I’m So Proud / Estoy Tan Orgulloso

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

TORREMOLINOS IS TWO towns east, about half-way between us and the city of Málaga. It’s another resort town but, unlike Fuengirola it’s a mecca for gay tourists as well as a year-round home to many gay people. For that reason, it hosts Málaga’s annual gay pride festival, finishing up today. (And when I say “gay,” I really mean, “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer” also known as GLBTQ). We took the train there Saturday to catch the parade and some of the sights.

We don’t know many gay people here in Spain so being in Torremolinos is always an unusual opportunity for us. Not having gay friends isn’t really an issue since we’re surrounded by people who immediately welcome us and love us for who we are… and yet we still miss that extra comradery. Whenever we’re in Torremolinos we’re excited to be surrounded by other people who don’t fit the traditional heterosexual norm but, not knowing anyone and being “over a certain age,” we feel isolated and alone. We could make the extra effort and get involved in some gay organization in Torremolinos. Besides, just because someone is gay, it doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily like them (we’ve been down that road)!

All that was simply to explain what a mixed bag our evening in Torremolinos was. When the parade started, I got a chill at the sight of our diverse “family” celebrating pride and the right to live freely and openly. Then, I got depressed because we were all by ourselves. Then I was elated to see people of all ages and types participating in the celebration. And then I wished I knew some of them. And then, a cute guy on a float (truck) did a double-take as he passed and followed me with his eyes until he was out of sight, making the sign of a heart the entire time. Yes, I’m shallow. It’s simply nice to know that, even at this age, I’m not completely invisible.

Click the images; they get bigger. More photos to come this week. If you like drag queens, costumes, and half naked men with lots of muscles, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

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TORREMOLINOS ESTÁ DOS pueblos al este, aproximadamente a medio camino entre nosotros y la ciudad de Málaga. Es otra ciudad turística, pero a diferencia de Fuengirola, es una meca para los turistas gays, así como un hogar para todo el año para muchas personas gays. Por ese motivo, alberga el festival anual del orgullo gay de Málaga, que termina hoy. (Y cuando digo “gay”, me refiero a “lesbiana, gay, bisexual, transgénero”, también conocida como LGBT). Tomamos el tren allí el sábado para mirar el desfile y algunas de las vistas.

No conocemos a muchos gays aquí en España, por lo que estar en Torremolinos siempre es una oportunidad inusual para nosotros. No tener amigos homosexuales no es realmente un problema, ya que estamos rodeados de personas que nos reciben de inmediato y nos aman por lo que somos … y, sin embargo, aún extrañamos esa colaboración extra. Cuando estamos en Torremolinos, nos emociona estar rodeados de otras personas que no se ajustan a la norma heterosexual tradicional pero, sin conocer a nadie y estar “por encima de cierta edad”, nos sentimos aislados y solos. Podríamos hacer un esfuerzo adicional e involucrarnos en alguna organización gay en Torremolinos. Además, solo porque alguien sea gay, no significa que necesariamente nos gustará (hemos estado en ese camino).

Todo eso fue simplemente para explicar nuestra experiencia ayer. Cuando comenzó el desfile, sentí un escalofrío al ver a nuestra diversa “familia” celebrando el orgullo y el derecho a vivir libre y abiertamente. Entonces, me deprimí porque estábamos todos solos. Luego me alegré de ver a personas de todas las edades y tipos participando en la celebración. Y luego deseé conocer algunos de ellos. Y aún luego, un chico lindo en un paso (camión) me miro dos veces al pasar y me siguió con sus ojos hasta que se perdió de vista, haciendo la señal de un corazón todo el tiempo. Sí, soy superficial. Es simplemente bueno saber que, incluso a esta edad, no soy completamente invisible.

Haz clic en las imágenes; se hacen más grandes. Más fotos por venir esta semana. Si te gustan las reinas, disfraces, y los hombres medio desnudos con muchos músculos, no debes decepcionarte.

The Gay Caballeros / Los Caballeros Gay

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I HAD TO move to Spain to learn that “caballero” doesn’t actually mean “cowboy” but instead means gentleman. A vaquero is a cowboy (and vaqueros are also jeans). “The Gay Caballero” is the name of an American song from 1929 and two American films (from 1932 and 1940). I have a cousin (in-law) who I’m told used to refer to me (with love) as his favorite gay caballero. I don’t know if he meant cowboy or gentleman, but I’m pretty sure he had one of those old movies in mind.

When San Geraldo and I first moved to San Diego, we had the misguided idea to join the San Diego Gay Rodeo Association. Actually, we were convinced to do so by a new acquaintance. It seemed to me like a good idea until I attended the San Diego Gay Rodeo and saw how they treated the animals. At least I got a stylish cowboy hat, a cowboy belt (San Geraldo’s had a sterling silver buckle) and a pair of expensive Lucchese cowboy boots. Remind me to tell you one of these days about our country line-dancing lessons. Slow. Slow. Quick. Quick.

TUVE QUE MUDARME a España para aprender que “caballero” en realidad no significa “vaquero”. “The Gay Caballero” es el nombre de una canción estadounidense de 1929 y dos peliculas estadounidenses (de 1932 y 1940). Tengo un primo que, según me dijeron, solía referirse a mí (con amor) como su caballero gay favorito. No sé si se refería a vaquero o, de hecho, se refería a caballero, pero estoy bastante seguro de que tenía una de esas películas antiguas en mente.

