Saturday, December 18, 2010

Now I Can Believe It

"If you want to discriminate, there is no place for it in America"
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time Travel Thursday

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We're Standing With You Dan

Sending prayers, good wishes and good vibes for a speedy recovery.   Thank you for all the work you have done, and are doing LT.  Your community owes you a substantial debt of gratitude.  
Kristine W says it perfectly.....It's gonna be Alright.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Crack

Today is "C-Day" at our house.

C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S  Decorating day.

The house has been cleaned, scoured, dusted, shined and vacuumed to within an inch of it's life.

I've lugged the Christmas decoration boxes inside,  and later I will pull them one by one out of the dining room and begin unpacking all the treasures, all the memories, all the newly acquired Christmas Junk and attack the house with the frenzy of a masculine Martha Stewart on Christmas Crack.

I'll break for lunch sometime around 1-1:30 but it will be a light meal because I'll have snacked on the mountain of Christmas Cookies I've been preparing for goody boxes and party favors.

The house will be finished around 5 and I'll succumb to my own diabetic infused coma for around an hour....then order pizza.

The house will shine, and wait with baited angel hair for the party next sunday when relatives in and out of state will descend  en masse for a family holiday party which we haven't held for the better part of a decade.  Who knew so many would say "Yes" so fast when I called them?   However during the lull before the familial storm, we will enjoy the house in the quiet solitude of overdecorated brilliance.

Such is the life of gay men during the holidays.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Could You Step Back A Bit Please.

If I came with an owner’s manual it would have a few helpful tidbits. Such as: If I’m driving, don’t bug me by grabbing my arm or touching me….anywhere really (and this includes my Mom). If I’m at a party, no problem….get as close as you want. If you have a beef with me? You’d better not be so close I can smell your breath. And if I’m in line at Fred Meyer waiting to return something…I do NOT want to feel your body heat on MY back, which is exactly what happened today.

So I’m returning a vacuum cleaner belt because I bought the wrong one. It’s a simple exchange, and I know it’s near Christmas….I also know it’s a Saturday…..I can handle crowds. I’m the next person in line behind a Hispanic woman and it’s taking forfreakingever. She doesn’t speak English and they’re translating the complicated procedure for her credit card dilemma. I’m patient, it’s Christmas time, so all is golden. As we continue to wait, I can feel the line growing, and then I literally feel ‘it‘. My bubble….my personal space has been invaded. I shift ahead slightly…..the invader moves with me. There’s no touching, so I’m sure it isn’t a pick pocket or perv…but my irritability grows.

A person's personal space and comfort zone, varies. Estimates place it at about 24 inches on either side, 28 inches in front and about 16 inches behind for an average westerner. This person was practically resting their chin on my shoulder, so having reached the point of no return I take a half a step forward and turn which put’s me almost nose to nose with a 60 year old man. He’s startled. I’m pissed.

“Could you step back a bit please” I say with a barely even voice, just a little too loudly.  It's not a question, and he get's the point.  But then.....Mr "Imsocloseletsbefriends", get’s this constipated look on his face and takes a couple steps back which causes the other 10 people to move back as well….. and they are not happy. I see irritable faces and I actually hear grumbling, but do I give a flying candy cane? No.

I turn around , my precious bubble again intact just as my Spanish speaking friend whips out a wad of cash and solves her problem and finally I’m at the counter.

When my transaction is done (in about 2 minutes) I tell the clerk “Merry Christmas“, and then turn to face the hostile masses and gave them a “Merry Christmas” as well.

I loves me the holidays…..but I love my bubble even better.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Up To 'Here'

From time to time I reach a saturation point when it comes to TV.
The bad news, horrifying news, the sometimes crushing disappointments and sickening politics, just get to be too much for me.   I didn't used to be this affected by the news, but I've noticed during the last couple years this is the case.  

DADT, ENDA, Tax cuts for the rich, Lawmakers and Representatives who lie, Presidents who fail miserably on their campaign promises, murders, rapes......I've had it.

So today I'm "TV free"...... for today.   I'm not insane after all, I could never just forego the news.   But just for today, I'm taking a break from CNN, MSNBC and the occasional Faux News moment of insanity.....for my sanity.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time Travel Thursday

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Cousin Liz" ahead of her time

My parents used to control the tv dial. Remember those days? The days when TV's had dials and Parents, not children, decided on what was watched as a 'gasp' family?

