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Queery: Tim Woody

20 questions for the Brother Help Thyself supporter

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Tim Woody remembers his early years in Washington fondly. He’d been through the HIV-related death of his partner in 2000 and emerged from the tragedy as a gay social butterfly.

“Monday was JR.’s, Tuesday was drag bingo, Thursday was shirtless night at Green Lantern, Friday was bear happy hour at Ramrod, Saturday was the Eagle,” he says. “I was out all the time.”

Working in various retail management jobs by day and partying with the bear and leather communities many nights, Woody was never at a loss for activities. He was also active with Brother Help Thyself, a local gay HIV/AIDS charity. The socializing paid off. He met his current partner, HRC’s Jim Rinefierd, one night at Titan Ramrod.

“I said, ‘What would it take to get you to take your shirt off,'” Woody recalls. “He said, ‘Not much.’ I went home with him that night and basically haven’t gone home since. That was three-and-a-half years ago.”

The 37-year-old Oceanside, Calif., native, who was discharged from the Navy under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993, has had a lot of change in his life. Just a year ago, he switched careers and started selling real estate for Coldwell Banker in Dupont Circle. For a rookie Realtor, it’s going surprisingly well he says. Woody and Rinefierd live together in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood with their 7-year-old Border Collie, Seamus. Woody enjoys shopping, cooking and community efforts. For information on Brother Help Thyself’s annual fundraiser Night Out at Kings Dominion, slated for Sept. 11, visit brotherhelpthyself.org.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve been out for almost 20 years. The hardest person to tell would have been my mom. Primarily because of those fears most of us face when deciding to come out. Will I be rejected and ousted or accepted and loved all the more. Fortunately it was the strong emphasis on the latter with all the love my mom could have given me. Being on “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show” helped too.

Who’s your gay hero?
People who took a stand to make things right or fought doing so that others would enjoy life’s offering more. People like the late Neil Alexander and the late Cheryl Spector.

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
It all depends on what day of the week you’re going out. Our community has a lot to offer and there is definitely something for everyone.

Describe your dream gay wedding.
If money was not an issue, for me it wouldn’t be about the gifts but more about the moments, and the party of the century. Hosted and featured with the best of food, music and drinks. It would be friends and family coming out to celebrate that moment in my life. To celebrate not only what has become but what will be in the future, a bonding of lives.

What non-gay issue are you most passionate about?
Helping those in what way I can who are less fortunate than I. I’ve been given a great number of blessings and sometimes others aren’t as lucky who deserve to be.

What historical outcome would you change?
In my own personal history, it would happen to be the loss of my father when I was only 5-and-a-half years old to a Tractor Trailer accident in Oregon. I’ve always wondered what my dad would have been like as I grew from a kid to my teens into the man I am today.

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Going to the “Wildest Dreams” Tina Turner concert with my late partner, Jon. Feeling alive with the energy, which radiated from the stage. Wow, what a woman.

On what do you insist?
Good hygiene, well addressed manners and people who give a shit about what is going on around them.

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
Silly nonsense about a good laugh I had with the new Geico commercial about the little piggy who cried, “We we we all the way home.”

If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“The greatest thing I’ve learned was just to love and be loved in return.” (Yes, a “Moulin Rouge” quote).

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I would stay exactly who I am. I believe I have been made for God wants me to be, not what society wants of me.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Be it heaven, nirvana or wherever you may end up, I do believe there is a place to where the spirit from our body takes flight. Being receptive to spirits and their presence (loved ones passed are always around me).

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
We’ve made great strides for our community since knowing I was gay almost 25 plus years ago. Keep up with the momentum, persevere and endure. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What would you walk across hot coals for?
Being brought up by a mother who has lived with polio all of her life, there is nothing more that moves me than the thought for her to know what it is like to walk without her brace, crutches or the aid of her wheelchair/scooter.

What gay stereotype annoys you most?
All gay men are just pedophiles in hiding or we’re out to recruit for our cause or hidden agenda. Where’s my toaster?

What’s your favorite gay movie?
A true toss up between “Sordid Lives” and “Girls will be Girls.” I love do me some Varla Jean. Who doesn’t?

