What The Atlantis Gay Cruisers Were Reading This Year

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When packing for a gay cruise, some of the essentials you will find in a gay man’s bag are a skimpy swimsuit, sunscreen, flip flops, (hopefully) condoms, an industrial-sized bottle of lube and last, but certainly not least, a book.

So what were the erudite young (and not so young) gay men taking to read on this year’s Atlantis cruise? Turns out that the selection this year was as varied as the men on board…

Read my entire article on the Xtra Daily website by clicking here.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

 

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My Book Is On Top Of the “Hottest Summer Reads” List!

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HotSpot “Hottest Summer Reads” List.

To read the entire Hotspot article, click here.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Warning: Bare Asses Ahead! Toronto World Pride 2014 (Photo Blog)

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Miss Conception’s World Pride Party

Since I am running out of space for photos on The Gay Groom (3GB limit), I had to create the new blog “Jeffrey Luscombe” here at WordPress.com specifically for photos.  No worries, The Gay Groom ain’t going nowhere!

To see all my Toronto World Pride 2014 photos click here.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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A little rain during World Pride. Then this happened…

Will post World Pride photos ASAP.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

 

 

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5 Novels Set In Hamilton (Spoiler: I’m at the top of the list!)

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Here I am at the top of the list in today’s CBC News article on Hamilton and literature: “With its mysterious past and ‘rough edges,’ Steeltown is a literary character unto itself.”

For Jeffrey Luscombe, Hamilton isn’t just a dot on the map or a place to set his novel. It’s a living, breathing character of its own.

The Hamilton-born Luscombe used the city for his 2012 novel Shirts and Skins, a coming-of-age story about a gay youth growing up in Hamilton’s industrial west end. It features the steel mills that line the bay, the smoke stacks and the brick buildings, and the city’s time-honoured working class…

To read the full CBC article click here.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Working for LGBT Rights in Uganda

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Richard Lusimbo, Ugandan LGBTI Activist

Richard Lusimbo is a gay Ugandan living in the capital city of Kampala who works with SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda), an LGBTI non- government organization founded in March 2004 to address Human Rights Issues based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Uganda. Currently, the network comprises 18-member organizations and eight LGBTI human rights defenders in Uganda, all working to advocate for the rights of LGBTI Ugandans. Their vision is “a liberated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people of Uganda”…

To read the rest of my interview with Lusimbo click here.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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I’m in South Korea! (but unlike Grandpa I didn’t arrive with a rifle)

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Shirts and Skins available on South Korean website. Click to enlarge.

My book Shirts and Skins is now available in South Korea.

Now THIS is why grandpa fought the communists back in 1951. All for only 18,010원 (whatever the hell that is).

By the way, I’m also available in Indonesia!

My book is gets around more than I do!

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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The Gay Groom.

Gay Groom:

A blog by my blog-buddy who made his way to Toronto this week. Was great to finally meet!

Originally posted on Mangina Monologues:

What trip to Toronto would be complete without meeting a random fellow blogger/twitterer? And so today, after my skull-crushingly boring conference meetings, I walked up to the gay Village and met Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Luscombe. From the gay groom fame.

Oh. And also maybe from the novelShirts and Skins”.

Yeah. Him.

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Somehow I talked him into meeting me for coffee in the Village (NOT tim hortons!) where we had good coffee. And we had a great time chatting about his first novel (which I read as soon as it came out) and also about the new one he’s working on (although he wouldn’t give me details damnit) and Rob Ford and Tumblr and Brazilian Lepers, and all sorts of things!

He also gave me the lay of the land and helped me choose a restaurant for this evening– where I’m currently sitting and blogging after the best eggplant Parmesan…

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Happy Birthday Alice B. Toklas! Pass the Hashish Brownies

Alice B. Toklas (left) with Gertrude Stein

Today is the birthday of Alice B. Toklas (1877 – 1967).

Toklas was the longtime companion (read lesbian lover) of American writer Gertrude Stein and writer of a cookbook (first published in 1954) that included one famous (nay, notorious) recipe for brownies (or as Alice called it, “hashish fudge”).

I included the recipe below.

But first a little bit about Alice B.  Toklas.

Apparently Toklas met Gertrude Stein in Paris on September 8, 1907 on the first day that she arrived.  Together they hosted a salon at 27, rue de Fleures in the 6th Arrondissement (on the left bank) that attracted expatriate American writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Paul Bowles, Thornton Wilder, and Sherwood Anderson and avant-garde painters, including Picasso, Matisse and Braque.

Your humble blogger made his way to 27, rue de Fleurus recently.  Sadly I was 80 years too late for the salon.

Your humble blogger at 27, rue de Fleurus, Paris.

Acting as Stein’s confidante, lover, cook, secretary, muse, editor, critic, and general organizer, Toklas remained a background figure, chiefly living in the shadow of Stein, until Stein published her memoirs in 1933 under the teasing title The Autobiography of Alice. B Toklas. It became Stein’s bestselling book. The two were a couple until Gertrude Stein’s death in 1946.

