Monthly Archives: December 2021

My New Year’s Wish for You for 2022

For some years now my final post of the year has been about my New Year’s Wish for everyone. Once again, this hasn’t been a great hope-inspiring year.

Even more people dying from ought to be a preventable disease. The angry science deniers/racists/homophobes seem to get more and more obstinate in their embrace of what can only be described at a death cult.

In other words, the world feels broken.

I never know what I’m going to type when I start this post each year. I sometimes worry that the voice in the back of my head that refuses to give up hope and tells me what I should wish will fail me. Despite the fact that I’ve often said that I appear the be fundamentally unable to stop finding at least a sliver of optimism, nothing lasts forever, right?

But as I was typing that paragraph, the surge of hope and optimism spoke up. So this year will not be the one, so, here is my New Year’s wish for you:

They say that time heals all wounds, but many of us know that time alone doesn’t heal everything.
Some wounds need love, hope, and light to heal. Some things that are broken can only be mended by with a lot of work. If we look at all of the ways things are broken, it seems overwhelming. There is just too much work needed to fix all of them.
Take a breath.
Think about the people who have loved you in the past. People who loved you in a way that helped you become the person you are today.
Thank them. And if they are no longer with us, think about the people you love. Thank them. Tell them you love them. Don’t be afraid to tell people you care about that you love them. Love them and let them love you.
Now, don’t worry about all of the things that are broken. Concentrate on things you can do something about. Let your love and light shine on the people in your life and the people who cross your path.
Love heals all wounds. Let your love out.

Good-bye Betty

I first remember watching Betty White when I was thirteen years old. She had just joined the cast of The Mary Tyler Moore show as the host of a fictitious show-within-showed called the Happy Homemaker. Her character, Sue Ann Nivens, was super cheerful and upbeat while on her show, but was a sharp-tongued nymphomaniac behind the scene and often played the antagonist to other characters on the show.

And she was hilarious.

Given her career before that, I’m sure that I had seen her before she joined The Mary Tyler Moore Show on the many daytime game shows that she frequently appeared in during the 60s and 70s. I’m also fairly certain that I had seen the political thriller Advise and Consent in which Betty played the one and only woman Senator in Congress. But it was Sue Ann who wriggled her way into my heart.

Sue Ann wasn’t the only iconic character she played. Many more people hail her portrayal of Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls. Rose was a very different character–though one who like all characters Betty assayed, had a bit of steel in her.

Being as funny, personable, and playing such a diverse set of characters was an incredible accomplishment. But there was so much more to her than that. There was her activism for various animal charities. There was the time in the 1950s when she defied the network executives that she was letting tap dancer Arthur Duncan (who was black) have too much screen time in her variety show. Betty gave him even more screen time after that. And she became not just someone the gay community idolized, but one of our fiercest allies.

And every person who met her in persons said that neither the personability nor the wittiness was an act. It was who she was.

Betty was famous for loving vodka and hot dogs–and for refusing to apologize for not being into anything more fancy or stylish. So, join me in raising a glass as we bid farewell to the great Betty White.

Others have thoughts on her passing:

Betty White, ‘Golden Girls’ Star and TV Legend, Dies at 99

Longtime LGBTQ+ Ally Betty White has died at 99 – The beloved actress who was set to celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17, 2022 died overnight in Los Angeles

Betty White Understood Gay Men, and We Loved Her for It – I never felt ‘handsome,’ but when I met Betty, she made me feel like I was

Betty White defied racist demands with her 1954 variety show – Betty White Once Helped Launch the Career of a Black Tap Dancer by Hiring Him for Her Variety Show

Friday Five (end of the year edition)

We have reached the final Friday in December–which also happens to be the final Friday of 2021, and just happens to be New Year’s Eve.

We have been snowed in. Our particular neighborhood is bounded on all sides by hills that become difficult to drive on if we get ice and snow. Various government agencies were pleading with people all week not to drive if they could avoid it. Buses are on emergency routes. (Just Google "Seattle bus slides down snowy hill" and you’ll be taken to some truly terrifying videos and stories from past storms). My husband took the bus in to work two days, which involved him walking further to catch a bus because of the emergency route avoiding steep hills. After his scare ride home the second work day of the week, when more snow came down, he decided to take the day off.

