Monday, September 19, 2011

Shooting With Pink Pistols

I found a group online called the San Jose Pink Pistols. I know San Jose. I know pink. It was time to know pistols.

San Jose Pink Pistols is a fellowship that welcomes the LGBTQ community and inclusive-straights to meet at the San Jose Municipal Firing Range and bone up on the art of brandishing a weapon. Our Fearless Leader brings a couple of gym bags filled with rifles, handguns and bullets and allows everyone to share.

After hearing some scary shit via an orientation by our Fearless Leader and one of the range's volunteer safety instructors, I put on my eye and ear protection and chose a 9 MM Browning. (Elizabeth Barrett Browning manufactured guns? Who knew?) The Browning had a wood handle and was made for the Belgium army. My Leader walked me through the processes of assembling the handgun then handed me the disparate parts.

Browning Bulls-eye
Red circle first shots; Green circle final shots

I loaded five shells in the magazine (which loads just like a PEZ dispenser), slammed the clip up that mofo, racked the slide ... ready ... aim ... and slowly pulled back on the trigger five times.

Glock Bulls-eye
Red circle first shots; Green circle final shots

I reloaded the Browning and shot it again. I tried a .40-caliber and felt recoil but stood my ground. Next a .38 Special. (I didn't have the nerve to roll the bullet-filled barrel like a cowboy.) Finally, I reached for a .45-caliber Glock pistol. I looked at this movie star gun and knew that - as long as there was nothing IN the gun, I couldn't make a mistake. So I obsessed on making sure I knew how many bullets were in the gun, in the chamber, and how many I had spent AT ALL TIMES. My Leader checked back from time to time (as a responsible Leader would) and I shot a bunch more rounds. Definitely felt the most recoil with the .45-caliber.

Analyze your shoot based on
where the bullet hits the bulls-eye

I was told I had good grouping. According to Wikipedia, accuracy in aim and a steady hand are required to make your shots hit the target very close to each other in a grouping. You need only look at the circles on the bulls-eyes provided to know that this writer is a marksman with good grouping.

And I'm glad for this talent because we gotta keep ourselves armed and ready for the zombie apocalypse.

Shooting stall;
target is about 20 - 30 feet back

  • Wash your hands before you leave the range.
  • Use both wax earplugs and protective ear phones.
  • It is loud.
  • Always know how many bullets are in the magazine and the chamber, and how many have been spent.


Shooting stall; second view

Thanks to Will for the pictures
of the San Jose Municipal Firing Range.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Go For The Gold, Chaz!

I was called out for being condescending. I wasn't though. I was merely correcting some facts a fellow Huffington Post commenter had gotten wrong concerning the career of Ms. Cherilyn Sarkisian Bono Allman - or as she is known on Twitter, Cher. Concurrently, I was pointing out the difference between the words artist, celebrity and star which the commenter was consistently confusing.

The cloud was abuzz with the news that Chaz Bono was a contestant on Dancing With The Stars; pro and con opinions as to whether the poster child for transgenderality (if I might use that word) deserved a place on the competition show were being defined in so many bytes. Cher, Lynnette Southwood opined, is a celebrity. How does that make Chaz one?

According to Merriam-We­bster, celebrity is a noun defined as the state of being celebrated­. Merriam-We­bster then defines celebrated as widely known and often referred to. Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and the real housewives are celebritie­s - widely known and often referred to. Bristol Palin. like the Teen Moms on MTV, are celebrities. Widely known and often referred to.

Cher is also widely known and often referred to but that is fallout from a career of artistic accomplish­ments spanning 50 years. Cher is an actress and a singer as well as a TV performer. Cher has an Oscar for Moonstruck­. She has many hit records and two television shows under her belt. Cher has acted on Broadway and been directed by Robert Altman. Cher is an artist - whether you like her art or not, Miss HP commenter - and because of that she is a also celebrity. SO far we agree.

Now, a star is a term manufactur­ed in the early days of Hollywood for use by Hollywood. MGM - More Stars Than There Are In Heaven. Today star is synonymous with celebrity. Thus, industry movers and shakers can change the definition of star because they set the bar. And the producers of Dancing With The Stars do just that. The Real housewives of Bravo have never been asked to compete but the aforementioned Palin and Bono have. So Hollywood has expanded the definition of star to include, well, pretty much everybody (except the housewives). Kim and Rob Kardashian, Tom DeLay, Shannen Doherty, Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, Nancy Grace and Kelly Osbourne are all celebrity stars in this cock-eyed caravan of dance.

