bolton (Spamalot, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, TV’s Gossip Girls), and Harriet Harris (On the Town, Tony winner for Thoroughly Modern Millie, the indelible Bebe Glazer on TV’s Frasier). James Asher, in a small role as the manager of the seedy Chicago cabaret in which Magnolia finds work after the dead-broke Ravenal leaves her, has acted in plays such as Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Laramie Project.

That’s a lot of names and credits. My point is that the variety of actors and voices and styles adds another level of interest and enjoyment to this show. Which must lead to a shout-out for Tod Nixon, Show Boat‘s sound designer. Unlike musical theater performers, opera singers don’t use mikes; Nixon came up with a way of placing area microphones so that the sound was consistent and clear, without that somewhat tinny, vibrating quality that microphones bring.

Premiering in 1927, Show Boat is considered the first great American musical. In 1982, Houston Grand Opera, then led by San Francisco Opera general director David Gockley, with John DeMain as its music director and principal conductor, created an “historic” production that restored much of Kern and Hammerstein’s original score and dialogue. We saw this production of Show Boat thanks to Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Washington National Opera, as well as SFO.

In his program notes, Gockley reminded us that Show Boat is “steeped in the musical language and plot issues of our native culture” and said that it could open the door at SFO to “operatic musicals” such as Carousel and Sweeney Todd. It did! Gockley’s final season with San Francisco’s great opera company opens in September with Verdi’s Luisa Miller, followed immediately by Stephen Sondheim’s delicious Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Yay!

July 5, The Marriage of Figaro; September 11, Luisa Miller opening night; September 12, Sweeney Todd opening night, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F., 415.861.4008, sfopera.com.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Arts – The Huffington Post
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Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Once Bitten, Twice Shy


I used to think that my life was boring. I resigned myself to the rut I was stuck in. Then my entire existence was turned upside down. In the last six months, I’ve learned things that would get me committed to an asylum if I repeated them. First, I was kidnapped by vampires. Yes, vampires. Sounds crazy, right? My best friend, Donna, became one of the fanged after that little adventure and hooked up with a hot, Scottish vampire named Conner. They’re even planning a wedding. Secondly, I learned not all vampires are evil. In fact, some of them are downright sexy. Alexander Dimitriades has it all. He’s tall, dark, and handsome and manages to give me tingles in all the right place and also make me laugh. Unfortunately, to be with him, I would have to give up my humanity and I like being human. Then, there’s the fact that the whole drinking blood thing gives me the heebie jeebies. To make matters worse, there are plans in motion to change the place vampires hold in the human world. And I’m caught in the middle, between the vampire I’m falling in love with and a group that wants to create a vampire dictatorship, with humans as slaves. Now, all I want is my calm, normal life back. As my friend, Ricki, likes to say, “Be careful what you wish for because it might come and bite you on the ass.” I hate it when she’s right. *This work contains BDSM elements/themes, spanking, bondage, anal play, and a bossy, persistent Greek vampire.

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Once Upon a Time – In Africa

Once Upon a Time – In Africa


I opened Donna’s journal that had lain on a shelf, unopened, for over 43 years. I was immediately transported back to 1967 the year I met the young nursing student who would within six months become my wife and with whom I would spend the next two years in Tanzania, East Africa as CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas) volunteers; our two-year honeymoon. With little experience in love and marriage and even less experience in our chosen professions, we ventured out with a guitar, an accordion, our newly minted college certificates (architecture technology and nursing) and a whole lot of energy ready to see and experience the world. Living first in a mud hut, then for a couple of weeks in a down-at-the heels brothel, and finally in a flat owned and furnished by Public Works, I recall the travails of learning to prepare meals with one pot, keeping dry goods free from weevils, creating a Christmas tree out of a cactus with disastrous results for the cactus creating a home that soon became known as a stop-off point for volunteers, missionaries and travellers of all backgrounds, facing the reality that I had to change some of my personal habits if I wanted to keep the love I had just found, and of interacting with the local police and learning very quickly what it means to be a minority. Much of the story focuses on the daily challenges and small victories that each of us enjoyed working with situations totally outside anything we had experienced to date. With the purchase of an undependable piki-piki (motorcycle), overcrowded slow and decrepit local buses, and thumbs made for hitchhiking, the reefs, beaches, national parks, mountains and plains all offered adventure and undreamt of beauty. The story describes in detail our participation in a hunting safari that would be impossible to do today, and, of course, no stay in Tanzania would be complete without a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. The final chapters of the book highlight reflections that we now see t.

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This Is What It Looks Like To Get Dumped By Two Girlfriends At Once

Steve Frazer, we’ve got some bad news for you:

Man dumped by 'both his girlfriends'.