One of the shows we had to endure was All In the Family. We had a love hate relationship with it. On the one hand we LOVED Edith. The sweet, innocent "dingbat" as Archie called her was the best. Archie however, sort of epitomized my dad who laughed a little too loudly every time Arch said a racial epitath, which was all the time.

As an adult I've been surprised at how much "I" now enjoy watching All In the Family. I'm sure some of it is childhood nostalgia, but that was one smart show. As kids we didn't fully understand how the show demonstrated Archie's ignorance and the plot lines were truly both timely and WAY ahead of their time.

AITF dealt with a handful of gay storylines. Of course they were produced in the early to mid 70s when top stories on the news included Anita Bryant and Harvey Milks saga so it stands to reason 'gay' was a hot, timely topic.

Yesterday I watched AITF and it was the "Cousin Liz" episode.

Edith's school teacher cousin dies, and she and Archie attend the funeral and wake. The wake is held at Cousin Liz's apartment which she shared for over 25 years with her 'roommate' Veronica. When Veronica overhears Archie planning to take a special silver tea set which belonged to Edith's family, the Cousnins relationship is explained very poignantly to an at first confused Edith who ultimately champions the couple.

Veronica:  "Your cousin liz and I were .. we were extremely fond of each other."
Edith:  "Oh, I know. We was, too."
Veronica:  ".. you see Edith .. we... we loved each other."
Edith:  "I know. We loved each other, too. I can remember when we was kids in school  we was like sisters."
Veronica:  "No, this wasn't like that... We loved each other in a different way."
Edith:  "What way?"
Veronica:  "More like a marriage."

Edith:  "A marriage? Oh no, it couldn't be."

long pause....


All In the Family was truly ahead of it's time.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Think Santa Is Following Me

About this same time last year I was feeling a little blue, and while I was waiting in line at a local drive thru.......... I saw Santa! I can't tell you how that simple event raised my spirits.

Yesterday I was going to the grocery store and I saw him again! Of course he wasn't wearing the suit,because (duh)'s waaaay to early, but it was the same car and the same beard and this time he was chatting on a cell phone.

I think Santa is following me. Good thing I've been nothing but 'nice' this year!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Pricetag On Civil Rights

The Atlanta police reached a settlement with the Eagle on the raid last year, remember that? Last year they burst through the doors in full SWAT gear, brutalized a couple patrons screaming anti-gay slurs and were just in general total douche bags.

I remember being dumbfounded when I first heard about that story. Can you imagine what that must have been like? That day at the Atlanta Eagle was closely reminiscent of that night in NYC at the Stonewall Inn……..but this was 2009.  One thing that's clear, is that the struggle for civil rights is far from over, and that's sad.
While I’m not a bar-gay anymore, I try to place myself in that situation and wonder what I would have done. Would I have been defiant and possibly been beaten? Would I have been brazen and resisted? Would I have kept quiet or maybe even snapped a few precious pictures to document the brutality?

I don’t know.

For all the Atlanta Pds posturing after the incident, today the news is they settled the lawsuit somewhere north of a million bucks.

A million bucks huh?

I guess civil rights come cheap these days
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Horror Of A Good Man

I never thought I would write a letter to a man incarcerated for three counts of murder, but last night I did just that.
In the mid 1980s, my grade school Principal took a shotgun and murdered his wife and two young daughters. I vividly remember watching the news and listening in horror as they played one of the girls 911 call which ended with a shotgun blast.

During the early 70s when I was in the first grade, it was a tough time for my family. My mother brought my sister and I to a small Idaho town on a wing and a prayer and we lived with my grandparents. It was an especially hard winter, and I was scared at the idea of a new school and new town. One day I became sick and wanted to go home. There were some other kids in the office with the same problem, and Mr Stover drove several of us home. I was the last one to be dropped off but there was a problem. Because we had just moved, I didn’t know my exact address, but I knew the street. Mr Stover drove me up and down, block after block hoping I would recognize my house. We didn’t find it, and had to return to school, but along the way he reassured me it was ’okay’ and was incredibly kind to me. I’ve never forgotten that afternoon. .

We moved that summer and the next school year Mr Stover became the Principal at my new school.

In the third grade, I was bullied by a crossing guard at lunch time. Once I identified the kid, he took care of the situation and I never had another problem.

