It's now available in Spanish, Tomar la iniciativa.
From Diaz's blog, Beantown Cubanito:
The story follows Gabriel Galan, a Fort Lauderdale native and popular Boston college writing professor who has a job he adores, a hot young lover and a buddy who goes along on pub crawls and Star Trek nights alike. But Gabriel wants more.
When Gabriel's stubbornly independent Cuban father needs help managing his Parkinson's disease in South Florida, Gabriel takes on more than he bargained for, and his smooth-cruising life is about to take a sharp turn as he teeters on the edge of a new crush on Adam, his father's physical therapy dance instructor. Gabriel also learns some life lessons as as a 35-year-old dating in a college town.
Hopefully, Take the Lead will be the first of many Spanish translations from my book catalog.
To read an excerpt of Tomar La Iniciativa or to order, click here
From the presidential inaugural committee:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco, read his poem “One Today” at the ceremonial swearing-in ceremony of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Full text of the poem as written is available below:
One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.
My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.
All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.
One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.
The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.
Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.
One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.
One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together
Miami Herald Staff
Poet Richard Blanco, a gay son of Cuban exiles who lived and studied in Miami, has been chosen as the inaugural poet for President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony later this month.
The inaugural committee announced the choice on Wednesday.
“In many ways, this is the very ‘stuff’ of the American Dream, which underlies so much of my work and my life’s story—America’s story, really," Blanco said. "I am thrilled by the thought of coming together during this great occasion to celebrate our country and its people through the power of poetry.”
Bibi Andrade celebrated 13 years of The Adventures of Bibi & Friends comic books with a party at Nikki Beach on Ocean Drive. Miami Beach Commissioners Jerry Libbin and Michael Gongora presented Andrade with a city proclamation. A few dozen of Andrade's friends, including Tito Puente Jr. and Maryel Epps, attended the party.
Click here to view more pictures. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
Chad Thilborger, former development director at Stonewall National Museum & Archives, has written a cookbook, Whole Heap of Goodness. He'll be speaking 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Here's the news release:
Author Chad Thilborger To Cook Up A Whole Heap Of New Orleans Cuisine During Cookbook Launch Event
Thilborger's Entertaining Cooking Memoir Helps Food Enthusiasts Enjoy Special Moments with Family and Friends
“Whole Heap of Goodness” serves up more than just bountiful recipes celebrating Thilborger’s Louisiana roots. It also shares stories of how Maw Maw, Aunt Annie and other relatives influenced Chad’s home and personal styles, as well as his appreciation of food, drink, family and friends.
“As a 6’4” man from New Orleans with roots deep in the heart of Cajun Country, with a booming voice and even bigger laugh, people always describe me as ‘larger than life,” wrote Thilborger. “But to family and friends who really know me, it has little to do with my size and much more to do with how I live my life. Essentially, I believe that you get a Whole Heap more out of life when add more spice, more color, or even a tad more effort into the everyday things to make life for fun, more meaningful and ultimately more rewarding.
Filled with 256 pages of brunch ideas, appetizers, soups, entrées and sides, and desserts, “Whole Heap’s” signature recipes include beignets; crab stuffed mushrooms; roasted asparagus, garlic and potato soup; crazy Cajun fettucini; boulette fricassee; and bread pudding.
The self-published cookbook sells for $24.95 is available at http://www.facebook.com/l/fAQGq_uBRAQFXRi-e3HUBuoLZOhQf2fpcQLvzvHGPyeUduA/www.awholeheap.com.
IF YOU GO
- Who: Chad Thilborger, Author
- When: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
- Where: The Atlantic Hotel
- 601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida
- Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
News release from DJ Nancy Starr:
MIAMI (October 24) – To celebrate the highly-anticipated release of her book, The Boy “friend” Diaries, Star Roman, renowned photographer and artist, will host a book release party on November 3 at the Performing Arts Exchange (PAX) performing and cinema arts center. The event, which is expected to have 300 guests, is an invitation only occasion.
The party will feature author, Star Roman, who will number and sign 100 hard copies of the book (only available at the event) for guests who wish to purchase the coveted paperback. In addition, those 100 fortunate guests will also receive a gift bag featuring goodies from all sponsors and vendors, as well as a limited edition Boy“friend” Diaries© CD, mixed and produced by Miami’s finest DJ, Nancy Starr©. There will also be live performances by DJ Nancy Starr© and Miami singer/songwriter, EnVee, hors d’oeuvres by Chef Fiore and much more entertainment. Those unable to purchase a hard copy will be able to buy an e-book version online.
“Writing this book has been an experience and having it published is the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance. To say that I’m looking forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with my fans and friends is an understatement,” said Roman. “Having it in my hometown at a truly awesome venue like PAX makes it that more special.”