What’s the most overrated social custom?
Boys should be raised as boys and girls as girls. Let kids express and find themselves as they will.

What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Holding the title as Mr. D.C. Bear for 2005 through 2007. As well as being awarded Brother Help Thyself’s Anthony J. Bachrach Award for 2010 in recognition for “Outstanding Volunteer Services to the Gay and Lesbian Community” here in D.C.

What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That my life was going to be touched by a lot of different people. Never be afraid to embrace them and always let them know what they mean to you before it’s too late.

Why Washington?
After my partner of four years passed in December 2000, I started getting involved more with the leather and bear community. Doing more fund raising, meeting new people and instead of constantly commuting, I was told by a good friend, a mentor of sorts, that there’s no better time to just jump into a new life. And so I jumped. I just didn’t know it was going to be one as great as this life has turned out to be.

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Dining

Dine All Night to showcase excellence of all things food and beverage

11-day event to highlight more than 60 participating local restaurants

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Kamal Azzouz, owner of Urban Roast, is participating in Dine All Night.

When Art All Night meets the culinary arts: The longstanding late-evening tradition in D.C. is adding another ingredient to its cultural recipe this year with the addition of Dine All Night, a complementary event to showcase the DMV’s excellence in all things food and beverage.

Art All Night returns this year on Sept. 29 and 30, from 7 p.m.-3 a.m. both evenings. Taking place across all eight wards, it features more than 100 artists and a host of business improvement districts and “main streets” that support local establishments. 

Art All Night kicked off more than 10 years ago in 2011, when Shaw Main Streets created the evening event as a unique way to highlight the bustling Shaw neighborhood and its link to art and culture.

Leading up to Art All Night weekend, the new Dine All Night begins Sept. 21 and continues through Oct. 1. The 11-day event will highlight over 60 participating local restaurants that took on the “creative challenge to create culinary artistry through food with limited-time-only menus and offerings,” according to the organizer, Department of Small and Local Business Development. The limited-run menus “showcase food as a genuine art form.”

Participating restaurants were asked to create a menu and cocktail that expressed their creativity. For example, the pop-up Taco Dirty to Me menu all has music-related references. 

Participating neighborhoods in Dine All night include Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant, Eastern Market, Georgetown, Glover Park, H Street, North Capitol, Pennsylvania Avenue East, Rhode Island Avenue, Shaw, Tenleytown, The Parks, Upper Bladensburg, and Uptown.

Some restaurant highlights: Mr. Henrys, Beuchert’s Saloon, Bronze, The Pursuit, Uncaged Mimosas, DCity Smokehouse, Ghostburger, El Techo, Quattro Osteria, Electric Cool-Aid, Seoulspice, and Guapo’s.

Urban Roast is one of the restaurants that has a special menu. “It means a lot to us to be a part of this citywide effort,” says owner Kamal Azzouz. “We opened in the middle of the pandemic, in June 2020, so having the support of the city behind us with this important event is a great feeling. I’m very thankful for it.”

During Dine All Night, Urban Roast will offer a prix-fixe three-course meal with items like dynamite shrimp and flank steak. The restaurant will also have a Night Owl cocktail served only on September 29 and 30 during Art All Night events. 

A full list of participating restaurants, bars, and food trucks is available at dcartallnight.org/dineallnight

“DC Art All Night and Dine All Night spotlight the District’s rich cultural and culinary offerings. These events showcase our local artists’ and chefs’ incredible talents and diverse creations while emphasizing their significance in creating an atmosphere that supports the small business community,” said Director Kristi Whitfield of the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development.

The Art All Night website further notes that, “Dine All Night is a tribute to the boundless creativity and artistic skills of our talented local chefs and mixologists based in the District. Through a series of unique culinary experiences, special menu items, carefully curated dining itineraries, and hidden gems, Dine All Night will provide you with a fresh perspective on the artistry of food.”

On the newly updated website, dcartallnight.org, visitors can map out their experience for the evening using their desktop computer or mobile phone. The feature, integrated with Google Maps, highlights each of the activations, provides the opportunity to plan routes, and suggests ideal routes based on an attendee’s interest. Categories include live music, family friendly, and late night vibes.

