Saturday, October 31, 2009


Enjoyed a restful day off today unwinding by walking the beach at the state park. The weather is surprisingly warm here - around 77' at present.

Halloween is pretty dull here at the homestead. Very few rug rats roam the unlit roads, so they enjoy a hayride followed by a house party instead. Suits me fine.

My evening will consist of a festive martini, stuffed pork chop, sweet potato, salad and the 'Witch Finger Cookies' in the image above for dessert. A gift from my landlady this afternoon. They are still warm and may not make it as an after supper treat.

"Life is just too short not to live it up, a little." - Snoopy.

And so it goes.


More later.

Friday, October 30, 2009

South Carolina? Again?

Have they no shame? Can't these family values guys keep it in their pants?
A deputy assistant attorney general who said he was on his lunch break when an officer found him with a stripper and sex toys in his sport utility vehicle has been fired, his boss said Wednesday.
Roland Corning, 66, a former state legislator, was in a secluded part of a downtown cemetery when an officer spotted him Monday, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
As the officer approached, Corning sped off, then pulled over a few blocks away. He and the 18-year-old woman with him, an employee of the Platinum Plus Gentleman's Club, gave conflicting stories about what they were doing in the cemetery, Officer Michael Wines wrote in his report, though he did not elaborate.
Corning gave Wines a badge showing he worked for the state Attorney General's Office. Wines, whose wife also works there, called her to make sure Corning was telling the truth.
He then searched the SUV, where he found a Viagra pill and several sex toys, items Corning said he always kept with him, "just in case," according to the report.
He must have been a boy scout.

And they tell me I'M QUEER!

More later.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Surprise Gift: For My Own Good.

When I checked the PO box this morning there was a notice that a package was waiting for me. Since I was there at 6:45 am, I had to return after work to pick up the package. I didn't order anything and no one sent an alert to be on the look out for a package.

So, this medium size box from Amazon is put into my hands and, wanting to get back to the apartment before the rains hit again, I threw it into the car and headed home.

Opening the box revealed a smaller box with a note card attached that read:

"Your recent post reflecting on the past 3 years got me to thinking of your situation in musical terms. I know you like the Pet Shop Boys and the enclosed seems appropriate to address your three year journey. I don't know that you have this disc, but I wanted to draw your attention to a few song lyrics on this album, NIGHTLIFE. Listen carefully to these tunes:

For Your Own Good.
I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore.

Happiness is an Option.

You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk.

From your post it strikes me that you are in a place where you can enjoy the irony.
Just a very proud friend."

I think I know who sent the CD. There are few friends left alive who are so into song lyrics, but I am not going to venture a guess. I am sure Sitemeter will offer some clues in the weekly report. I may post what I surmise, or not. Listen to the songs first, then I'll decide. I am puzzled, curious, and anxious to hear the disc.

Surprises are good things - most of the time.

And so it goes.


No Words Necessary, Only...

Thank you , Mr. President.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Safe and Dry - For Now

As Roxie Hart once said, "I'm older than I ever intended to be." And that's the truth.

When the trappings and creature comforts of the 30-year relationship vaporized; the health issues, surgeries, vile medications, and dealings with odious people I used to call friends were eventually left behind, as well.

A three-year journey across a treacherous sea almost (but not quite) sank my small leaky boat, emotionally and physically. I am not out of rough water yet, but I think there is dry land ahead.

I learned long ago to take nothing in life for granted. Abandoned more than a few times since childhood leaves that imprint on ones heart.

As the rain pours and the wind rattles windows I am grateful to have a roof over my head and blankets to keep warm. I've been doing a lot of cooking lately and the place smells rich and home-like because of it. I've been remembering the events of this life of mine going back to 2006, mystified at having survived all that was thrown at me during that time. With all that went down between 06 and 07, I have one regret - and it's not what one would think.

Not the 30-year relationship. Not the slow, deceitful way it ended. Not even the lies. Not the road from homeowner to homeless person. No, not even the surgeries, drugs, or health set-backs. Those tests were given and I passed. The lessons were learned. How? I do not know. No, really, I DON'T! I guess something genetic instinctively kicks in when needed and takes over. As the song goes:

Good times and bum times
I've seen them all, and my dear
I'm still here.
Plush velvet sometimes
Sometimes just pretzels and beer,
But, I'm here...

OK, well, Pretzels and Martinis, actually, but you get the idea.

It's amazing that I can hold my own in the workplace with guys less than half my age; working two jobs 6 or 7 days weekly for the past 7 months not only surprises them, but myself. One tangible result of all that work is the balances on the medical bills are dropping faster than I thought possible. Can I get an AMEN?

The one regret is the vast amount of time spent in states of shock, worry and anxiety - some of which can be attributed to Prednisone and other fun drugs. Oh, I still have bouts at times and there is still great stress, but I hope I am better at handling it now. After all, at my age life is supposed to be settled and the living easier. That's not likely in the stars for me. All in all, life is better now that I am no longer in a toxic relationship, but rather living honestly and taking care of my needs for a change.

Do I miss the trappings and creature comforts of my previous life? Initially, yes. Not anymore.