Star Roman is a writer who covers local bands for the online magazine, Artisabout.com. She’s also written for several blogs and had a column about relationships featured in the online magazine, Spoken Like A Queen. Complimenting her writing is her passion for taking pictures.
Established in 2004, StarRoman© Photography (formerly Inanimate Art) has carved a niche in the industry having captured lasting images for thousands of people to having her work displayed in Miami- based art gallery, CS Gallery.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Singer-pianist Michael Feinstein is a musician on a mission.
Feinstein, keeper of the Great American Songbook, has a new book, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs (Simon & Schuster, $45 including CD), based on the six years he spent as personal archivist for Ira Gershwin, brother and collaborator of legendary composer George Gershwin.
“The book was created to initiate people who may not know anything about the Gershwins … two songwriters who I consider iconic in the 20th century,” Feinstein says. “To try and paint an era and give a personal sense of their life and work but [also] to make it more human and anecdotal.”
The entertainer will discuss The Gershwins and Me and sing songs by the brothers Sunday evening at the Alper Jewish Community Center in Kendall, part of the 32nd annual Jewish Book Festival. On Monday night, he will perform his Big Band Frank Sinatra tribute at Hard Rock Live near Hollywood.
Feinstein, 56, believes the music he grew up with in Columbus, Ohio, will survive.
“It’s going to be like Shakespeare one day. In hundreds of years, people will come back to these songs. These songs have been recorded over and over again. They can be interpreted many different ways and can stand the good and the bad.”
He points to Rod Stewart’s post-rock recordings of standards such as the Gershwins’ They Can’t Take That Away From Me.
“I used to bristle at the Rod Stewart recordings. They are devoid of subject,” Feinstein says. “Some people will have never heard these songs before they heard the Rod Stewart recordings. That’s the good news and the bad news. But the good news is that it may spur them to hear other recordings.”
Hugely popular music reality shows could give classic songs a new lease on life, says Shelly Berg, dean of the University of Miami Frost School of Music.
“Kids might know The Beatles and Billy Joel and iconic pop artists better than they did 10 years ago,” says Berg, who last year performed with Feinstein in an all-Gershwin program at the Adrienne Arsht Center. “American Idol, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, they’re all leaning pretty heavily on rock music from the ’60s and ’70s. That’s their American Songbook.
“If any of those shows went back a little further, to Jimmy Van Heusen and George Gershwin, kids would know that music.”
George Gershwin, composer of American classics including Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess, died of a brain tumor in 1937 at the height of his fame. His brother Ira continued writing lyrics with other composers including Harold Arlen (the Oscar-nominated The Man That Got Away from Judy Garland’s 1954 A Star is Born).
Feinstein met Ira Gershwin in 1977 through June Levant, widow of pianist-actor Oscar Levant, a close friend of the Gershwins. Just 20 years old and new to Los Angeles, he had met her after buying records from the Levant estate at a used-record store.
Ira Gershwin hired Feinstein to catalog his phonograph records.
“He had a huge closet full of them dating back to 1917. Sixty years of records. A virtual history of Gershwin music,” he says. “There were 78s, reel-to-reel tapes, transcriptions, all different forms of music. I would play them and Ira would listen as well. He would tell stories. It was a great memory trigger.”
Before Ira Gershwin’s death in 1983, he made Feinstein his literary executor. Things didn’t end well. “I had a falling-out with Mrs. Gershwin after Ira’s death,” he says. “I signed a paper relinquishing all rights. I was strong-armed into signing something.”
By the mid 1980s, Feinstein was making a name for himself as a pianist. He accompanied Liza Minnelli on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1985, and the next year recorded a live cabaret performance at The Algonquin hotel in New York City. His first studio album, in 1987, was Pure Gershwin.
Feinstein has made dozens of recordings including tributes to golden-age composers Irving Berlin and Jule Styne, a gender-bending duets album with Broadway performer Cheyenne Jackson and two Sinatra discs.
In 2007, he founded the nonprofit Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, based at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind., where he is artistic director.
Thousands of young people have applied to compete in the initiative’s annual Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy & Competition, says the entertainer, who also runs a namesake cabaret in Manhattan.
“At 20, I was playing in piano bars. I expected having a life playing in piano bars. I didn’t think I had the talent to do anything else. I didn’t think I could make a living singing songs that were 50 years old,” says Feinstein, who married partner Terrence Flannery in 2008.
“There wasn’t a place for me. I was constantly told I couldn’t’ make a living singing old songs. “It’s amazing to me that this has evolved to this stage. It’s wonderful. I’m most grateful for it, but I never expected it.”
Liza Minnelli sings Boys and Girls Like You and Me on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1985. Michael Feinstein accompanies her.
IF YOU GO
Sunday: Michael Feinstein speaks about the Gershwins and performs some of their music at 7 p.m. at the Alper Jewish Community Center, 11155 SW 112th Ave., Kendall, as part of the 32nd annual Jewish Book Festival; 305-271-9000; $36 admission, $50 preferred seating; alperjcc.org.