If you’ve ever needed proof that having two lovers is way more trouble than it’s worth, there you have it.

h/t Reddit

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Cabaret: Everybody Loves A Winner Once

I read Michael Riedel’s column in last Friday’s New York Post with the kind of dumbfounded look I have on my face when I see really bad theater that somehow made it to Broadway. I thought: “Could anyone possibly think Cabaret should be eligible for a Tony Award for Best Revival? Could anyone think Michelle Williams would be ineligible?”

As I have written many times, the Tony Awards Administration Committee does what it wants. The rules it is tasked with interpreting are often unclear. In fact, I looked and could not find in the rules language that would explicitly deny Cabaret eligibility. However it seems ridiculous to me that it would be considered. This is a carbon copy production. Roundabout even announced it as such. As per the Roundabout website: “One of Broadway’s greatest productions returns! Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife,” Roundabout’s The Threepenny Opera) reprises his Tony®-winning performance in Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall’s (Nine and Chicago, the films) Tony-winning production of Cabaret.” That’s right, this production already has its Tony. It should not be able to receive another one.

There is sadly precedent for it being eligible. Some of which is from long ago, some of which from not so long ago. The 1976 and 1981 revivals of My Fair Lady come to mind–both nominated for Best Revival (or whatever it was called during those times). The last Les Miserables revival was essentially a remount of the original production, yet it scored a Best Revival nomination anyway. And this issue has actually come up with regards to Cabaret before–the nominated 1987 revival was mostly faithful to the original production (including having the same Master of Ceremonies, which probably sounds familiar by now), but at least it had slight design team differences. Here, according to Roundabout itself, the company is simply bringing back its Tony winner.

What are the Tonys here for if not to honor theatrical creativity? What creativity is there in remounting a production at its original home? A play or musical is not eligible for the Best Play or Musical award if it substantially duplicates a previously presented play or musical. Why is a revival that exactly duplicates a revival capable of being nominated? (The “substantial duplication” language was created to keep producers from claiming barely revised work was “new.” It says that a play or musical can be eligible if it contains “substantially duplicate elements of productions” but only if “the duplicated and the original elements, in their totality, create a new play or musical.” While it was not created for this purpose, I believe its logic holds here. This is not a new revival.)

However, whatever the Administration Committee decides to do with Cabaret as a production, Williams and other new cast members will likely be eligible. “Regardless of whether a production of a play or musical is eligible for a Best Revival category, the elements of the production shall be eligible in those categories in which said elements do not, in the judgment of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, substantially duplicate any prior presentation of the play or musical…” So says the Tony rules. This wording has allowed many actors to be eligible in the past, including Christina Ricci for Time Stands Still and the actors from the return engagement of White Christmas. There has been no change in the language of the rule in recent years. Excluding Williams and her costars (with the exception of Cumming) from the nominations would be an unnecessary slight.

And so it goes every year – there is a fuzzy grey area and the Tony Administration Committee steps in. Last year they broke with tradition and went out on their own a little bit, defying some producers. I hope that continues with regards to Cabaret. A facsimile should not be treated as an award-worthy new entry in the theatrical landscape.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Once Upon a Time in Golden Glen

Once Upon a Time in Golden Glen


Imagine a village in a beautiful, densely forested valley with hills and meadows as well as rivers and streams. The village fronts on an ocean to the west. Here, no one ages, illnesses and injuries heal in seconds. Work is rewarded with free housing, free meals, and beautiful clothing one can pick off a shelf and take home. Useful articles and deliciously prepared restaurant meals are . No money exists. Creative solutions are encouraged and sought after and shared. Love and glory are the parts of life that cause competition. Here, people can be true to themselves without suffering condemnation. People work to serve others. Government is committed to serving the needs of the people. There are no cars, no heavy machinery. Glenners travel long distances on the backs of horses or Maximum Monarchs, twenty-five foot tall monarch butterflies rigged with seating for human beings. King SkyGolden, a half elf, can transform himself into the flying horse named Trumpet. His wife, Rubikan, can do likewise. Golden Glen, a little piece of paradise! Or is it? This is a land where elves once ruled, where their descendants still possess magic. Eagles grow ten foot wingspans. They have teeth reminiscent of fossilized birds. Living in the Pariah Forest are strange creatures created by Kelpie eugenics. Terror Trees and Octopoda Grasses, bees as large as basketballs, a Royal Lamia, the owl that can change to many things, one a half snake, half woman. In addition, the Kelpie queen keeps an obedient pet, a beautiful Lepainea, created by genes from a leopard mixed with those of a hyena. The Kelpie are astonishingly beautiful women and they use magic to destroy men. They behave in vicious and murderous ways, transforming into flying horses. By using their beauty, the magic, and indulging in shocking sexual practices, the women are able to control men and destroy them. Ultimately, it is the intention of the Kelpie to conquer Golden Glen and turn it into Glendura, a place where th

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