And so it goes.

RNC - FaceBook: Obama+Chicken=Repeal Loving vs. Virginia

OK, so the RNC wants to turn back time (not in a Cher-like way) and repeal Loving vs. Virginia. Somehow, the future of the party looks to be in serious trouble.

BTW, it took almost a week for the eagle eyes at FB to take this down. Click the image to embiggen.

Is it any wonder that less than 20% of Americans identify as Republican anymore? Come to think of it, that's still a hefty number of nutjobs walking around the streets.


More later.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Video: Rise of Conservative Media

This arrived in my inbox and was produced by Media Matters for America. They are asking that we help this film go viral. So, here it is.

If you agree, consider posting on your own site.

And so it goes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Random Acts of Trivial Thinking

Random Thoughts - "where have I been?" edition.

When did pharmacies (aka Drug Stores) jump in to compete with supermarkets? A sale flyer for a large chain appeared in the mail that was long on sales of everything from coffee to pringles; bleach to froot loops, but short on actual health and beauty aids.

Has anyone noticed that while product prices have steadily increased, their content has steadily decreased? Mayonnaise that was once 32 oz. is now 30; ice cream that used to be 64 oz - or a half-gallon is now 1.5 qt.; coffee beans once 16 oz. are now between 10 and 12 oz. And the list goes on and on.

When did Thanksgiving become a non-holiday? There are Halloween decorations competing for shelf space with Christmas lights and ornaments; not a pilgrim or turkey in the mix.

Every major metropolitan area in this country offers one of those gigantic cookie-cutter shopping malls boasting every high-end store and - especially in the south - an ice skating rink. The question is, why are they all referred to as "The Galleria"?

Why do angry, vindictive people with limited social skills choose to open their own business and become part of the service industry when the least of what they offer is actual service?

A recent poll suggests that 84% of Americans ages 14 to 24 do not know the capital of the state in which they live. I have to assume the other 16% actually live in those capitals. Or do they?

More later.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sea Witch, Work, and Albert Finney

Had a grand day at job #2 yesterday; the fair weather made everyone cheeful and we were very busy - always a good thing. The interaction of two diners reminded me of a fave movie, "Two for the Road" with the gorgeous Audrey Hepburn and a beautiful Albert Finney, which I know I had on VHS, somewhere. (Click the image to embiggen.) I searched every nook and cranny of this tiny place and cannot find it. Perhaps it was lost in the settlement of my previous life. If so, it's heartbreaking because the Ex didn't get the storyline at all.

When I have the extra $$$ to spare I will find out if there is a DVD and purchase it once again. Probably for the better, anyway.

Again, this is my working Saturday, usually my one day off, and while I wanted to get to the beach to take part in the Sea Witch Halloween Festival today, it really was out of the question.

If the weather had turned out as predicted I wouldn't feel so bad, (suppose to wake up to rain and high winds) instead I awoke to a dark but clear sky; twinkling stars that dissolved into the rising sun, a few clouds and a pleasant breeze. It's been agony working indoors on another beautiful Fall day, but the work has to get done.

I took a break to make a turkey burger for lunch and am enjoying an iced green tea as I write. I needed to come up for air and my growling stomach just wouldn't be silenced.

Anyway, it is comforting to know that I will treat myself to a Sazerac when I finish this job. Supper will be chicken smothered in garlic, onions, and new potatoes. I have earned and deserve these treats. So there!

More later.


It's Caturday Already?

More later.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Soupy Sales - R.I.P.

Back in the day everyone from age 8 to 80 loved Soupy Sales. His schtick of slightly off-colour jokes and innuendo was priceless. Here's one last pie in the face:
DETROIT – Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose anything-for-a-chuckle career was built on 20,000 pies to the face and 5,000 live TV appearances across a half-century of laughs, has died. He was 83.

Sales died Thursday night at Calvary Hospice in the Bronx, New York, said his former manager and longtime friend, Dave Usher. Sales had many health problems and entered the hospice last week, Usher said.

At the peak of his fame in the 1950s and '60s, Sales was one of the best-known faces in the nation, Usher said.

"If President Eisenhower would have walked down the street, no one would have recognized him as much as Soupy," Usher said.

At the same time, Sales retained an openness to fans that turned every restaurant meal into an endless autograph-signing session, Usher said.

"He was just good to people," said Usher, a former jazz music producer who managed Sales in the 1950s and now owns Detroit-based Marine Pollution Control.

Sales began his TV career in Cincinnati and Cleveland, then moved to Detroit, where he drew a large audience on WXYZ-TV. He moved to Los Angeles in 1961.

The comic's pie-throwing schtick became his trademark, and celebrities lined up to take one on the chin alongside Sales. During the early 1960s, stars such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Shirley MacLaine received their just desserts side-by-side with the comedian on his television show.

"I'll probably be remembered for the pies, and that's all right," Sales said in a 1985 interview.
Read it all HERE.

More later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

86 year old WII Vet on Marriage Equality

I first saw this a few days ago, but didn't have time to post it. Here's the text from the video site.
Testimony given for and against Maine's marriage equality bill on April 22, 2009. Nearly 4,000 people attended the hearing, with marriage equality supporters out-numbering the opposition 4 to 1.