Monday: Feinstein performs at 8 p.m. at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; $39-$69; 954-797-5531, ticketmaster.com.
October 18, 2012 in Arts, Bisexual, Books, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Juan Ahonen-Jover of Miami has just published a book, The Gay Agenda 2012. From the website:
Today in the United States, the core beliefs of the country are under attack. The freedom of religion is under attack. Family values are under attack. Individualism and the pursuit of happiness are under attack. The courts are under attack.
This book is about freedom, including the freedom of religion and the freedom to be yourself. It is also about our Constitution and about one of our most cherished rights: to be treated equally under the law.
What would it be like if we could return to the vision of our great Constitution?
What legislation would need to be added or modified to reach equal treatment under the law? How do we go about doing it?
This book shows a path to it, and it is an urgent All Out call for action.
About Juan Ahonen-Jover:
Juan Ahonen-Jover, Ph.D, is an entrepreneur who did well and is now doing good. He is the creator and cofounder of eQualityGiving, ActOnPrinciples, and eQualityThinking, all focused on the fundamental principle that everyone should be treated equally under the law.
Juan was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and was educated at Stanford University in supercomputers and business. He has four advanced degrees and is fluent in four languages. He co-authored a book on computers and is an innovator in election protection.
Juan enjoys speaking engagements from time to time. Contact him below.
GET THE GAY AGENDA NOW
- Available instantly ($9.99) via Kindle and iBook.
- Available in paperback ($14.99) from the publisher, Amazon and other retailers.
- Buy multiple copies for your friends, family, coworkers, organizations. Enter code LDQBYR43 for a 20% discount on multiple copies.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Norma Jean Dougherty, a 20-year-old brunette beauty, walked past Los Angeles photographer Bruno Bernard in July 1946 as he left a dentist’s office. He followed the young woman and gave her his business card: Bernard of Hollywood. The next day she showed up at his studio, and he shot her first professional portraits.
Soon after, the aspiring starlet bleached her hair, hired a talent agent and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.
Fifty years after her death at 36 from an overdose of barbiturates, the movie queen’s earliest portraits by Bernard — up to and including the iconic photos he took of Monroe’s skirt blowing over her head in 1955’s The Seven Year Itch — will be on display through November at the World Erotic Art Museum in South Beach.
“She was a sexual icon. She symbolizes sex. She was the epitome of an erotic turn on,” says Naomi Wilzig, owner and curator of the museum.
Marilyn: Intimate Exposures ($35).
“Since she passed, each decade, she becomes bigger than life,” Susan Bernard says.
Bruno Bernard died at 78 in 1987, three years after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored him with a dinner and exhibit in Los Angeles. In 1999, New York’s Museum of Modern Art chose Bernard’s portrait of Monroe in Seven Year Itch — “Marilyn in White” — to represent its “Fame After Photography” exhibit.
Susan Bernard, a former actress and Playboy’s Miss December 1966, says she still can’t put her finger on what made Monroe so special.
“Certainly at that time, there were more beautiful women like Elizabeth Taylor,” Bernard says. “There were others who were better actresses, but she survived them all. It’s just astonishing, actually.”
Monroe and her father had a special bond: both had been raised in orphanages. Bruno Bernard fled Nazi Germany in the early 1930s with few possessions, just a box camera that had been given to him at age 11 by his mother, Susan Bernard says.
“He came to America alone and penniless,” she says.
In Los Angeles, Bernard opened a photo studio inside his apartment. He called himself Bernard of Hollywood.
“No one knew the name of Bernard, but everyone knows Hollywood,” Susan Bernard says. “He branded himself.” Bernard also photographed movie legends including Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck.
Bernard documented Monroe’s rise to fame, doing off-screen publicity shots for such films as Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire (all 1953).
Their final photo shoot together was Seven Year Itch. Hundreds of photographers, extras and gawkers watched as Monroe filmed the skirt-blowing scene on Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan. So many fans whistled and cheered, the footage was unusable and had to be reshot later on a quiet 20th Century-Fox back lot.
That night, Monroe fought with her humiliated husband, Yankees baseball great Joe DiMaggio.
Bruno Bernard once wrote that after the filming, he went to the DiMaggios’ hotel to take another photo for Redbook: “From the hall outside their suite at the St. Regis, I could hear a heated quarrel followed by her hysterical crying. I left, and never got my sitting.”
IF YOU GO
“The Magic of Marilyn” runs 7 p.m. Wednesday through Nov. 30 at the World Erotic Art Museum’s new contemporary space, 235 12th St., Miami Beach. Tickets are $15; no one under 18 admitted.
The Seven Year Itch will be screened 8 p.m. Thursday at Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave. $10 adults; $9 students and seniors.