Apparently Stein’s work was incoherent (even more so) before Toklas’ editing.

Alice and Stein are now buried together inin  Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. They also share a tombstone with Gertrude Stein’s name on the front and Alice B. Toklas’ on the back.

Alice B. Toklas grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France

Now back to that recipe.

(But first allow me to predicate this by reminding you that The Gay Groom does not advocate the use of hashish or any sort of mind altering drug (except caffeine, of course).  And do remember that your humble blogger is also a teetotaler who doesn’t even partake in alcohol.

I submit the recipe only as a historic curiosity.

But there was that time back in the mid 90s in the red light district of Amsterdam that I saw Alice’s recipe on a menu…  however like all my Amsterdam files, they are now closed.)

And now, as your humble blogger promised, here is an excerpt from The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book and the infamous recipe for Alice’s fudge (“which”, Alice noted, “anyone could whip up on a rainy day”):

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Alice B. Toklas Hashish Fudge

This is the food of paradise – of Baudelaire’s Artificial Paradises: it might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR. In Morocco it is thought to be good for warding off the common cold in damp winter weather and is, indeed, more effective if taken with large quantities of hot mint tea. Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one’s personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected. Almost anything Saint Theresa did, you can do better if you can bear to the ravished by “un évanouissement reveillé”.

Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 whole nutmeg
4 average sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
These should all be pulverized in a mortar.

About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together.

A bunch of Cannabis sativa can be pulverized. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together.

About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.

Obtaining the Cannabis may present certain difficulties, but the variety known as Cannabis sativa grows as a common weed, often unrecognized, everywhere in Europe, Asia and part of Africa; besides being cultivated as a crop for the manufacture of rope.

In the Americas, while often discouraged, its cousin, called Cannabis indica, has been observed even in city window boxes. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.

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So there you have it, dear readers.  And please do remember that Alice stresses the point that “two pieces are quite sufficient”.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II (Remember Me?)

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A portrait of Queen Elizabeth by renowned British photographer David Bailey was unveiled today to mark the monarch’s 88th birthday.

Today is Queen Elizabeth II’s 88th birthday.

Now, I’ve never been much of a monarchist.  I mean your humble blogger had always thought the Queen was a nice lady and all, but as Christopher Hitchens (quoting Thomas Paine) wrote in his latest Slate piece:

A hereditary monarch is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician.

But one July a few years ago the Queen flew once again across the pond to The Dominion of Canada (as she does every decade or so) for a few days.  On her trip (which would coincide with the national holiday, Canada Day),  she was scheduled to stay a few days in Toronto and on July 6, 2010, which was her last day in Toronto (before she packed up her purses and hats and the jetted off to Washington DC for a short visit), she did her final walk-about at the Ontario Legislature, (the fittingly named) Queen’s Park.

The video I took of your humble blogger meeting the queen:

And since Liz was (even at that time) a rather ancient 84 years old (and since Queen’s Park is just down the road from my home), I thought that this could possibly be the very last time that I would have the opportunity to see royalty (and who the hell would want to see ‘King’ Charles and his fiend-like queen on their first trip to Canada after Queen Elizabeth heads off to that big fox hunt in the sky).

But even thought your humble blogger thinks the royals are mostly a bunch of inbred morons, he put on his Husband’s Queen’s Law t-shirt (to make Her Majesty feel at home) and headed over to Queen’s Park about an hour before she was scheduled to show up.

By the way, we name a lot of things “Queen’s —–” up here in Canada.

Queen’s Park had been sectioned off when I arrived.  The closest section of lawn was already filled with people and closed off, so I parked myself on the second driveway behind a security fence.  I really didn’t think that the Queen would walk all the over to me (she was 84 years old), but I did think that if I was able to get a photo (with my zoom lens) of her from across the lawn, at least I would be able to say I saw her (and upload it on Facebook).

Finally she emerged from the Legislative building and walked down the first driveway as I expected… but then she turned the corner and approached me…

These are my photos:

I have to say my photos turned out pretty good!

You can see more photos here: Photos: When the Queen met Jeffrey

And the Queen looked lovely in her light green and pink dress (I would be a tad perturbed later when I would see her wearing her ‘Canada dress’ again when meeting some potentate in Africa in the fall).

A couple of these photos I captured from a video that someone standing behind me took (the blurry ones).  In those photo you can see your humble blogger in a gray t-shirt with his hand up in the air holding my camera.

A woman standing beside me had put up a sign on the fence that read “I’m Autumn’s cousin” (Autumn Patricia Phillips (née Kelly; born 3 May 1978) is the Canadian wife of Peter Phillips, the son of the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne).  That is why the Queen came over to chat.

As well, you can actually see me taking this video and meeting the Queen in another YouTube video taken by a guy behind me.   Again, I’m the chap in the grey t-shirt with his arm up trying to get a good shot until the Queen strolls by.

You can see me and the Queen (taken from behind) here:  YouTube Video: When the Queen met Jeffrey II.

So a happy 88th birthday to Queen Elizabeth II.   May you have many many more (if only to piss off Charles and his fiend-like queen).

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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