This warms my heart. I hope it touches yours as well.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Secret Service Strained due to Threats

I have been fearful from day one of his campaign, but more so as the hateful rhetoric grew by January 20, 2009 and it appears to be getting far worse, and it's not just the President. (Click the image to embiggen.)

From the Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON - The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of antigovernment fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service, according to government officials and reports, raising new questions about the 144-year-old agency’s overall mission.

The Secret Service is tracking a far broader range of possible threats to the nation’s leaders, the officials said, even as it also investigates financial crimes such as counterfeiting as part of its original mandate.

The new demands are leading some officials, both inside and outside the agency, to raise the possibility of the service curtailing or dropping its role in fighting financial crime to focus more on protecting leaders and their families from assassination attempts and thwarting terrorist plots aimed at high-profile events.

“If there were an evaluation of the service’s two missions, it might be determined that it is ineffective . . . to conduct its protection mission and investigate financial crimes,’’ according to a inter nal report issued in August by the Congressional Research Service.

The report, which was provided to the Globe, said such a review should look at how money and staff are allocated, and whether some of the agency’s functions and workers should be transferred to the Treasury Department.

“This is a discussion going on not only in some quarters in Congress, but inside the Secret Service. Should there be a re-look at the mission?’’ said a government official, who like others was not authorized to speak publicly about security matters or reveal details about the number or nature of the threats.

Already, there are signs of strain on the agency, officials said. Budget documents submitted to Congress this year said the agency lacks the necessary technology to keep up with threats.

“The network and mainframe system used today struggles to support basic operations,’’ the agency said, requesting an additional $33 million over last year for computers and other information technology.

Asked about the concerns, Special Agent Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said that though “there is no doubt the protection mission has grown,’’ the agency can still fulfill both its missions.

The financial crimes mission remains robust as well, he added, citing some recent large seizures of counterfeit currency.

The Secret Service, long under the Treasury Department but now part of the Department of Homeland Security, was established in 1865 to thwart counterfeiting, a focus that has expanded to include a host of electronic and financial crimes.

Its mission soon expanded to investigating the Ku Klux Klan and conducting counterespionage operations during the Spanish-American War and World War I.

The job of protecting presidents started in 1894 with Grover Cleveland, who was guarded part time. That role expanded after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901, and it became a crime to threaten the president in 1917. Today, guarding the president and other top officials accounts for most of the Secret Service’s budget, which totals about $1.4 billion per year and continues to grow.
Read the rest HERE.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Twenty Years Ago.

Ur-Spo (the dear) posted this, then Peter jumped onboard, so I am following their lead on this one.

Then & Now:
Then ~ October 1989

1. Age: 43.

2. Romantic Status: Coupled for 13 years.

3. Occupation: Voice Actor

4. Fun night out: NYC to see a play or concert

5. My BFFs: my partner, and Barbara

6. I spent way too much time: tending to the relationship.

7. I spent not enough time: Taking care of me

8. I wanted to be when I grew up: Just what I was at the time.

9. Biggest concern: Adjustable Rate Mortgage

10. What my biggest concern should have been: Taking care of me.

11. Where did I live: Mount Olive, NJ

12. Dumbest thing I did that year: Voice-0ver a Super Pretzel TV ad and didn't get paid.

13. If I could go back now and talk to myself I would say: Take better care of you, not so much everyone else.

Now ~ October 2009

1. Age: do the math.

2. Romantic Status: Single after a 30-year relationship.

3. Occupation: sales - service

4. Fun night out: Burgers with new friends

5. My BFFs: Barbara, Dione, Dennis, Ron.

6. I spend way too much time: Alone in the apartment

7. I spend not enough time: Getting out to meet new people.

8. I want to be when I grow up: Healthy.

9. Biggest concern: Being alone (not lonely - there's a difference)

10. What my biggest concern should be: Doing what I have dreamed of doing - an Alaskan Cruise/Tour.

11. Where do I live: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware - USA

12. Dumbest thing I have done this year: Nothing I can think of. I guess I've learned a few things.

13. What I think I would say to myself in 10 years: You've survived devastating crisis and come out on top.

1. What do I miss most from 1989: That feeling of love and security.

2. What do I miss least from 1989: Memorial Services for friends lost to AIDS.

3. What have I accomplished in 20 years that I am most proud of: Knowing that I need little to live comfortably.

4. What have I NOT accomplished in 20 years that I wish I had: Security and Love.
Wow! That was a trip and a half!

More later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How Obama Can Earn the Nobel Peace Prize.

Just received this from my best friend. Instead of focusing on what the President should do, this provides a bullet list of what he's already done in the quest of peace. From the LA Times:

The question overlooks what he's already done
Kennette Benedict

To truly deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama should do the following:

* Enter into serious negotiations with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about reducing our two countries combined arsenals of more than 20,000 nuclear weapons.

* Reverse the U.S. decision to install missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, thus reducing military costs and enhancing cooperation with Russia.

