Sep 29, 2017

Portugal (3) --- Porto: Harry Potter's bookstore

So we're in Porto, and Chang begins to talk about Harry Potter. Namely, we have to go to this bookstore. Huh? Chang, bookstores?

Yes, the Harry Potter book store

Turn's out, J.K. Rowling, the author of the Potter franchise, had been living in Porto for a while, and when it came to locations for the movies, she moved Hollywood to the Lello Bookstore here, whereto the library of Hogwards had been relocated.

It's now a major tourist attraction, and the only bookstore in the world that charges an entrance fee (of four EUR) and has a line waiting outside.

The entrance fee is exchanged for a "voucher" which one can redeem book-wise. So, we bought "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," the first installment of the series.

Our friend Glenn sends this cri de coeur:

Not exactly a cri de coeur, but you get the gist.

Anything the GREEN EYES have to add to this? We have a billionaire, Neill Palmer, sure, and he dies a suspicious darkroom death in Part II. But we have nothing really funny. Well, okay, here, from Part I, John meeting Palmer at Godehart's party/orgy (the thing about the web site is true, actually, and the guy's name really was Neill, but he wasn't wealthy). Here goes:

The network next to me consists of two elderly men, and two youngish rent boys. Love is in the air. The men are much older than me. I recognize one of them from the distant past, when I was still a young regular at the Blue Moon. He was running a place off the Coastal Highway, on Route 24, a large Thai place with an upper, more secluded, floor above the main restaurant, awful food, and willful oriental boys, who were waiting on tables in the meantime. Patrons came from all over the place, even from Atlanta, to taste one or more of his waiters. Yes, now I remember his name, Neill Palmer. He kept a website back in those days that was quite revolutionary, poorly aligned text in colorful, meandering hues and pictures of his staff, ranked according to their state of sexual arousal, the apex being the climax, boys caught with their cum coming in flagrante. I remember that he had never managed to externalize the moment of the squirt (white ropes flying from the penis), his cum-shots were always a bit off, the cum caught already dispersed into milky drops in the empty, or not so empty, space in front of his oriental masturbators.

Sep 28, 2017

Portugal (2) --- Porto

Westerly view of the Douro River. Note the fog; it's like in San Francisco.
View of touristy downtown Porto from the upper level of the Louis I bridge.

We're in Porto at the moment, the city of port wine and Harry Potter. 
Tomorrow we'll explain why.

More reactions to This Is Heaven

M. v. Brentano

Michael's philosophy teacher Margherita v. Brentano always used to say: "Don't care about what they are saying, care about what they are doing." Along those lines, a friend sends this message on Goodreads:

"I am about 100 pages into "Green Eyes, An Erotic Story" and I am quite impressed. (Admittedly, I've had 2 boners already. Sorry if that is too graphic for you, but I figured that the stories you write it would not be.)
I read your book before bed (and in bed) so it makes for a better atmosphere."

And here, another review on Goodreads from Mrs. Becky Kahl:

"I don’t read this kind of books but overall it was a good book. My grandsons age 15 & 16 loved it."

So much for adult content.

This Is Heaven, order now...


(One remark: Reading about Becky's grandchildren, I was first surprised, but then I thought: if you discount the sex scenes, this is very much an Enid Blyton story---and any contemporary adolescent has been exposed to so much sex on the internet (and perhaps elsewhere), all of them possibly discount sex scenes automatically.)

Sep 21, 2017

Portugal (1) --- Bondi Beach

We're on our way to Portugal---in fact, we've arrived already---and so we need to share this picture Chang took of Michael in Pau, a historic town north of the Pyrenees, where Henri IV was born, father of Louis XIII.

And Bondi Beach? In case you were wondering, it's Australia's signature beach, located south of Sidney:

The place where we are now, Vila Praia de Ancora, looks roughly like this, by the way. Stay tuned.

Sep 13, 2017

The Schadenfreude Institute

(Our friend Glenn sends this cartoon)

Anything the GREEN EYES have to add to this? Not really, except that we have Barbette Bienpensant, a professor of quantitative metaphysics and experienced forecaster of doom, who's affiliated with the University of Metaphysics. There, they have Departments of Alchemy and of Astrology. Why not  adding a Schadenfreude Institute to the mix? Especially with Donald Trump in the offing? Here's a pertaining fragment,  CH 46 of This Is Heaven, with John and the Bienpensant  conversing (the story is set in 2014):

“You and I talked about this before,” I say. “What do you do if your prediction is wrong? If there is no Armageddon?” Well, there’s so much Armageddon already. And there’ll be more soon, her Department of Astrology put out a Trump Warning. “A what?”  Trump, you know, the NYC real estate mogul, the stars have aligned apparently, they predict he’ll be the next president. And yet, you know, the end of the world need not be the end of the world, even with Trump in the offing, see, it could be rapture, rapture for just about everybody, an ecumenical ride from this world to the next. One moment we’re in this vale of sorrows, and the next we are up there in heaven. This is heaven— like Alex says, that’s what she loves so much about Alex. But people are so edgy these days, they don’t take yes for an answer. And so impatient. They always require distractions.

