Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Some Interesting Wine Bars and Wineries in West VA & VA

Interesting bars

La Luna Gallery and Wine Bar
48 N Washington St.
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
Open on Fridays and Saturdays, soon on Sundays
La Luna Gallery and Wine Bar

Fine wines, tasty appetizers
Great for a before or after dinner rendez-vous in a rather chic environment, dressed with photography and art.

Vapiano Pasta Pizza Bar
Near Ballston Metro Stop
Wilson Boulevard at Glebe Rd.

A German concept of tasty Italian food at very reasonable prices a la cafeteria style. However, if anyone has bad back problems, this is not the restaurant for you as there are no chairs with a back support.


Three Fox Vineyards
10100 Three Fox Lane
Delaphane, Virginia

Whereas Virginia is mostly known for its white wines, Three Fox Vineyards not only has some good white wines but also some good red wines. The outside eating area makes a perfectly pleasant scene for picnics or just slipping wine with friends with a platter of cheeses.

Hillsborough Vineyards
36716 Charles Town Pike
Purcellville, VA 20132
Four of their wines won prizes at the American Wine Society.
You might want to try:
OPAL 2004 - Silver
GARNET 2004 - Bronze
RUBY 2004 - Bronze
BLOODSTONE 2004 - Bronze
And their Serefina is also a great wine to try.

Loudoun Valley Winery
38516 Charlestown Pike
Waterford, VA 20197
They have many wines to choose from.

905 Quarry Road, Berryville, VA 22611
Phone: 540-955-5510

This is one of my favorite wineries both for the view out on the veranda but most importantly both their red and white wines are quite good.
Look for:
Cabernet Franc 2004 Silver Winner
Rooster Red 2005 Silver Winner
Chardonnay 2005 Bronze Winner
Merlot 2004 Bronze Winner


Players in the Dream, Dreamers in the Play by Marian Kaplun Shapiro

Marian Kaplun Shapiro, who has published poems in numerous journals, has recently released her first collection of poetry entitled Players in the Dream, Dreamers in the Play though she has written two other books in her field of psychology.

In this book, Kaplun Shapiro has given the reader a wealth of content for thought. For example, the poem Basic Arithmetic pricks the mind with its play on words "One and / one make two / ones...." while in "View From A Train Window" mixes memories and dreams "...You are also sitting / next to me, sedately reading your paper-/ back. There is nothing strange / your being in two places at one, or / about the red hair you, / in the water, / have sprouted...."

But Kaplun Shapiro also takes the reader to a mystical level in such poems as Naming which evokes the mystery of the Unknown and all the names various cultures have come up with to address its Power. From "God... to The Spirit... to the Nameless One."

But perhaps Kaplun Shapiro's strength comes with dealing with the ordinary, our lives, our problems as in Birthday she brings us to the reality of "... Diabetes, / heart disease, deceased. Low-fat / diets buried...."

So here in a world of dreams the reader becomes the dreamer through the eyes of Kaplun Shapiro and by doing so he/she experiences matters of life: loss, friends, and the problems of simply living.

To purchase of copy, click on the link at

Players in the Dream, Dreamers in the Play


Local DC Area Upcoming Readings

If you are looking for local DC-area poetry readings, here are some to chooce from:

Wednesday, September 19, 7 pm
Poesis Reading Series, Kim Roberts and Ellen Cole
Pentagon City Borders Books, 1201 S. Hayes St. Arlington, VA. (703) 418-0166. Hosted by Cliff Bernier. Free Admission. Borders Books Stores

Friday, September 28 at 6:30 pm
Hiram Larew and Kim Roberts
Ahh, Coffee!, 1015 Bay Ridge Ave., Eastport Shopping Center, Annapolis, MD. (410) 990-9111. Hosted by Rocky Jones. Free admission.
Ahh, Coffee!