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: two stories about fictional parents, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about discrimination, five stories about treason and deplorables, and five stories about the crime and punishment. Plus some notable deaths and a couple of things I wrote.

This Week in Fictional Parents:

The 2021 Darth Vader Parenthood Award for Outstandingly Horrible Fictional Parents

The 2021 Jonathan and Martha Kent Fictional Parent of the Year Award

Stories of the Week:

A 6th Grader Saves the Lives of Two People on the Same Day – Davyon Johnson, 11, has been honored for his Dec. 9 interventions but says he doesn’t understand the attention he’s drawn. It was “the right thing to do,” he said

Betty White’s Words of Wisdom at 100: ‘Avoid Anything Green’

Webb Space Telescope Got a Lucky Boost From Its Christmas Launch – The mission may have enough fuel to last over a decade, thanks to an ultra-precise launch

A pandemic-scarred year ends in darkness — but with hope on the horizon

21 most popular LGBTQ news stories of 2021 – This year’s most clicked on queer stories include a transgender Miss USA contestant, gay emperors, a nonbinary Olympian, lesbian bars and more

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Two California teachers were secretly recorded speaking about LGBTQ student outreach. Now they’re fighting for their jobs

Gay-Straight Alliance Wins Equal Rights After Judge’s Injunction

Gay Man’s Entire Family Helps Him Stand Up To Mom And Invite BF For Christmas

New Jersey Legislators Vote to Protect Marriage Equality

Colton Haynes shares photo he spent years trying to get wiped from internet

This Week in Discrimination:

Sodomy laws are still being used to persecute queer people

Pennridge School District removes LGBTQ books from libraries

Mom heartbroken by daughter’s suicide blames transphobic Republicans & health insurers

Oklahoma bill gives parents the right to have a book removed from a school library

Anti-Semitic Man Attacked Neighbor While Yelling Homophobic Slurs

This Week in Seditious Traitors and Other Deplorables:

‘Slow-motion insurrection’: How GOP seizes election power

A Lie Totally Devoid of Reality’: Venezuelan Businessman Sues Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Sidney Powell Over ‘Egregious and Sinister’ Claims Linked to 2020 Election

Rep. Liz Cheney hits back at Trump as Jan. 6 committee pushes Supreme Court to order release of White House records

Ex-Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg agrees to pay Seminole County nearly $2M in restitution

Jim Jordan ‘Committed a Felony’ With Text Message to Mark Meadows: Former Federal Prosecutor

This Week in Crime and Punishment:

Ghislaine Maxwell convicted in Epstein sex abuse case

Capitol rioters hit with severe sentences and sharp reprimands from judges – Some of the longest sentences have gone to rioters charged with ‘assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon’ I disagree with the headline. Four Puerto Rican nationalists who assaulted the capitol in the 1950s got sentences of 50 to 75 years for their crime. None of the convicted rioters — including those who assaulted capitol police — have been sentenced to more than 6 years.

Convicted of sex crimes, Jack Strain may have to pay costs of his prosecution, jailing – DA’s office also seeking restitution for former sheriff’s victims

A man convicted of killing four people in what authorities say was one of the most gruesome crimes in North Dakota history has been sentenced to multiple life prison terms without the possibility of parole

Non-Prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein Jail Guards Made Official

In Memoriam:

Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s ‘moral compass’ – Tutu, who died on Sunday at the age of 90, was considered ‘a thorn in the side of the apartheid government’

LGBTQ+ Rights Ally Archbishop Desmond Tutu Dies at 90

Harry Reid Didn’t Care What You Thought of Him

Harry Reid, former Senate majority leader and Democratic kingmaker, dies at 82

Gay Olympic Diving Star Ian Matos Is Dead at 32

John Madden, football legend, dies at 85

The final, beautiful goodbye of NFL legend John Madden

Things I Wrote:

We need a Rainbow Christmas more than ever!