* Reach out to Muslim countries and peoples with a speech in a Muslim population center.

* In concert with five other countries, begin direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.

* Re-initiate negotiations with North Korea to shut down its nuclear weapons program.

* Open relations with Myanmar, a potential transfer point for dangerous nuclear materials.

* While presiding as president of the United Nations Security Council, call for stopping fissile material production worldwide.

* Halt the worst global financial meltdown since the 1930s, preventing further economic hardship and possible outbreaks of new wars.

* Work with the U.S. Congress to introduce new legislation to address disruptive, conflict-producing climate change.

Oh, you say he's done all of these?

Then the real question is: What must other world leaders and citizens do to deserve Barack Obama's leadership?

Kennette Benedict is executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
While I agree with some of what the other writers suggest, it is equally important to address what the President has already done. Read the whole thing containing much whine and cheese HERE

And so it goes.

Ancient Submerged Greek City Discovered

I love this kind of stuff. The Guardian:

The secrets of a lost city that may have inspired one of the world's most enduring myths – the fable of Atlantis – have been brought to light from beneath the waters off southern Greece.

Explored by an Anglo-Greek team of archaeologists and marine geologists and known as Pavlopetri, the sunken settlement dates back some 5,000 years to the time of Homer's heroes and in terms of size and wealth of detail is unprecedented, experts say.

"There is now no doubt that this is the oldest submerged town in the world," said Dr Jon Henderson, associate professor of underwater archaeology at the University of Nottingham. "It has remains dating from 2800 to 1200 BC, long before the glory days of classical Greece. There are older sunken sites in the world but none can be considered to be planned towns such as this, which is why it is unique."

The site, which straddles 30,000 square meters of ocean floor off the southern Peloponnese, is believed to have been consumed by the sea around 1000 BC. Although discovered by a British oceanographer some 40 years ago, it was only this year that marine archaeologists, aided by digital technology, were able to properly survey the ruins.

What they found surpassed all expectations. Thanks to shifting sands and the settlement's enclosure in a protected bay, the exploration revealed a world of buildings, courtyards, main streets, rock-cut tombs and religious structures. In addition, the seabed was replete with thousands of shards of pottery.

Go and read the rest HERE.

Going to work now. More later.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Sad, but Special Memorial Service

Just returned from a beautiful Memorial Service for a friend and artist who worked wonders with flowers. It was solemn, irreverent, campy, and most of all, loving.

He and I shared a love of "Bird of Paradise" which was his signature flower and he always added a few extra to any arrangement I ordered. His arrangements were magical. The best.

He passed away suddenly in mid-summer sending shock waves throughout this tiny community. Program is at right - click to embiggen. Celebrated with music, poetry, prayer and individual memories, we shared moments of his life as they touched ours.

And it felt good.

While I was one of those to know him only recently (about 18 years) and only an occasional recipient of his wise words and mad adventures, I treasure the stories told by those who knew him best and far longer. The straight Italian mother, the gay best friend, the lesbian couple, the straight owner of a fine restaurant in town (and also a friend of mine), and other recipients of his generosity told great tales.

I seldom venture out on my precious one day off every two weeks, but this was important. The main reason I braved the nasty storm that continues to pound us and flood roadways, was to support his best friend, whom I have also known all those years, someone I now work with at job #2 and who has taken this death very hard. They were close friends for 30+ years, even working together at times. Like any friendship there were bumps in the road, but their love and respect remained firmly intact; even grew stronger. That made this passing all the more painful.

It was a necessary cleansing of our collective soul and following the service we shared a bit of white wine and finger food while telling more stories that would not have been appropriate from the podium, one on one. His birthday is October 28th, and we were asked to raise a glass in his honor on that day, and that shall be done. I hope to hear his laugh one more time, at least in my own mind.

Enough said. I have slipped out of the wet clothes and into a dry martini. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Post Racist America? Maybe Not.

So much for the Post Racist America thingy. From NOLA.COM

Interracial couple denied marriage license in Tangipahoa Parish

A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

'My main concern is for the children,' said Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish.

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.

Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with black people and white people, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.

"There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage," Bardwell said. "I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it."

Isn't he thoughtful, though...Only thinking about the offspring.

One has to wonder if this guy knows that the President of these United States is the product of an interracial coupling. Oh, maybe he's a birther and doesn't believe Obama is really our President at all. Would that surprise me? Um, no.

G*d, the stoopid burns.

Read the whole bizarre story HERE.

More later.

Bishop Spong: A Manifesto

John Shelby Spong was the Bishop of the Diocese of Newark and received me into the Episcopal Church. That was many years ago. He has fought long and hard against bigotry and homophobia, but now, it seems, he has had enough.