Art All Night is officially a collaboration between the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), DSLBD’s Main Streets programs, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Public Library, and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

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Real Estate

Chores for the fall before the chill arrives

Clean gutters, replace smoke detector batteries, and more

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Get busy now on house projects before the winter chill sets in.

While it may not feel like fall is in the air yet, it won’t be too long before pumpkin spice will explode everywhere — in food, drinks, candles, and body lotions, to name a few places. If you’re not a fan, you’ll find air freshener plug-ins in scents like Frosted Cranberry, Fresh Fall Morning, and Sweater Weather among the offerings at Bath and Body Works.

Soon after, hordes of December holiday decorations will appear in the stores, often bypassing a smidgen of items for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Except candy. Halloween candy will always figure prominently.

But before you hibernate and chow down on mini-Snickers bars, there is work to be done to prepare your home for the winter.

Inside the home. To ensure your safety, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries or buy new detectors if they are more than 10 years old. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned, and make any necessary repairs, then test your fire extinguishers. Seal doors and windows that might allow drafts to enter with weatherstripping.

Now is the time to take advantage of the discount prices on heating system tune-ups that some HVAC companies are offering. As little as $59 for a check-up will help your equipment function better and extend its life. 

A furnace tune-up should include cleaning all components, lubricating motor parts, checking electrical parts for rust or corrosion, making sure your thermostat is working properly, and replacing the filter. You may want to take this opportunity to have your vents cleaned as well. 

A heat pump inspection includes cleaning and lubricating the blower and fan motors, inspecting indoor and outdoor coils, flushing the condensate drain, and testing the controls.

If you have a boiler instead of a furnace or heat pump, you can expect your serviceperson to inspect, test and calibrate all gauges and safety mechanisms, measure and record the flame pattern concentration and carbon monoxide, check electrical connections, and more. 

Don’t forget to bleed the radiators to release air in the pipes and enhance the circulation of warm water. And if you’re like me, cross your fingers that your 47-year-old boiler will last one more season.

Outside the home. While the leaves haven’t started falling yet, the recent rain and winds may have blown yard debris into your gutters, so make sure they, and your downspouts, are clear. Position the downspouts so they will take any water away from your foundation and regrade the perimeter of your house, if needed.

Check your roof for lost shingles. Look for missing flashing or bricks in need of tuck-pointing or parging on the exterior of your chimney. Walk around your house and note any foundation cracks or unsealed openings. Check retaining walls for missing mortar. There is still plenty of time to make these repairs before the cold sets in.

Now that 90-degree temperatures have receded a bit, plan the power washing and painting of exterior surfaces that you have been putting off tackling. And since the Labor Day barbecue is now over, it’s time to winterize your gas grill.

In the garden. Far be it for me to profess to be an expert in the garden. I’m the first one on the phone to a landscaper to seek help. In fact, there is a barrage of weeding going on at my home this week. Nonetheless, here are a few suggestions.

Prune trees and bushes to promote future growth. Water, aerate, and fertilize the lawn. Select any bulbs you want to plant and enjoy next spring and consult a source such as Better Homes and Gardens magazine for tips on how and when to plant them. 

Drain garden hoses, detach them, and drain the pipes that run to the hose bibbs as well. If you’re lucky enough to have underground sprinklers (I am not), follow the manufacturer’s instructions for winterizing them, or call a professional.

Store lawn furniture and cushions in a shed, garage, or basement. Or do as I do – throw away the cushions that are dirty or moldy and buy new ones next spring. And when the leaves fall en masse, rake them, bag them, and recheck your gutters and downspouts to be sure they’re clear.

Finally, head to the hardware store to buy a snow shovel, some windshield de-icer and washer fluid, and a few bags of salt or pet-safe, snow-melting product before the rush. You’ll be glad you did.

And if you happen to live in a condominium or cooperative, when you have completed any relevant interior chores, relax for the rest of the season and enjoy some candy. I stash mine in the cabinet above the refrigerator. 