As for Cher's son Chaz, he is no different from the others. Chaz is widely known and often referred to - a celebrity. He is a celebrity based on his lineage and activism although he might also be considered an artist, wannabe that is. To recap Chaz's history as an artist he, as Chastity, was in a failed rock band (Ceremony) and wrote a book (which I didn't read). He was the subject of a documentar­y (although the artist in the film's case is the filmmaker, not the subject, who gets the celebrity). Ultimately, Chaz manufactured his celebrity as a way to put a face on transgenderality (if I might use that word again). And he's now a star because of it.

Stardom is always manufactured. Years ago, it was the Hollywood studios who chose someone to whom they would give their backing. Today, it's television producers of shows like Dancing With The Stars and media, like TMZ and the Huffington Post, that chose to whom they give the backing of the star-making machinery.

So, as a star in every 21st century sense of the word, Chaz was chosen for Dancing With The Stars. I applaud the producers. Oodles of publicité. I've never seen the show but I might crank out the 99 cents to vote for Chaz. I still won't watch it but I will try and vote. (Is that how this show works?)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lady Caca and Her Poop Purse

It started with a softball game. And of course Lady Gaga. But then doesn't everything start with a softball game and Lady Gaga?

As a volunteer barkeep for the San Jose Gay Pride Festival, I participated in the kick-off event, a game of softball. Considering I hadn't played softball since I was 10, I wasn't quite sure I should; considering that you must dress as a movie star or music star of the opposite gender, I wasn't quite sure I shouldn't. I was told that it would be an expedition game so, after I looked up exhibition game on Wikipedia, I decided to go for it.


Yes, I had my old go-to drag but did I really want to be a flat-chested guy in a fifty year old cocktail dress, wearing a moth-eaten mink stole and a ratty wig? Nah.

That night, during a bout of insomnia, I started rhyming words with Lady Gaga. Aga. Baba. CaCa. Dada. Eaea. Fafa. Wait. Caca? (ka.ka) I could be Lady Caca. And carry a Poop Purse.


  1. Buy a bra and girdle combination thing.

    I went to Marshall's to buy a bra and panty set. I couldn't figure out how the bra sizes worked so I asked the saleslady. She explained that the size is for the circumference of your back and that if I put the bra on backwards, snapped the catches in front, turned it around, and slipped my arms through the straps I could see if it fit. This worked and I was able to try on a few bras right there in the store!

    Then I found this white bra/girdle combination thing that snapped under the crotch. I had no idea what it is called but I thought it might be more slimming so I asked the saleslady if I could try it on. Please do. she said. My fitting room girl will have something to talk about all day. The bra/girdle combination thing fit as good as I needed although I did buy a pair of white men's briefs; there was no way I was going to snap this contraption and have to run the bases in a softball game with my junk shrunk.
  2. Buy poop bags and poop jewelry.

    I chose hot pink poop bags to go with my pink-tinged wig. They came with a pink poop bag holder that most would put on their belts or dog's leash. I did put it on my dog's leash but then I put the leash around my neck for a poop necklace. I filled the pink poop necklace with blue poop bags for a pop of color.
  3. Make a poop skirt.

    Much like Josephine Baker did with bananas, I made a skirt of poop bags. I started with a blue bungee cord that was just the right size - and the pop of color matched the pop of color in the poop necklace. I put safety pins every three inches, down the length of the cord, filled hot pink poop bags with frozen blueberries (that will defrost as the heat of the day wears on) and attached one tied bag to each safety pin.
  4. Create a poop purse.

    This was easy enough. Fill an extra hot pink poop bag with blueberries and hold it in your hand. A poop purse.
  5. Add a pink wig, rose-colored glasses, sneakers to run the bases and voila!


I went to Savers, our local thrift store, and found two mitts: one for a child, the other a bit bigger. The big question I had was why were both for the left hand? I mean what are the odds that the two baseball gloves in a thrift store would BOTH be for the left hand? I figured what the hell; I hadn't played since I was 10 years old anyway and I am an ambidextrous mouser so I bought the bigger one.

When I got to the game, I told the coach about my skill level. She brought me out in the field for practice. As we walked, I told her about the left-handed glove. Well, she said. Most gloves are left-handed because most people throw with their right hand. Ohhhhhhhhh, now I get it. Surprisingly enough, I managed to catch every ball she lobbed in my direction.

I came up to bat before I even went into the outfield. My first time at bat (and much like Lady Gaga did with Cher at the MTV Video Music Awards) I asked the umpire if he might hold my poop purse. He graciously did. Or was it she?