Sep 7, 2017

Amos Lassen reviews "This Is Heaven"

Cool, folks, cool. The first official review of This Is Heaven is out, and it's by review celebrity Amos Lassen. Here are a few lines:

I have remarked several times that the sign of good literature is that which makes me think and I have been doing a lot of thinking about Michael Ampersant’s wonderful new novel, “This is Heaven”...

...I must admit that I have already had more than my fill of novels predicting the end of time and vampires. Novels like this tend to appear in cycles and it seems that vampires have become a staple in gay literature. I became apprehensive with where this story was going but something said to me to keep reading and I am glad that I did as many of my favorite historical and literary figures make an appearance here— Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Enid Blyton, Mark Twain, and many other writers appear in cameos. The satire becomes quite strong while we move forward and the characters interact with each other. I surprisingly realized that I was totally pulled into the novel...

 ...Ampersant's wit is wonderful and there were times that I could see him in my mind as he sits at his computer writing this with a wry smile on his face. His prose is gorgeous and his characters are fascinating. For those two reasons alone, you should want to read, “This is Heaven”.

Read Lassen 's entire review here

This Is Heaven, order now...

Michael Ampersant

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Sep 5, 2017

Why we like Paul Krugman

Krugman is always good, but here's one of his krugest statements. I've been thinking about it since I read it in the NYT in 2016, long before the elections:

And, yes, this being us, now we have to paddle our wares. There's nothing about Krugman in This Is Heaven, but we have an entire Krugman chapter in the GREEN EYES, Chapter 38, titled (don't hold your breath): "What's Paul Krugman's Penis Size."


I have been courageous enough to ask for a table for two to be ready at seven, we’ll have to wait some more. Howard will have a drink at the bar. Let’s get this on track immediately, let’s talk about the gym. I didn’t have a chance to go to the gym during the last couple of days, too busy. You can’t imagine how busy life is for a hippocampus teacher during the college break, but tomorrow I’ll be going (duh, duh, duh). So I’m teaching French. How interesting. Interesting, indeed. How to turn the conversation to murder? I seemingly can’t make the transition, bubbling instead about the influence of French on the evolution of English, or hiding the many weaknesses of my résumé.

I see two tables cleared next to the central window on the street side, very good tables indeed, when I notice two people to my left, who have replaced the beefy guy. I’ve seen the face of the man before, on my blog, actually. We’re famous in Georgia Beach, seriously, folks. Will I tell Trevor? You think Trevor would be interested in politics, or the New York Times, or economics, or Nobel prizes? Possibly not—you have other problems when you’re a confirmed bachelor without a future. Trevor, who must be looking right into the eyes of Paul Krugman behind me, shows no signs of recognition what-so-ever. It’s crystal-clear, he’s not attracted to the fifty-nine year old Nobel laureate.

Sep 3, 2017

Vanity fair

We're also---see last post---featured on:

Two men are better than one

Queer SciFi


Gay Flash Fiction

The Reader's Handbook

Cool, folks, we are this week's Sunday Feature of Katie Lewington's The Reader's Handbook. There's a lot of stuff about THIS IS HEAVEN, including an interview. 

Here's one Q/A from it:

What themes are in your writing? 

The two fiction books I’ve finished are fairly erotic, and fairly explicit in places. So, sex would be a theme. But it’s not the principle message. There’s this aphorism by Mark Twain: It’s easier to fool people than convince them that they get fooled. That’s what I’m writing about. Highly topical in the age of Trump, I’d say. I’m interested in language, and lots of my writing is about language and how it’s used and misused. I’m also interested in politics. Here’s one little fragment from This Is Heaven (with Nick, the owner of Nick’s Restaurant, speaking):

“People have a right to forget,” he says. “Think of slavery. That wasn’t ‘slavery’ at all—that was ‘our peculiar institution.’ ‘Suffragette’—that was our term of derision for a bunch of uppity bitches. ‘Miscegenation’—that was miss, you understand, and illegal to boot. ‘Separate but equal’—my God, we swore by it until fucking Truman put them all in the same bunkbeds. And Brown versus Schoolboard—have you seen the clips, Brown emanating from a court hearing, and the entire American press stalking him with sneers and laughter ‘cuz he’s black and wannabe white? And now you guys, with your rainbow marriage. There’s only one solution for real Americans, who have never, ever, been racist, or misogynists, or segregationist, or anti-Semitic, or homophobic, or whatever was wrong with us in the past—or will be wrong with us in the future—and that’s forgetfulness.”

Haha. Can you come up with a more succinct critique of American Conservatism?

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