A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!
John Shelby Spong

I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is "an abomination to God," about how homosexuality is a "chosen lifestyle," or about how through prayer and "spiritual counseling" homosexual persons can be "cured." Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy. I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate "reparative therapy," as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality "deviant." I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that "we love the sinner but hate the sin." That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement. I will no longer temper my understanding of truth in order to pretend that I have even a tiny smidgen of respect for the appalling negativity that continues to emanate from religious circles where the church has for centuries conveniently perfumed its ongoing prejudices against blacks, Jews, women and homosexual persons with what it assumes is "high-sounding, pious rhetoric." The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for me. I will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer. The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance. They no longer talk to anyone but themselves. I will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness by pretending that there is some middle ground between prejudice and oppression. There isn't. Justice postponed is justice denied. That can be a resting place no longer for anyone. An old civil rights song proclaimed that the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding was to "Roll on over or we'll roll on over you!" Time waits for no one.

I will particularly ignore those members of my own Episcopal Church who seek to break away from this body to form a "new church," claiming that this new and bigoted instrument alone now represents the Anglican Communion. Such a new ecclesiastical body is designed to allow these pathetic human beings, who are so deeply locked into a world that no longer exists, to form a community in which they can continue to hate gay people, distort gay people with their hopeless rhetoric and to be part of a religious fellowship in which they can continue to feel justified in their homophobic prejudices for the rest of their tortured lives. Church unity can never be a virtue that is preserved by allowing injustice, oppression and psychological tyranny to go unchallenged.

In my personal life, I will no longer listen to televised debates conducted by "fair-minded" channels that seek to give "both sides" of this issue "equal time." I am aware that these stations no longer give equal time to the advocates of treating women as if they are the property of men or to the advocates of reinstating either segregation or slavery, despite the fact that when these evil institutions were coming to an end the Bible was still being quoted frequently on each of these subjects. It is time for the media to announce that there are no longer two sides to the issue of full humanity for gay and lesbian people. There is no way that justice for homosexual people can be compromised any longer.

I will no longer act as if the Papal office is to be respected if the present occupant of that office is either not willing or not able to inform and educate himself on public issues on which he dares to speak with embarrassing ineptitude. I will no longer be respectful of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems to believe that rude behavior, intolerance and even killing prejudice is somehow acceptable, so long as it comes from third-world religious leaders, who more than anything else reveal in themselves the price that colonial oppression has required of the minds and hearts of so many of our world's population. I see no way that ignorance and truth can be placed side by side, nor do I believe that evil is somehow less evil if the Bible is quoted to justify it. I will dismiss as unworthy of any more of my attention the wild, false and uninformed opinions of such would-be religious leaders as Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Albert Mohler, and Robert Duncan. My country and my church have both already spent too much time, energy and money trying to accommodate these backward points of view when they are no longer even tolerable.

I make these statements because it is time to move on. The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be. Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society have to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal, recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dismantled as the policy of our armed forces. We will and we must learn that equality of citizenship is not something that should ever be submitted to a referendum. Equality under and before the law is a solemn promise conveyed to all our citizens in the Constitution itself. Can any of us imagine having a public referendum on whether slavery should continue, whether segregation should be dismantled, whether voting privileges should be offered to women? The time has come for politicians to stop hiding behind unjust laws that they themselves helped to enact, and to abandon that convenient shield of demanding a vote on the rights of full citizenship because they do not understand the difference between a constitutional democracy, which this nation has, and a "mobocracy," which this nation rejected when it adopted its constitution. We do not put the civil rights of a minority to the vote of a plebiscite.

I will also no longer act as if I need a majority vote of some ecclesiastical body in order to bless, ordain, recognize and celebrate the lives and gifts of gay and lesbian people in the life of the church. No one should ever again be forced to submit the privilege of citizenship in this nation or membership in the Christian Church to the will of a majority vote.

The battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished. A new consciousness has arisen. A decision has quite clearly been made. Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state. Therefore, I will from this moment on refuse to dignify the continued public expression of ignorant prejudice by engaging it. I do not tolerate racism or sexism any longer. From this moment on, I will no longer tolerate our culture's various forms of homophobia. I do not care who it is who articulates these attitudes or who tries to make them sound holy with religious jargon.

I have been part of this debate for years, but things do get settled and this issue is now settled for me. I do not debate any longer with members of the "Flat Earth Society" either. I do not debate with people who think we should treat epilepsy by casting demons out of the epileptic person; I do not waste time engaging those medical opinions that suggest that bleeding the patient might release the infection. I do not converse with people who think that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans as punishment for the sin of being the birthplace of Ellen DeGeneres or that the terrorists hit the United Sates on 9/11 because we tolerated homosexual people, abortions, feminism or the American Civil Liberties Union. I am tired of being embarrassed by so much of my church's participation in causes that are quite unworthy of the Christ I serve or the God whose mystery and wonder I appreciate more each day. Indeed I feel the Christian Church should not only apologize, but do public penance for the way we have treated people of color, women, adherents of other religions and those we designated heretics, as well as gay and lesbian people.

Life moves on. As the poet James Russell Lowell once put it more than a century ago: "New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth." I am ready now to claim the victory. I will from now on assume it and live into it. I am unwilling to argue about it or to discuss it as if there are two equally valid, competing positions any longer. The day for that mentality has simply gone forever.

