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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Happy Easter from The Gay Groom

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So it’s Easter again, eh?

And how (you may ask yourself) does an atheist such as Your Humble Blogger celebrate Easter?

Probably the same way as you – with chocolate and ham.

But being the Gay Groom, I had a chocolate high-heel pump. Just in case I wasn’t gay enough.

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The Easter Bunny left a chocolate high-heel pump.

But how (I asked myself)  can a heathen such as myself send the proper greetings to my readers?

So, after much consideration (well not too much consideration, I do have a life) and since I do not wish to insult anyone (much), I am providing the following two videos…

The first is very sweet and charming (Judy Garland singing “Easter Parade” from the film of the same name) and the second is very sacrilegious and hilariously ironic (from The Life of Brian).

Thus feel free to choose which Easter greeting you’d prefer…

Sweet

Or Sacriligious

Happy Easter!

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Conception Day

Today is my conception day.

That is the day I was conceived – or the day spermatozoa met ovum and mixed genetically to create the blueprint for your’s truly.   And nine months later (plus a couple of weeks for good measure) your humble blogger was born.  And you know what they say: you can’t make an homelette without breaking an egg  (that’s a bad French pun).

Is it peculiar for one to know their conception day?

The year was 1967 and the world was about to embark on the “Summer of Love”.  Scott McKenzie was telling people to head to San Francisco with flowers in their hair.  But back in my industrial hometown (called ‘Steeltown’ by the locals) I don’t think many folks were wearing flowers.

April 15, 1967 was, of course, a Saturday night and although it would have been exciting to have been conceived in the back of a ’59 Chevy or under a blanket at a Jefferson Airplane concert (my father actually saw Jefferson Airplane once),  I was – simply – conceived in my parents marital bed.  And when I say ‘marital’ I mean in the apartment they were shacked up in at the time.

My parents were not married until 1972 when I was four.  That would make your humble blogger a…

I never really minded being called a ‘bastard’.

This seems like a good spot to quote Edmund’s bastard soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s  King Lear:

…Why brand they us
With base with baseness? bastardy? base base
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got ‘tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,–legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!     (Act I, Scene II)

But what does my legitimacy/illegitimacy matter now?  After all, my parents are still together after almost 40 years of legal marriage.  And The Gay Groom can’t get too self-righteous since I lived in sin with the Husband for nine years before we got around to getting married.  But then again, marriage between the Husband and I didn’t become legal until a number of years into our relationship.

But I digress.

I wonder if a blog can get anymore self absorbed than to discuss one’s own day of conception?   After all, I wasn’t really there.  And since I am a staunchly pro-choice, I don’t view a fertilized egg as anything other than a fertilized egg.  So why bring it up?

Ironically, in addition to being the fateful day that sperm crashed into egg, it is also the fateful day that the Titanic crashed into the iceberg (April 15, 1912).

Titantic Disaster, April 15, 1912

That’s right, 102 years ago today the the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two and a half hours after hitting the iceberg.

1,517 people were killed.

By the way, how many of you knew that your humble blogger once had a affair with someone who was in the film Titanic.  That’s actually a true story.

But only a bastard would kiss and tell.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Don’t Give Up Your Day Job (or Jeffrey Sings!)

Jeffrey sings?

When it comes to not writing (or procrastination) I can go to great lengths.  Here is how your humble blogger wasted time today…

With a bit of Avenue Q.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

 

 

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LGBTQ+ Rights Around The World

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Here is my article on LGBTQ+ rights around the world I wrote for PinkPlayMags.

Unfortunately, my interview with Richard Lusimbo the Ugandan LGBTI rights activist was cut in half due to a publishing error. I hope the whole interview will be uploaded to their website soon.

To read the entire article (minus the second half of the Lusimbo interview) click here!

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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How I Do Love Barcelona

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Barcelona

In fact, the hardest part about the husband and I winning a trip to Spain from Rainbown High Vacations was having to decide what cities to visit and, of course, which we would have to miss this time around.

The question is: will we go to Barcelona once again or try Gran Canaria for the first time?

Click here to read rest of article

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Charles Pachter: ‘DECISIONS DECISIONS’

Gay Groom:

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Charlie Pachter’s still got it. A limited edition print of DECISIONS DECISIONS (2012) is being auctioned off for Toronto’s Gilda’s Club.