On the seventh day of Christmas vacation…

On the seventh day of Christmas vacation…

Saw this above screenshot of a tweet being shared and found it funny. Though I immediately wanted to compose my own:

  • Dec 23: Vacation Day
  • Dec 24: Christmas Eve (company holiday)
  • Dec 25: Christmas Day/Saturday
  • Dec 26: Boxing Day/Sunday
  • Dec 27: Christmas Holiday Observance (company holiday)
  • Dec 28 – 30: Combo of vacation days and odd company holidays
  • Dec 31: New Year’s Eve
  • Jan 1: New Year’s Day/Saturday
  • Jan 2: Sunday
  • Jan 3: New Year Holiday Observance (company holidays)
  • Jan 4: Back to Reality

I’m totally on board with the idea that for those of us who take at least a week off for the holidays that time does become a fog and the notion of weekdays and non-weekdays is tenuous at best.

My husband went back to work Tuesday. Which means that I kept thinking it was Monday.

Seattle and the surrounding area is currently under a blanket of snow. The first flurries hit our neighborhood late on Christmas Even, but the real snow didn’t start until very late Christmas. I’ve bee trying to keep the hummingbird feeder thawed out with mixed success. The birds have been extra competitive for food in the cold.

The main roads seem to be drivable, but we can’t get out of our street without dealing with one steep hill or the other, and I have been hearing tires spinning out on the closer of those hills. I may have to head to the grocery store on foot if for no other reason to pick up some prescriptions if the roads don’t improve.

I’d had hopes for today, because the weather report a few days ago said the temperature would get above freezing for a while that day… but now it’s 28° and the forecast is it’s going to stay below 30F.

We need a Rainbow Christmas more than ever!

Nearly naked guy in Santa hat holds present. The words Nice and Naughty are written across his chest.
Nice or Naughty?

Rainbow Xmas 2021 (To the tune of ‘We Need a Little Christmas’ from the musical. Mame)

Slice the pumpkin pie,
And don’t be stingy with the homemade whipping cream,
Crank up the music,
I’m gonna sing and dance to drive the darkness away!

‘Cause we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Eggnog by the fire,
With lots of brandy in it!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
My lyrics may be getting slurry,
But Santa dear, it’s time to scurry!

So fling ’round the tinsel!
Put up more twinkling lights than the whole Vegas strip!
Slice up the pound cake,
I’ve got a great big table of deliciousness, here!

Cause we’ve grown a little rounder,
Dealt with bad news daily,
Got tired of all the downers,
Gone a bit stir crazy,

And we need some loving kindness,
‘Specially over FaceTime,
We need a rainbow Christmas now!

Fill every wine glass,
Then raise a toast to vaccines, essential workers, and
People who mask up,
‘Cause if we work together, we can beat anything!

And we need a rainbow Christmas,
Right this very minute!
Cocktails in the morning,
With bourboned cherries in them!

And I need a toasty lover,
Snuggling by the fire,
I need a rainbow Christmas now!

Yes we need a rainbow Christmas now!

Don we now our gay apparel!
“Merry Christmas! Shabbat shalom! Blessed Yul! Joyous Kwanza! Festive Festivus! Happy Christmas! Happy Hogswatch! Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou! Beannachtaí na Nollag! Buon Natale! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus un laimīgu Jauno gadu! Felix Dies Nativitatus!”

Friday Five (don’t be eeyore edition)

We have reached the fourth Friday in December. This year also known as Christmas Eve. Or as Kermit once described it in song, the day before the night before Christmas.

I finally seem to be over whatever I was sick with, for what it’s worth. Thursday was my first day of a 12-day Christmas vacation, which means–of course–that things were crazy at work on Wednesday and I worked a few hours later than I would like.

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: one story about simple joy, two stories about the season, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about deplorables, five stories about the pandemic, and five stories about the Hugo Awards. Plus some notable deaths and a couple of things I wrote.