This is my manifesto and my creed. I proclaim it today. I invite others to join me in this public declaration. I believe that such a public outpouring will help cleanse both the church and this nation of its own distorting past. It will restore integrity and honor to both church and state. It will signal that a new day has dawned and we are ready not just to embrace it, but also to rejoice in it and to celebrate it.
One simply gets tired of defending against, and debating morons and hate mongers. Good on ya, Jack!

More later.

Caturday, Russian Style

My shift at job #2 yesterday was enlightening and fun as two servers were from Russia. Good conversation and great personalities.

More later.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Babysitting Gemstones

Due to an Atlantic storm making its way up the coast from the Carolinas heavy rains and high winds continued through out the day. "Weather unfit for man or beast" the recurring line from an old TV show skit is an apt description of the awfulness here.

One of those days you wish for nothing more than a good book, comforter, and hot cocoa. You've been there, I know you have.

But no. I had to drag my tired ol' carcass into the tempest, brave the dumbass drivers who forget how to drive in this kind of weather, and open the store at 9 a.m. Between that time and the arrival of my replacement at 4:30, not one person walked through the doors.

I am an underpaid gem sitter, and that's the truth. I feel like an old dragon protecting his treasure of gold and jewels - desiring a nap as the rain pounded the roof of the building. That sound is always relaxing to me.

Watching the Weather Channel I find that it is going to get worse before it gets better over the weekend. Now how thrilling is that? Huh?

Although it's Jazz Fest weekend here, all bets are off whether we'll be busy at job #2 tomorrow. There are really good musicians on the bill this year but it is unclear if folks will leave the comfort of their homes, brave the wind and rain, to enjoy some good music and great performers. I would, but I love Dave Koz and the Spinners. Stay tuned.

The landlady and I both kicked into 'winter cooking' mode as I presented her with a plate of smothered chicken the other night, and last evening she presented me with an acorn squash stuffed with turkey sausage and vegetables. That will be my supper tonight as I ride out the storm praying that we do not lose electric power, as everything in the apartment requires it to function. I do not look forward to a cold apartment, or a cold shower and shave in the morning, nor the inability to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or cocoa when I get up.

Positive thinking will get us through. Really. No, really.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Autumn Arrives in Rehoboth, and it Ain't Pretty

Overnight the weather changed dramatically - barometric pressure changed, temperatures plummeted, winds kicked up and I was awakened by the popping of my ears. This was 3 am, and sleep alluded me from then on. Turned on the light and read while the wind howled and shook the building. Just before dawn I made a coffee, toasted a muffin, and munched on a bunch of grapes. As the sun weakly began to make an entrance, I showered, shaved, and dressed for work.

Things changed for the worse throughout the day as the sun disappeared; gale force winds and heavy rains are in the forecast for the next 2 days.

The day at job #2 was delightful. I worked with two wonderful Russian servers who are talented, funny, and imaginative. They picked my brain about American slang words and phrases and I was hard pressed to explain them using words normally used in our language. Don't think I did too bad, but damn, it ain't easy anymore.

I could feel the weather shift last evening as I joined two friends for a burger and conversation - neither of which we'd shared since May. It was great fun with lots of laughs, good wine, and good food, but we knew the change in weather was about to happen.

When I got back to the apartment I decided to cook up a pork loin roast - at least part of the way - and am in the process of finishing it off tonight. The apartment smells wintery, and I plan to enjoy the meat tonight with a baked sweet potato, sauteed green beans with sesame seeds, and a small salad.

Exhausted from last night's lack of sleep, it's a relief to have so little to do to enjoy a relaxing supper. Comfort food, at that. I will sleep well tonight. Time to finish off the sweet potato and prep the gravy. Yes, there will be lots of gravy.

The after-shift cocktail today was a Cosmo, and I am about to enjoy a final farewell to the season with a gin and tonic with the roast.


*Photo is an homage to Ur-Spo, the dear.

And so it goes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What Day is This?

OK, it has happened.

I seem to have finally succumbed to the "what day is it" syndrome experienced by those who work 6 and then 7 days weekly. As I gained consciousness in the dark this morning I began working out the plans for the day - but it was for a Thursday - making to-do lists for errands to run after work, and it wasn't until the IV of coffee hit the blood stream that I became aware that yesterday was Sunday...Oh!

Usually at my best in the morning, the brain gears up while brushing teeth and today was no exception. Well, you can imagine my surprise when, after performing the mental acrobatics, I booted up and found the Monday edition of the Gray Lady in my inbox. Oh!

The good news is I would have arrived at the correct place of employment. The not-so good news is I had no time to get another to-do list ready for today. Bother.

Hey, when you work these kinds of hours advanced planning is not only your friend, it's the greatest part of your survival strategy. No fear, I made up for it by getting the grocery shopping done after work this evening, so all was not lost.

The initial confusion left me befuddled. I mean, I know people who've arrived at work on the wrong day, and they are much younger. Should I take that as a positive sign?

When I began this rigorous work regimen 7 months ago, it became clear that I would depend on the old daily planner to be where I was supposed to be and do what needed doing on the correct day, at the correct time and place. Problem is, checking the planner is not the first item on my gay agenda when waking from a not-so-successful beauty sleep.