Originally posted on celebrating the arts:

‘DECISIONS DECISIONS’ - inkjet on archival paper  (Artist’s Proof 1/1) – 34 x 50 inches – 2012 – $1,600

Charles Pachter

I first painted Queen Elizabeth II (Queen of Canada) seated on a moose in 1973. Once thought irreverent, over the years the image has come to be regarded as a Canadian pop icon. ‘DECISIONS DECISIONS’ is the latest incarnation of Her Majesty at home trying to decide which hat to wear. More affectionate mischief!

For more about this Artist: www.cpachter.com

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Kiss Me, I’m 37.5% Irish!!

Your humble blogger is 3/8 Irish.

Finding out that I was Irish (even 37.5% Irish) actually came as quite a surprise to me.  It wasn’t until I was well in my 30s that we learned of my Irish background.  It was after my family (being the nosy bunch they are) had sent away for the military records of my maternal grandfather who (as it turns out) was from Dublin, Ireland.

Now it wasn’t that my grandfather was secretive of his county of origin, instead he was a chronic alcoholic who ran off when my mother was only five years old.  So we knew very little about him.  That was until his military records shone some light on the bum.    In fact, what we learned from the military records of both my maternal and paternal grandparents are worth a blog or two themselves.

But I digress.

Learning that I was Irish was actually rather exciting to me.  Being a writer, I felt a greater kinship with all those great Irish writers:  James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift (and the poets) William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney.  Suddenly I understood the Circe episode in Joyce’s Ulysses (well, maybe 3/8 of it).

But looking back, I really should have known I was Irish all along.  After all, green is my favourite colour.  And I always liked potatoes, George Clooney and Irish whiskey… and I loved those old Shamrock Shakes they used to have at McDonalds.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake

However, it turned out that my paternal Irish grandfather was also a member of The Church of England (protestant), or so his enlistment form for the WWII stated.  So the question arises:  Does an atheist like myself who was descended from a protestant Irishman celebrate the Catholic St. Patrick’s Day?

Sure he does!

In fact, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day before I even knew I was Irish.  This may surprise you but before your humble blogger gave up the juice about a decade ago, he drank more green beer than he’d really like mention.

Let’s just say it was more than a couple of pitchers in my day.

Though Guinness always tasted to me like a beer that someone had stuck a cigarette butt in.  Not my thing.  But as I said, I’m only 3/8 Irish.  Perhaps it takes a bit more to appreciate the stuff.

I’m digressing again.

And then The Gay Groom married the Husband who (incidentally) is named Sean Patrick.

And when you are married to someone named Sean Patrick, celebrating St. Patrick’s day is kind of a given.  It is now an annual event to watch to the  parade wind down Yonge Street in Toronto the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day to see the Husband’s ‘clan’ go march by.

I don’t have a clan.

And did you know that (like Santa Claus in a Christmas parade) it is Saint Patrick himself that ends the St. Patrick’s Day parade?  I thought the Husband was joking when he told me that.   They find some poor old guy to dress up in green like an Irish pope to close the parade.  But Saint Patrick isn’t what you’d call jolly like Old Saint Nick.

In fact, he’s sort of creepy.

Maybe it’s his dress.  Or those little white gloves my mother wore in 1962.  Or perhaps it’s the enormous cross on his chest (never a good sign).   It rather looked like Saint Patrick just wanted the parade over with so he could get off his throne and go for a green beer himself.

St. Patrick bringing up the rear in Toronto’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 13, 2011

So whether you are Irish or not (0r some fraction like your humble blogger), have yourself a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!  And remember: if you start peeing green, you’ve had enough green beer.

Erin go Bragh!!!

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Honey Boo Boo (and Me)

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My Tweet featured on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

It was my big writer’s moment!

My tweet pontificating on Baby Kaitlyn’s polydactyly (she has two thumbs on one hand) made it on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. This was probably read by more people than anything else I’ve ever written.

A tweet.

On Honey Boo Boo.

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My Tweet featured on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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Watch My Interview On Hamilton Life (Video Blog)

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Jeffrey’s Interview with Greg Ross

Here is my interview (from Feb20) discussing my novel, Shirts and Skins, with Greg Ross from Hamilton Life.

It was a lot of fun! Thanks to all the folks at Hamilton Life!

I’m not as fat as I look. Really!

Tell me what you think!

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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