This Week in Joy:

JOY: Watch This Third-Grade Teacher Make A Hail Mary Shot

This Week in Tis the Season:

Recommended listening: Louis Armstrong’s ‘The Night Before Christmas’

Lowland residents to get Christmas weekend snow, with dangerous cold to follow

Stories of the Week:

Hanukkah isn’t Jewish Christmas. Here’s the story of the holiday

One Year In, Joe Biden Has Confirmed More Lifetime Judges Than Decades Of Presidents

A New Record for Gorey Art at Auction

A dinosaur embryo has been found inside a fossilized egg. Here’s what that means

Astronomers discover largest group of ‘rogue planets’ yet

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Students sued their school for the right to form a Gay-Straight Alliance. They just won

Utah billionaire leaves Mormon church, donates $600,000 to LGBTQ group

Author of ‘Gender Queer,’ one of most-banned books in U.S., addresses controversy

It’s official: Washington Blade gets designated seat in WH briefing room – LGBTQ newspaper secures seat in WH briefing room for first time

Jennifer Coolidge reading the “The Night Before Christmas” is the present you need this year – She is making the Yuletide G-A-Y

This Week in Haters, Deplorable People, and Their Victims:

Thousands of Isreali LGBTQ people sent terrifying texts after dating site hack exposes personal info

Convicted Gay Trump Ally Brandon Straka Cooperating With Authorities

Trump Can Go To Hell. Why Not Jail?

Morning Joe: Mitch McConnell’s latest remarks about Jan. 6 probe shows GOP senators are done with Trump

Michael Flynn’s Request Thrown Out Of Court In ONE Day – The ink barely had time to dry on Flynn’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent the January 6th Committee from accessing his phone records or demand testimony from him

This Week in the Pandemic:

I Got COVID Three Times – Don’t worry, you (probably) won’t become me. But yes, you can get COVID twice, and even more

Covid-19 was third leading cause of death in 2020, driving record rise in death rate and nearly two-year drop in life expectancy

With omicron, you need a mask that means business

Vaccines, pills and data offer some Christmas cheer in face of Omicron advance

Omicron Is Our Past Pandemic Mistakes on Fast-Forward

This Week in Hugo Awards:

Cora Buhlert: Some Thoughts on the 2021 Hugo Award Winners and the Ceremony in general

Camestros Felapton: Hugo 2021 first reactions

Doris V. Sutherland: 2021 Hugo Awards Celebrate Imagination, Wonder, and an Arms Manufacturer

Nicholas Whyte: 2021 Hugos in detail

Doug Merrill: Hugo 2021 and Me

In Memoriam:

Joan Didion, famed American essayist and novelist, has died

Thomas Kinsella, one of Ireland’s finest poets, has died, aged 93

Things I Wrote:

Murderbot Wins Two Hugos! And other reactions to this year’s results

A ’54 Convertible Too, Light Blue

A ’54 Convertible Too, Light Blue

1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, Pennant Blue

A few years ago I wrote a short post about one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Santa Baby" originally recorded by Eartha Kitt in 1953. I introduced that post with a screenshot of a conversation on twitter where it is revealed that there are a number of people out there who thought the Kitt’s song was using the name Santa as a codename for another person who happened to be her sugar daddy, rather than the most straightforward interpretation, Santa WAS her sugar daddy.

That conversation included a mention of a bad cover by Michael Buble, but that part didn’t register. Buble is someone whose work I just do not care for at all, so I apparently glossed over that bit.

So I was surprised earlier this week to come across a video of a guy singing an "aggressively gay cover of Santa Baby" which the singer said he’d decided to compose because of Buble’s "aggressively straight cover" of the same song.

Which is when it finally clicked with me: wait? Straight male singer Michael Buble recorded a cover of Santa Baby? Why would a straight male singer cover that song? I mean, that really is a bit WTF, you know?

And then description that it’s "aggressively straight." Did he change it so that he was singing to Mrs Claus? Asking Mrs Claus to give him all the outrageously expensive and extravagant gifts in the original?

I had to know. But I also refuse to listen to him sing. Fortunately one is able to find lyrics online. He doesn’t sing to MRs Claus. No, it’s to Santa, buddy. And oooooooh, boy! The people who slammed this as being an awful cover were being generous.