Cuando San Geraldo y yo nos mudamos a San Diego, tuvimos la idea equivocada de unirnos a la Asociación de Rodeo Gay de San Diego. En realidad, nos convenció que lo hiciéramos por un nuevo conocido. Me pareció una buena idea hasta que asistí a San Diego Gay Rodeo y vi cómo trataban a los animales. Al menos obtuve un elegante sombrero de vaquero, un cinturón de vaquero (San Geraldo tenía un cinturón con una hebilla de plata) y un par de costosas botas de vaquero de Lucchese. Recuérdame decirte uno de estos días de nuestras lecciones de baile en línea. Lento. Lento. Rápido. Rápido.

AT THE RODEO, 1994.
EN EL RODEO, 1994.
THE LUCCHESE BOOTS. (TOO SMALL NOW, BUT I CAN’T PART WITH THEM.)
LAS BOTAS DE LUCCHESE. (DEMASIADO PEQUEÑO AHORA PERO NO PUEDO DECIR ADIOS.)
SAN GERALDO, A SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA COWBOY, IN THE 1950s.
SAN GERALDO, UN VAQUERO DE SIOUX FALLS EN DAKOTA DEL SUR, EN LOS AÑOS 50.
ME, A NORTH MASSAPEQUA, LONG ISLAND COWBOY, IN THE 1950s.
YO, UN VAQUERO DE NORTH MASSAPEQUA EN LONG ISLAND, EN LOS AÑOS 50.

Of course, a drag queen is a cowboy’s best friend.
Por supuesto, una drag queen es la mejor amiga de un vaquero.

I Can See All Obstacles In My Way

I’ve been frustrated in recent weeks with the quality of my photos, from both my Canon compact digital camera and my Sony phone. I had been blaming poor light conditions — too much, too little — but have continued to try. I’ve been improving the results in Photoshop, sharpening focus, reducing what looked like shake, and improving colour. But I prefer to have better quality to start with.

In addition, I’ve begun to collect photos of Dudo and how he creatively positions his tail. He was lying on the bed in the den this morning in the heavenly glow coming through the vertical blinds. I snapped a couple of shots. But the heavenly glow made the photo really unclear.

But I thought, “That shouldn’t produce such a bad photo.” And then it hit me. All my photos had a very “misty” quality. “When was the last time I had cleaned the lens?” I wondered. The answer: Long before the most recent tempesta and vientos ciclónicos (click here).

The camera lenses on both my Canon and my phone had gotten covered in salty sea spray. As Homer Simpson would say, “D’oh!”

And speaking of “d’oh,” the other night, I wasn’t looking where I was going and I walked into the sharp branches of a low-hanging tree. I got a hard knock on the head and some scratches. I even took a selfie when I got home. The quality of the image seemed blurred to me. Maybe it was the knock on the head.

I’m sometimes slow, but I do eventually get there…

Check out Dudo before and after… (Click to enlarge.)

BEFORE…
AND AFTER.

I can see clearly now…

Masterpieces

In case yesterday’s video wasn’t enough, here’s another shot of singer/songwriter Pablo Alborán.

I forgot to mention, he’s from Málaga (a hometown boy). And he’s gay. (Not that it matters.)

So, of course there were rumours he and Ricky Martin were dating.

After all, Ricky Martin is gay, too. And they both speak Spanish.

Back To The Beach
(Without Pablo)
The beach is in a sorry state and there was more rain on and off Tuesday, so not much clean up was done. The worst of the debris was plowed up and hauled away. The rest will be gone quickly. The City of Fuengirola does a great job maintaining the beach and paseo. Ivo the sand sculptor has his work cut out for him. His collection of Greek Gods and Goddesses lasted several months, but didn’t survive the storm. I suppose that’s expected when you build your life on sand. 


(Click the images, including Pablo, to see the masterpieces.)

STILL IN PROGRESS IN JUNE.
(POSEIDON’S CROWN AND NIPPLES DONE BUT
HIS NAME, ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝ, NOT YET ADDED.)
TODAY, (ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝ’S PECS AND NIPPLES SURVIVED.)

Because it’s the theme from The Poseidon Adventure…

La Tormenta Y Los Ciclónicos

Sunday was quite the day here on the serene Mediterranean. We began the day with rough seas, which continued rougher until the sky exploded with thunder, lightning, heavy rain. And … San Geraldo’s cyclonic winds. A storm is “una tormenta,” which seems especially appropriate for San Geraldo given how tormented he becomes. But he still calls them los ciclónicos (the cyclonics).  This was almost deserving of the designation. I went out on the terrace to take some pictures, tried to go around the corner for a different view, and was almost blown off my feet. (So no photos from there.)

We moved (San Geraldo did) plants and brought in (San Geraldo did) some furniture. We also picked up (I did. See? I did do something) a couple of big cacti that got blown over. All three yuccas are finally well-secured and positioned (click here for a bit of their stormy history).

We were supposed to take a walk down the paseo with our friends/neighbors Jean and Ray for an always wonderful dinner at Sandpiper. But it was blowing and storming so hard at the time that we instead went downstairs to Cosmopolita, a restaurant right outside our front door. All the street lights went out for a short time as a result of a lightning strike. San Geraldo, whose great-grandmother was killed in 1909 when their house was struck by lightning, was slightly stressed (to put it mildly).

The surf actually came up onto the paseo in places (over the low wall separating the beach from the street) and even flipped heavy wooden trash holders and walkways on the beach. The walkways end far from the surf-line, usually.

(Click the images for a closer look at how things progressed.)

THE ALWAYS-CHIC JEAN MODELING HER WATERPROOF “STOCKINGS.”

The name of the song is “Llueve,” which means “It Rains.” His name is Pablo Alborán (or as our friend Elena calls him “Mi Pablito” — My Little Pablo).
He was next to me on my overnight flight from New York in September. He slept. I respected his obvious desire for privacy and quiet. Elena will never forgive me.