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Autos

Standout SUVs: Jeep Compass, Subaru Crosstrek

Americans still prefer larger vehicles to sedans

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Jeep Compass

Last year Americans left many old-school chariots in the dust, buying twice as many SUVs as sedans. But while early pioneers like the Jeep Cherokee and Ford Explorer get props for leading the sport-ute charge, today there are more than 170 models. I recently test drove two newish SUVs that kinda-sorta remind me of my Pride bracelet: They make a statement, but at an affordable price. 

JEEP COMPASS
$29,000
MPG: 24 city/32 highway
0 to 60 mph: 7.5 seconds
Cargo room: 27.2 cu. ft.

PROS: lots of amenities, good storage, all-wheel drive

CONS: some pricey options, stiff ride, bit noisy cabin

IN A NUTSHELL: Redesigned last year, the Jeep Compass gets a stronger engine for 2023. More power usually means reduced fuel efficiency, but mileage is up almost 10% from the previous model. Another plus: More stowage space, which had been sorely lacking. And all-wheel drive is now standard, so better traction and handling, especially on slick or gravelly terrain. 

Despite having chiseled looks like the midsize Jeep Cherokee, the smaller Compass feels lighter and more limber. But while this compact SUV can handle light off-roading, the short wheelbase makes it hard to ignore potholes or speed bumps. In fact, I often had to slow down to a crawl to not seesaw jarringly over them. In other words, any Barbie or Ken wannabes with perfectly coiffed hair will want to stick to smoother surfaces when driving this vehicle.  

The well-built cabin is much improved, with higher quality materials. The dash is covered in soft-touch leather—a nice touch—with a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.1-inch touchscreen. Plenty of legroom and headroom in front, but tallish backseat passengers may feel a bit squished. 

There are five trim levels, including the top-of-the-line Trailhawk, with more aggressive styling and solid off-road capability. I tested the mid-range Latitude Lux, which costs $5,000 more than the base model but comes with larger wheels, heated seats, and other niceties. 

Notable tech features: smartphone integration, Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, wireless charging, voice recognition, remote start and nine-speaker Alpine stereo. 

But it’s the list of safety gear that rally wowed me, such as rearview camera, park assist, lane-departure warning, driver-attention monitoring, rear-seat passenger reminder, pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitor, forward collision warning with active braking, and—whew!—so much more. 

SUBARU CROSSTREK
$27,000
MPG: 28 city/34 highway
0 to 60 mph: 9.1 seconds
Cargo room: 20 cu. ft.

PROS: decent mileage, comfy seats, user-friendly cabin

CONS: poky base engine, so-so storage, plasticky dashboard

IN A NUTSHELL: With so much sport-ute competition these days, automakers seem to be revamping their SUV models each year (not every four to six years, as in the past). This time, the Subaru Crosstrek receives some nifty design flourishes and major cabin upgrades. Compared to the butch Jeep Compass, the curvier Crosstrek looks trés chic. Think boyish Buck versus trendy Eddie on “911.” 

Based on the nimble Impreza hatchback, the subcompact Crosstrek feels car-like and agile. Two engine choices, but opt for the more potent powerplant so it doesn’t feel like you’re just treading water. While the Crosstrek is smaller and slower than the Compass, the ride here is smoother and more composed. Higher ground clearance, tighter suspension and quick all-wheel drive system all help, as does a new direct-steering system. Plus, paddle shifters, which I only needed to use once or twice when merging into traffic, provide plenty of extra oomph. 

The Crosstrek cabin, which is surprisingly quiet, offers good legroom for passengers in both the front and back. An optional 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen is mounted vertically, similar to those iPad-like displays found in the Ford Mustang Mach-E and various luxury vehicles. 

It says something when my biggest beef with the Crosstrek is the placement of the odometer reset button, which is only a smidge above the remote start button. Both buttons are completely obscured behind the steering wheel, so I was constantly reaching around and pressing the wrong one. A minor annoyance, to be sure. But if Subaru could fix this ergonomic annoyance, then I wouldn’t have to listen to my husband claim that the problem is actually my own “user error.”

Subaru Crosstrek
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