Several of the lyric changes just make no sense. For example, Kitt’s original included a line asking Santa to trim her tree with gifts bought at Tiffany’s. Tiffany’s is a famous jeweler. And they do sell ornaments. Very expensive ornaments made out materials like sterling silver or crystal, and sometimes decorated with gemstones. I always thought that Kitt’s lyric didn’t necessarily mean for Santa to buy her Tiffany ornaments, but rather to buy her enough Tiffany jeweled necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and so on to completely cover a tree.

Anyway, Buble changes that specific line from "with some decorations bought at Tiffany’s" to "with some decorations bought at Mercedes." Which I assume means Mercedes Benz, the car manufacturer. Mercedes Benz does license some companies to make ornaments based on some of their classic cars and their hood ornament… but the vast majority of these cost at most one-tenth as much as Tiffany’s ornaments. And unlike Tiffany’s jewelry, which could in theory be hung on a tree as if it were an ornament, a real car doesn’t work that way.

There are other problems with Buble’s cover, but I’ll only mention one more because it let’s be segue into talking about the original song. Whereas Kitt asked Santa for a "’54 convertible… light blue" Buble asks for a "’65 convertible… steel blue." Because light blue is apparently too girly for him?

Also, it is worth noted that Kitt recorded the song originally in 1953, so when she asked for a 1954 convertible, she meant the brand new, latest model. Not a classic.

Speaking of that convertible… for years I always assumed that Kitt was specifically asking Santa for a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster {pictured above}. One of the factory colors the ’54 model was available in was Pennant Blue. And it is a sweet looking car, right?

After I went down the rabbit hole of the aggressively straight (and bad) cover of the song, I decided I needed to listen to the original a few times to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Pulling that up in my digital library reminded me that Kitt recorded a sequel the very next year. In the sequel she describes out Santa got her everything she asked for last year–but now a lot of the presents have developed problems so she’s asking for upgrades.

In the sequel, she refers to the previous year’s car as a Cadillac, specifically. That would mean she got a 1954 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, likely in Viking Blue Metallic (the other available colors, Newport Blue and Cobalt Blue Metallic are not what most people would call "light blue"). Which is still a nice car {pictured below}, though I don’t think it looks as cool as the Corvette.

Anyway, enough talk about the song. Let’s listen to the original, eh?

Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (1953) – original TV broadcast performance on Christmas Eve Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby (1953)

1954 Cadillac Eldorado in Viking Blue Metallic.

Murderbot Wins Two Hugos! And other reactions to this year’s results

Sebastian Martorana, a Baltimore artist, created the bases for this year’s Hugo Awards, given out last weekend at the 2021 WorldCon–this year hosted in Washington, D.C. The bases are made of salvaged marble from the Beaver Dam Quarry–the marble originally used in many, many buildings, including the Washington Monument. Marble from that quarry can only be acquired through salvage because the quarry has been under water since it flooded in the 1930s.

Saturday night the Hugo Awards ceremony occurred. I did not watch the livestream because I was hosting our monthly Virtual Writers’ Night which would ordinarily also be our annual holiday party. It’s not quite a party when we’re not gathered in person.

I was trying to be a good host and pay attention to folks online and ignore all the tweets and other alerts popping up on all my devices as the Hugo winners were being announced. Since I am both a Hugo nominator and Hugo voter, I of course have some reactions.

But first, the winners: Announcing the 2021 Hugo Award Winners

Congratulation to all the winners!

For the fifth year in a row, the Novel that won was in second place on my ballot, again; an outcome I’m perfectly all right with. It’s just starting to get funny.

Last year seven of my number one choices won the rocket. This year it was only three (Editor Short Form, Best Series, Astounding Award for Best New Writer).

On the other hand, in addition to Best Novel, my second choices in Best Novella, Best Novelette, Best Related Work, Dramatic Presentation Long Form, Best Pro Artist, Best Fancast, and Lodestar Award for Young Adult Book all took home the award trophy.

As I think I mentioned earlier this year, the ballot this time was really, really good, in my opinion. In most categories there weren’t any nominees that I didn’t think were good enough to win.


There were a few nominees that I put below No Award. But in each of the categories where I did put a No Award in, it was in sixth place. Which means that in my opinion the other five nominees were definitely award worthy.