When I was in the 6th grade, there was a boy who arrived in the latter part of the year and only stayed a month or so. The other kids wanted nothing to do with him, but we became friends even though it cost me socially. I remember he had a truly horrible home life. While working on a project, I clearly remember him saying “I wish Mr. Stover was my dad.” I protested, but he was adamant that he was a better choice than his own father.

That said a lot. Mr Stover affected a lot of kids that way. He was a remarkable, kind, soft-spoken man who truly cared about all his students. His family meant the world to him, and it showed.

When the mid 80s rolled around, the Stovers went through hard times and moved to Boise. He couldn’t find a position with the school system there and he tried selling insurance. Bills mounted, tensions within the family rose and somewhere along the way he lost himself and his mind. According to the news, in a moment of despair, believing his family would soon be homeless and they would starve…. he lost his mind….. and his family lost their lives. It was horrible, our little town was shaken to the core.

I believe in the death penalty, I believe there is unspeakable evil in the world like in the Petit case.
Mr Stover was not evil. Yes he did an evil horrible thing….but that was a result of a broken, delusional man. He’s been in prison for 25 years now and he wont be eligible for parole for many years to come.   He’s now in his late 70s and from what I heard he doesn’t remember that fateful day and is adamant he could never have done such a horrible thing.

I don’t know why he’s been on my mind lately, but he has.  I also don't know about attoning for sins of that it even possible?   All I can say for sure, is that his life up to that tragic day has to have counted for something, and it's important for me to let him know how he touched my life.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

A Unicorn F@#$ing A Dolphin

If I were to get a tattoo, it would have to be a unicorn fucking a dolphin in front of a beautiful gay rainbow.  

Why?  because I'd cock it up anywhich way I went.   My 'cool' would be nerdy.   My 'cutting edge' would be sooooo 80s.

I admire some tattoos on some people, but when it comes down to it, I just don't trust myself to make that kind of commitment.

I have two nephews who are pierced and tattooed beyond belief. Though I love them dearly, if I’m being 100 percent honest…..they look just plain awful. Demonic skulls, writhing monsters…and other rotten art decorate arms, legs, heads and other nether regions so…..for me the mere idea of getting inked is too much. I can’t get over that the blonde sweet face I used to kiss goodnight is now a shaved headed walking nightmare of living ‘art’.

I love watching the Tattoo shows on TLC.  Miami INK (which I think has been canceled for awhile) and of course Kat Von D's show LA Ink are really fun.   I am amazed at Kat's work, although for such a pretty girl.....she just looks so freaking dirty to me.  And I'm not talking 'dirty = hot' either.....more like  dirty = tetanus and an STD coctail.
Tattoos look great on some guys…hot even, but on other’s not so much. What separates David Becham from Jim Bob? Is it the bank account? Is it the subject matter?

For me, getting a tatt simply would not work right now....I know my limitations.  But in the future?  I guess the unicorn fucking the dolphin in front of a gay rainbow could happen, when I'm in my 80s.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time Travel Thursday

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We've Forgotten

We have forgotten about AIDS.   Well, maybe not completely......but almost.

Of those currently infected with HIV, one in five doesn't know they have the condition, and the majority of new infections are spread by people who are unaware of their own status.

About 41% of new infections last year affected young people aged 15-24, and women accounted for about 51% of new infections.

I am 43, which might as well be 158 in gay years...but I'm okay with that.  Really.

I was 2 years old when Stonewall was happening, 8 when Anita Bryant was singing about orange juice while trying to eradicate gay people.  I was 16 when I saw my first gay pride parade and heard my beloved grandmother spit out the words "Sick Queers", and I was 18 when Rock Hudson died and I began hearing about the "Gay Cancer" known as AIDS.  

I didn't think AIDS would ever touch MY life.  But it has.    I'm HIV negative, but that's as much due to luck as it is foresight, and I thank God I have my health.   But my cousin's husband, who had leukemia when he was 23 received a blood transfusion and that's how he became infected.   A friend of mine lost his wife and two children when he became HIV positive and the dark secret he'd held all his life finally came out.    And an acquaintance in my small town was on a mission to infect as many people as he could before he died.

AIDS touches us all, but these day's it seems as though we've forgotten about it. 

We need to reconnect with those who are "living with, living with not dying from disease" every day.

We need to contribute with whatever resources we have for those who's time is running out.  

We need to be responsible.  

We need to Remember what it was like when we started dying horrible quick deaths and nobody, but nobody gave a flying fuck about a sick queer.

We Need To Remember, and ACT UP.
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