Back to the drawing board. Where is Wiley Coyote when you need him.

On a scale from 1 to 10 - today was a complete waste of makeup. If I wore makeup.

Time for a festive cocktail and supper.

And so it goes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HRC Dinner and Obama.

The President is a great speaker, but aside from the Hate Crimes legislation passed recently, his administration has been less than successful on equality issues. While that success isn't minor, it's been making accerlated progress in the past few years. There's this on his HRC speech last night from Think Progress:

President Obama received a warm welcome at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner tonight, where he promised to sign hate crimes legislation — which just passed the House — into law and repeal both Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, although he didn’t outline a specific timeline. Acknowledging some frustrations that there hasn’t been quicker action on these issues, Obama reiterated that he remains committed to the fight for LGBT equality:

OBAMA: This story, this fight, continues, now, and I’m here with a simple message: I’m here with you in that fight. (APPLAUSE)

For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot and we will not put aside issues of basic equality. I greatly appreciate the support I’ve received from many in this room. I also appreciate that many of you don’t believe that progress has come fast enough. I want to be honest about that. (APPLAUSE) Because it’s important to be honest amongst friends.

Obama also addressed right-wing criticisms being hurled at his LGBT nominees and staffers, such as EEOC nominee Chai Feldblum and Department of Education official Kevin Jennings. Both have been the subjects of extremely homophobic slurs. WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farrah said that Obama must find “people” like Feldblum on “,” and the Traditional Values Coalition wrote that she wanted “the gay agenda to trump the First Amendment and religious freedom.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has claimed that Jennings wants to push a “homosexual agenda” in U.S. schools.

I remain hopeful that the President will come through despite the safe, appeasing political leanings of Rahm and others who have his ear. Bi-partisanship hasn't worked out since the Repugs can only say no, shooting down any positive proposal made by the administration even when supported by the majority of Americans. What has been gained on the vital issues facing the US right now? None. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Go and read the rest and view the short video HERE.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere...Cheers!

And so it goes.

National Equality March: Obama at HRC

President rehashes the rhetoric of the campaign. Gives no ground on any issue related to the LGBT community; makes no promises, which was as expected.

His speech at the HRC was the usual mixed bag. His opening comments about it being a privilege to "open for Lady Gaga" was an attempt to relax the audience, who seemed welcoming enough anyway. Nothing new in the lengthy speech, only the same old, same old.

Excuse me! The adults may be talking, but they're not saying much about equal rights of folks like me. I am very disappointed.

To all my friends willing and able to be in DC this weekend, or only for the march today. You represent me, as well. You are in thoughts and prayers. Be safe and be careful.

Off to work I go. More later.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

An Interesting Day Off

It's a busy weekend here in Gayberry, DE. and having the day off chose not to join the fray, but keep it low key.

My friend, Ron fulfilled his promise to help remove the dead TV to the recycle center, where there is a walk-in dumpster for electronics. Following that I took him to breakfast at the Blue Plate in Lewes - also owned by the Dos Locos guys - and it was the best breakfast we have had in months. One would think that eggs would be a simple item, but in reality they take extreme care to get cooked to order. I like mine over medium, meaning hard whites and soft yokes. You'd think it would be a no-brainer, right? Wrong. Usually they're delivered runny or rock hard. To our surprise, these were perfectly done.

Ron decided we ought to take a ride to explore some new places he'd discovered and promised fresh herbs and tomatoes from his garden. I never say no to fresh produce in any form. Exploring a local farm stand we found small sweet potatoes never found in supermarkets. Those are usually big enough to feed a family of 4. These are perfect for a single meal.

Securing our garden treasures, we headed to Ron's place where he offered up Roma tomatoes, sweet basil and parsley. These are simmering on the stove in a dutch oven as chicken smothered in onions, peppers, and tomatoes to be served in a white wine reduction sauce.

Before bringing me back to the apartment, we took a ride down his main road which ends in a dead end and beautiful fishing spot on the Broadkill river. Too bad the fishermen leave their trash to pollute and disgrace the area. Cigarette packages, beer cans, plastic anything, and cardboard containers. Sad, really. They don't seem to get the disconnection.

All in all it was a delightful morning and I am left feeling relaxed and rejuvinated by the experience. Yes, we took pictures, a couple are shared here. Click them to embiggen.

It is time for a festive cocktail and I think I smell olives. Cheers!

And so it goes.


Finally getting rid of the old TV today - I hope.

More later.

Friday, October 9, 2009

President Wins Nobel Peace Prize

WOW! From CNN:
The first African-American to win the White House, Obama was praised by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the committee said. "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."
I can already hear the heads exploding on the right. What are wingnuts to do now? Get out the popcorn.

On this happy news, I'm heading out to work at job #2.

More later.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bernstein's Mass: The Epistle

This is exactly what I needed tonight. I was fortunate enough to see the original production at Lincoln Center. Titus was a beauty - in body and voice. The Mass remains one of my favourite Bernstein pieces. Enjoy.

I will sleep well tonight. I miss Uncle Lenny.

And so it goes.

Now, Where Was I?