However… one of the places I put No Award was in Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, and I’m miffed, though not at all surprised that the thing I put below No Award won. I’m not surprised because for reasons that continue to escape me, the absolute worst skiffy-ish television series to be conceived in the last two decades has won a bunch of Hugos.

My only consolation is that this was an episode from the final season of that tripe, so it won’t be plaguing me again next year.

My number one choice in this category came in fourth. My second choice came in third. My third choice came in sixth–and I’m going to stop looking at the voting statistics in this category because clearly when it comes to sci fi television I am out of step with the rest of the Hugo voters.

In more pleasant news: the person I put in first place on my ballot for Best Fan Writer came in second… again. Of course, this was one of the categories where none of the choices were unworthy, in my opinion.

Some other folks have written at the winners and the voting. You should check these out:

Camestros Felapton: Hugo 2021 first reactions

Camestros Felapton: More Hugo 2021 Stats – quick look

Nicholas Whyte: 2021 Hugos in detail

Friday Five (gun continues to smoke edition)

We have reached the third Friday in December.

My week has been dominated by sniffles, coughing, a scratchy throat, and an on-again off-again low grade fever. At the advice of my doctor I got a COVID test this week. Still awaiting the result. My husband came down with the first symptoms about 3 days after I did. Keep your fingers crossed.

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about seditious traitors, and five stories about the pandemic. Plus notable obituaries.

Stories of the Week:

PolitiFact | The 2021 Lie of the Year: Lies about the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and its significance

Lessons from a year of reporting on climate solutions in the PNW

Oh, So Now The Mainstream Media Gets That Fox News Is Garbage?

Kentucky Workers’ Jobs Threatened If They Evacuated For Tornado – "Corporations will literally let you die to make a buck." Stay in the factory during a tornado or get fired? It’s time to unionize EVERYWHERE

Senator Warren Pushes SCOTUS Expansion: Four More Justices – It’s time to UNPACK the Court

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Carl Nassib designed rainbow cleats to support the LGBTQ community

Hormone therapy linked to lower suicide risk for trans youths, study finds

US LGBTQ+ population hits 20 million

11 ways LGBTQ rights improved around the world in 2021 – Though 2021 presented many challenges for the LGBTQ community, it was also a year of hope and progress

Jury Awards $4M to Trans Boy After School Denies Him Restroom Access

This Week in Seditious Traitors:

Mark Meadows should face charges for stonewalling Congress

Lauren Boebert’s Recent Joke: Contextualized for the Racist-Adjacent and Empathy Deficient

Dem Congressman Doesn’t Sugarcoat It: Jim Jordan Is A Traitor – No mincing of words by Ruben Gallego, a former Marine who is on the House Armed Services Committee

Delaware judge denies Fox’s motion to dismiss Dominion lawsuit

DOJ must move ‘full speed ahead’ with Jan. 6 criminal probe of Trump and his allies: Laurence Tribe

This Week in the Pandemic:

Google employees to lose pay if don’t comply with vaccination policy

Pfizer confirms COVID pill’s results, potency versus omicron

The NFL and NBA lead new Covid outbreaks in sports, spurring fines, restrictions, and delays

5 omicron variant symptoms you shouldn’t ignore

Fauci says omicron will soon become dominant Covid variant in U.S., urges people to get vaccines and boosters

In Memoriam:

Feminist author and poet bell hooks, known for ‘Aint I A Woman’ and ‘All About Love’, dies at 69

Remembering our sister-friend bell hooks – Heartbreaking doesn’t aptly depict the enormity of her passing

‘The world is a lesser place today without her.’ Acclaimed author bell hooks dies at 69

Michael Nesmith, Monkees Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 78

Michael Nesmith was more than a Monkee

Michael Nesmith, Monkee and pop innovator, has died

My Friend, My First LGBTQ Ally, Anne Rice, Has Died

Friday Five (sue the f– out of them edition)

We have reached the second Friday in December. Which is one day after my wedding anniversary, and I’m still a bit amazed that my husband still puts up with me.

