Give me faith, give me joy, my boy, I will always cherish you!

In case you didn’t notice, I am working my way through Madonna’s lengthy discography for my entry titles, and it’s actually kind of fun revisiting old Madonna music. She’s been a force in pop culture for nearly forty years now, which is a pretty amazing run when you think about it–not quite the Cher/Bette Midler mark yet, but still, pretty amazing. My first Madonna song (that I remember hearing, or taking notice of) was “Borderline,” and I bought that first album. And while I liked it a lot, I figured Madonna wasn’t going to be around for very long; artists who focused on dance music, especially white women, tended to not stick around the business for very long. But then came the Like a Virgin album (which is my least favorite of hers, in all honesty), and she turned into a phenomenon that wasn’t going away any time soon. “Cherish” I remember primarily because it was a light pop confection, nothing too deep but fun to listen to and bop along with, but the video, shot by Herb Ritts with all the hot mermen? (for the record, my two favorite Madonna albums as Like a Prayer and Ray of Light, neither of which should come as a big surprise)

Michael Denneny passed away over the weekend. I never had the occasion to meet him, but he was a hugely important figure in the development of queer art and literature back in the day, not the least for founding Christopher Street magazine. He was also important in the 1990’s, with his Stonewall Inn imprint at St. Martin’s, which eventually shuttered around the turn of the century. It’s possible I may have met him back in the days when I worked for Lambda; it’s very likely, in fact, but my memories have grown faded to sepia with time and there’s a lot I don’t remember from back then (it’s always mortifying when someone reminds me of us meeting back then and I don’t recall anything about it; there’s usually an amusing story that goes with it that makes it even more mortifying that I don’t remember). But hat’s off to you, Michael; you discovered and published a lot of authors who brought me hours of reading joy. Thank you for your life’s work.

I didn’t sleep well last night, which was something I was worried about happening. I woke up every hour or so, never really felt like I went in a deep sleep at all, and feel fried and tired today. Yay. But its okay, I can deal, and hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight and feel great tomorrow. Heavy heaving sigh.

We finished season one of P-Valley and started season two–but weren’t too crazy about the second season. They are dealing with the pandemic, and I have to confess it never occurred to me what strippers would do during a pandemic; I did wonder, while watching, why none of them had an Onlyfans? Especially since one of them is attracting a large following on Instagram? Paul and I agreed to give the second season a second chance, but unless there’s a dramatic pick-up on the story, we’ll probably stop watching and may come back to it at another time. Which then begs the question what will we watch in the meantime? I have some things on my list, so maybe we can check out some of them tonight. And of course, if we don’t like something we can always stop watching it.

I did finish reading Margot Douaihy’s Scorched Grace yesterday, and it was quite a ride. The voice, the tone, the word choices and sentence structures…all of it unique and if not, then a fresh new way of doing something shopworn. Sister Holiday is a fascinating character with an equally fascinating back story; we glimpsed some of it in this first book (of three), and I like the idea of a hardboiled cozy with a lesbian chain-smoking nun as the main character. The book certainly subverts your expectations, and there’s a hypnotic quality to the writing, that pulls you in and makes you keep turning the page. I started marking pages that had sentences I really liked for when I do a post focusing on said book; I want to let the book sit in my head for a while before I devote an entire entry to it. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year so far–and this year I’ve read some truly phenomenal books already and it’s only mid-April, with even more exciting books dropping throughout the course of the rest of this year.

And I really need to get more progress done on the book. The problem is not sleeping well during the week (see last night) and being too tired when I get home from work to do any more work on it. But tonight, after I get home from running errands on the way from work, I am hoping that I can start pulling some of the strings of the story without unraveling the entire thing. One can hope, at any rate, right?

And on that note I am heading into the spice mines. I thought about calling out for the day but would rather go in and gut it out. You have a great Monday, Constant Reader, and I’ll be back tomorrow morning.

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