Saturday September 29 at 3:00 pm (Attic Publication reading) and 6:00 pm (Barbara Simon tribute reading) and
Sunday, September 30 at 1:30 pm (Vrzhu Press Reading)
Hiram Larew and Kim Roberts
Baltimore Book Festival, outdoors around Mount Vernon Place, 600 block of N. Charles St., Baltimore. (410) 752-8632. Free Admission.
Baltimore Book Festival Readings

Saturday, October 6, 3:00 pm
Abdul Ali, Anthony Ashe, Carolyn Joyner, Hiram Larew, Tony Medina, Deanna Nikaido, and Kim Roberts
3rd Annual Capital Book Fest, The Blvd @ Cap Center, inside Borders Books, Largo, MD. Free Admission.
Capital Book Fest

Wednesday, October 31, 7pm
Vrzhu Press Scary Halloween Reading: Hiram Larew and Kim Roberts
Kensington Row Bookshop, 3786 Howard Ave., Kensington, MD (301) 949-9416. Hosted by Nancy Allinson. Free Admission.
Kensington Row Bookshop

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Maximus in Catland Is Released

Gival Press is pleased to announce the release of Maximus in Catland by David Garrett Izzo, a rather prolific writer. This volume also includes Purring Heights.

A recent review describes the book as follows:

"Maximus in Catland is a charming book. For those among us who adore felines, as the author clearly does, there is the additional benefit of seeing an alternate history for beloved pets! David Garrett Izzo has written a fable set in a time when big cats were a sentient and, indeed, heroic race, while human beings were the greedy, cruel newcomers. The spiritually aware cats have to counter the power-mad and evil human Reltih, and the trio we first met as kittens—Huxley, Maximus and Princess—now grown, join forces to lead the battle against the human. Maximus in Catland has all the necessary ingredients for a successful fairy tale: good and evil, unrequited love and loving loyalty, heroism and ancient wisdom. When one spells the name of the cruel and avaricious human leader backwards, the fable becomes parable, and, much like C.S. Lewis's Narnia books, can be interpreted as straightforward fantasy or something a little deeper. "
—Jenny Ivor, author of Rambles

To order a copy, click on this link to
Maximus in Catland

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Respite at the Beach?

The dog days of August are perfect for the beach, be it Rehoboth Beach or Lewis, Delaware.

But then many of us have had the same idea which makes getting a reservation a bit of a problem. Nonetheless, we were able to get reservations at The Rehoboth Guest House, where we have stayed before. What we like about it is that it has a perfect location, not far from the bars and the beach and there is parking for one's car.

So if you are interested, click on the link below:

The Rehoboth Guest House Reservations

Of course, there are many places where one can stay but friendly ambiance and morning continental breakfast are traditions, with wine and cheese hour on Saturdays.

With regard to restaurants, some of the standbys are high on our recommendation list:
The Blue Moon Restaurant
Zebra (go for the meat dishes)
El Mariachi

Good happy hours, with reasonable prices at:
The Blue Moon

If you have time, take a side trip to Lewis and check out their main town street with some good restaurants and shops.

True, no one can predict weather, but with 101 degrees this past Wednesday, here's hoping that the city doesn't lose its electricity like it did last week. Fortunately, the electricity came on in the early morning but the champagne we had the night before helped me sleep until I awoke to a very cold room--aha, the air conditioner turned on!

Oh, but on Thursday the ocean or rather the beach was closed mid day due to lightening, but then too much sun can be deadly to the skin so be reasonable about getting sun these days.

Now, if you haven't been to the ocean-side, get yourself a reservation and head East for a couple of days at least and enjoy the drinks, good food, but rest.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Gay New York Couple Make News in The Gay Military Times

While I was at the reception for the Lambda Literary Awards held in New York City in 2005, I met Elmer Lokkins and Gus Archilla. Little did I know that their story is quite an intriguing one.

For one they have been together for 62 as of 2007. One wonders how many non-gays have stayed together that long. The other interesting aspect of their lives is that Elmer Lokkins a World War II veteran was awarded a Distinguished Unit Badge, an Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with Two Bronze Battle Stars, a Philippine Liberation Ribbon with One Bronze Battle Star, and a Good Conduct Ribbon. These two aspects of their story dispel myths about gay folks: one, that they can't be loyal to each other; and, two, that they can't possibly be fit for the military.

Having met in New York in 1945, Elmer and Gus got married in Niagara Falls, Canada in 2003, after 58 years of living together.

They certainly represent a model for folks, gay or non-gay, as they have proven that the glue that is needed to bond folks is made of good communication and understanding as well as love.

To read a more detailed story of their lives by Denny Meyer editor of The Gay Military Times, click on the link below:

The Gay Military

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