Following the full moon madness, it's been a hectic time as I worked to consolidate by juggling funds from the old bank to the new one. Having less than an hour each day to get it done, it will take another week or two before I have everything in place to complete the move. The ugly truth is that it takes an enormous effort to extricate oneself from a financial institution and get established in another. I am positive it will be worth it in the end. Oh, and of course, the old bank is suddenly offering incentives to stay with them. I would have if they had given those same incentives when I asked about them. Snap! Disappear!

The weather has been glorious, with mornings starting out crisp and cool in the 50s and temps rising into the low 70s by afternoon. Accentuated by clear blue skies and fresh breezes off the Atlantic. I was able to take two walks on the Boardwalk this week before job #2. I love how the salt air and winds relax the mind - and body.

Speaking of job #2, the hectic pace of summer crowds has tapered off and the locals/regulars are making their way back to enjoy the off season in town. Last weekend we celebrated our own version of Oktoberfest and as you can see from the pictures, the two crazies (Dos Locos) dive right in. Even a hausfrau. Yes, including a menu of specials for the weekend that came from the Mexican enclaves of Germany. (whoda thunk it?) Oh, there was Bratwurst, kraut, schnapps, and more. There were also special beers on tap, as well. It was fun.

There has been turmoil at work this week and while it didn't involve me directly, it affected everyone indirectly and caused unpleasantness all round. Enjoying the company of the delighted locals' return helped ease everyone's nerves.

On a different note, two more couples from my previous life and folks who were dear to me arrived to dine and were surprised to see me - as usual - and following a bit of small talk about nothing in particular said, "hey, we'll have to get together sometime to catch up" and I simply said, "we all know that's not going to happen, so let's not even pretend." They were stupefied and didn't even attempt a rebuttal. Three years! Not a phone call, or email. Sorry, the pity party of one doesn't dine here anymore.

I'm tired of playing by everybody else's rules. This is my life, not a f**king game. If you wanna be in it, great. If you don't, then stop pretending to want to. It's a total waste of time, makeup, and fabulous accessories.

My chances for additional days/hours at job #2 have been dashed due to the announcement that the store will remain open through Christmas. Yes, I will be needed there and since I've worked for the company for 11 years, I feel a certain responsibility to be there for them as they were for me as I rode out the stormy seas of the past 3 years. I'm funny that way.

I was offered a seat on a bus from Gayberry to DC this weekend for the Equality March, but there was no one to replace me at the store, so that opportunity also went down in flames - or flaming - or something.

On that note, it's time for a festive cocktail and supper. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dancing to Beyonce

First came this:

Then the furry response:

I love YouTube.

Full Moon and Empty Heads

The week's weather has been cool and breezy. It's been very busy at both jobs leaving no time to collect my thoughts (always a challenge) for a post.

A few good sales came my way at the store - always helpful, it means extra $$$ in commissions - and interesting shifts at the restaurant. Some of the people I work with there are extraordinary. New servers from Eastern Europe and Belarus present new challenges in communication. Since I prefer to address people by their given name and not a lazy Americanized version (i.e. Enrique, not Ricky - Bahram, not Bucky) it's been fun to learn correct pronunciation. At first they thought I was being silly, or mocking, but now I think they understand that I am dead serious and appreciate the effort on my part.

However, with the coming of the full moon the tides are higher and the level of crazy has risen as well. I had to run a few errands this morning (my only day off) and barely got back to the apartment intact. Supermarket morphed into the Stoopidmarket. The farmer's market almost became one huge food fight as two old biddies screeched and clawed over each other for the largest perfect local tomatoes and cantaloupes; their language would have made a sailor blush. Ah, the life in LSD (Lower, Slower Delaware)

Stopping at the pharmacy one couldn't help but notice a well dressed, perfectly coiffed woman arguing with the pharmacist over the cost of her prescriptions. Her whines "What about my insurance?" grew louder each time the poor guy explained that she had reached the limit of her drug coverage for the year. At first I felt sorry for her. I have no coverage and it's a struggle. But then, as she got into her car, I saw the signage on her Mercedes SUV. She just happens to be one of the richest designers in the state.

Sympathy. Evaporates. Instantly. So much for "Welfare Queens"!!!

As I left the pharmacy it began to rain and by the time I arrived in the driveway it had become a deluge, I sat listening to music for 20 minutes waiting for the rain to let up. It didn't, so I grabbed a few bags and made a run for it. I did this three times to get all the items into the apartment. Shed the wet clothes and took a hot shower. Ready for the remainder of the day, as they say.

I'm craving brunch food and a Bloody Mary. My gay agenda is almost complete. Following brunch there is some bulk cooking to do for the next two weeks. No day off for two weeks and I doubt there'll be reserved energy to cook meals every evening.

Of course, the sun is out now. Figures, right?

Message from a friend just arrived in the inbox suggesting a dining out experience to catch up. We haven't seen one another all summer and he feels it's about time we did. I think it's a good idea.

Well, cheers!

And so it goes.

Omen Caturday

Click image to embiggen. From HERE, of course.

Full moon, Blogger down; nice weekend out of the question.

More later.
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