It’s getting colder. Earlier this week, because I let the bird feeder get lower than usual, there was a lot of drama outside my window. Little birds can be vicious to each other. The hummingbird feeder was not so low, but the colder temperatures (and a lot fewer flowering plants blooming in the area) means that several are visiting the feeder many times a day. For some reason there is that spot about a foot away from the feeder one the fairy lights I have strung up out there where several of the hummingbirds want to sit in between feeding… but they don’t want to share. And their fights are even more vicious than the altercations between the sparrows, junkos, and chickadees at the other feeder.

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Friday Five in which I bring you: one story about a hidden treasure, two stories about making bad people pay for their wrongs, the top five stories of the week, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about deplorable people, and five stories about the pandemic. Plus notable obituaries and something I wrote.

This Week in Hidden Treasures:

Hidden sketch revealed beneath Rembrandt’s The Night Watch – Restoration uncovers Dutch master’s original vision for 1642 painting for the first time

This Week in Make Them Pay:

Mass Shooting Victim Sues MI School District For $100M – Michigan school shooting ‘entirely preventable,’ $100-million suit says

Family of Georgia Trans Inmate Wins $2.2M Wrongful-Death Settlement

Stories of the Week:

Canada Bans the Dangerous Practice of LGBTQ+ ‘Conversion Therapy’ – unanimous votes in both Houses…

Supreme Court Justice shoots down lawyer’s wild claim about LGBTQ rights – The lawyer said the right won’t use attacks on abortion to take away LGBTQ rights. Sonia Sotomayor called bullshit

Two recent murder trials show the danger of white fragility – Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted while Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan Jr. were found guilty, but the trials are merely opposite sides of the same coin

14 GOP senators help advance McConnell debt limit deal

Seventh-grader dies by suicide after being told he’d go to hell for being gay

Stories of Interest to Queers and Our Allies:

Federal Court To South Carolina: Fulton Doesn’t Do What You Think It Does – South Carolina thought the Supreme Court gave them an avenue to practice anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Guess what?

Priest backs trans community after diocese tells LGBT+ people ‘repent if you want baptism’

Wonder Woman Is Getting the Queer Romance She Deserves in New DC Comic

Minnesota Town Rallies Around Outed Trans Child

Pro wrestler kisses his boyfriend in front of homophobic protestors to “stand up against hate” – His fans loved it

This Week in Haters, Deplorable People, and Their Victims:

Antigay activist Josh Duggar can now add “convicted child sex predator” to his esteemed resumé

Court rejects Trump’s efforts to keep records from 1/6 panel

The far right isn’t attacking books. They’re attacking children – The right is weaponizing Q-Anon ideology and sexual assault to ban LGBTQ books, putting kids in danger

Torrance police traded racist, homophobic texts. It could jeopardize hundreds of cases – While no officers face criminal charges in direct relation to the text messages, the racist exchanges have led to the dismissal of at least 85 criminal cases involving the officers implicated in the scandal

Martin Shkreli ‘Pharma Bro’ Firm Reaches $40M Settlement in Gouging Case – The settlement doesn’t stop litigation against Martin Shkreli, who was dubbed the “Pharma Bro" and allegedly masterminded the scheme as Vyera’s first CEO

This Week in the Pandemic:

Covid-19 patients at this hospital are dying ‘at a rate we’ve never seen die before’ — and it’s taking a toll on health care workers

Illinois State Rep. Introduces Bill Requiring Unvaccinated Residents to Pay For Their Own COVID Care

16- and 17-year-olds are now eligible for a Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster

Maria Van Kerkhove interview: What we know about omicron so far – Exclusive: The World Health Organization’s technical lead on covid-19 says we will know how effective our vaccines are against omicron by Christmas

Fauci pushed back on Sen. Ron Johnson’s claims that he ‘overhyped’ the AIDS crisis and COVID-19

In Memoriam:

Bronski Beat founder Steve Bronski dies at 61

Bronski Beat co-founder ‘who changed lives’ dies

Steve Bronski, co-founder of pioneering gay band Bronski Beat, dies aged 61

Bob Dole dies at 98; anti-LGBTQ record is part of his legacy

Things I Wrote:

Nine Years Ago Today