Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Eli's lunch is packed next to my daily ration of Almonds. The Geriatric dogs' medicines lurk nearbye
And speaking of geriatric dogs...Buster watches lustfully from outside as Ranger finishes her breakfast. If he were inside he would push her aside and eat her food. When she was younger (she's 15) she would have had HIM for lunch had he tried it.
My parents think homosexuality is a sin. I denounce them.
A business colleague is family friends with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who in fact officiated at her wedding. I denounce her.
My partner thinks we shouldn't have invaded Iraq. I denounce him.
My former neighbors in Florida, the ones who helped us whenever we needed it and who invited us to have holiday dinners with them, knowing we were gay, flew a confederate flag in front of their house. I denounce them.
My dogs will eat food scraps found on the street if I'm not watching. I denounce them.
Some of my closest friends are supporting either Hillary Clinton or John McCain. I denounce them.
Most people I know are straight and engage in a special right denied to me called marriage. I denounce them all.
You, yes you...you who probably don't march in lock-step with everything I believe and every value I hold dear...I denounce you too.
So here I am, in complete moral harmony with my beliefs...and totally alone.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
I don't like moral uncertainty.
I denounce me too.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
"50 is the new 25."
I'll go for that.
Be Gay About It!
That's what constitutes an emergency in Birmingham.
ABC show 20/20 is conducting an "experiment" on how people will react to gay PDA and sent a hidden camera to watch reax to two gay actors (and real life couple) nuzzling and locking lips on a park bench.
It was too much for this caller:
Operator: "Birmingham Police operator 9283"
Caller: "We have a couple of men sitting out on the bench that have been kissing and drooling all over each other for the past hour or so. It's not against the law, right?"
Operator: "Not to the best of my knowledge it's not."
Caller: "So there's no complaint I could make or have?"
Operator: "I imagine you could complain if you like ma'am. We can always send an officer down there."
Which they did and the officer told not to smooch in public.
Well, I suppose it's progress, of sorts. It is Alabama. They didn't get lynched.
First -- you've heard the expression "pushing water up hill" but you haven't lived it until you've tried to get a three year old ready and out the door and dropped off so you can get to work on time. It's not only pushing water up hill, it's water with a mind of its own that has decided what it wants most is to do the opposite of what you want.
What rushing to get out the door means is you don't have time to parent well. Staying at home we still have our tussle of wills but I can take time to make "teaching moments." You simply don't have time to do that when you're trying to get to work in time for a 9 a.m. meeting.
Not to mention the fact that in day care not only is the caretaker going to parent differently than you but he or she has other kids to attend to.
And don't misunderstand me -- it's not like I parent perfectly when I'm with him all day (see my earlier post). But whatever quality time you might have is greatly diminished in a working parent scenario.
I know in today's world there is little choice. But I suspect one reason so many kids are fucked up is because of it.
So, the rest of the week I'm staying home with him. This will make both of us happy. "Can I go to work with you Daddy" he asked over and over on the way to day care.
Tomorrow he won't have to ask.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
So how is it that Easter was last month and Passover is this month? Did someone important miss an ecumenical council meeting?
The basic premise is constantly framing choices for your child to make that are safe and gives him control over his life as much as possible. You maintain control of your child through enforceable statements (i.e., don't say, repeatedly, "eat your dinner"...say "dinner is over when the big hand is here" and take uneaten food away at the stated time). It's an approach that teaches parents to express mild sadness over misbehavior rather than anger. The book reads like something from "Up with People" until you get to this paragraph about the consequences of screwing it up and raising children with no empathy or social conscious:
In extreme cases, these are the children who go to school and shoot their classmates.
So, I'm trying to take their advice. One tactic they suggest for dealing with tantrums is to keep on truckin'" -- i.e., walk away. If it happens in the grocery store, they say, walk away to where the kid can't see you so they will realize you aren't sticking around for the fireworks (but peek around the corner until the kid comes to find you).
So yesterday, we were in the grocery store and Eli knocked some cans off the shelf. No big deal, it was an accident. I asked him to pick them up. He then proceeded to make a game of it, putting the cans back then knocking them back off again. I told him to stop. "No, daddy!" I told him to stop and we needed to keep moving. "No daddy! Bad daddy!" So, I said, "bye!" and walked away, turned the corner and waited.
What did I hear? The continued crashing of cans to the floor. Minutes passed. Other customers were eying me and thinking "why is that terrible father letting his kid go out of control?" I expected the manager at any minute to show up with social services and haul us both away. "But it's in the book!" I wanted to shout.
Finally, I couldn't take it any more and walked back around, scooped Eli up in my arms and replaced the cans. He off course responded by screaming "Bad Daddy!" while kicking me.
I think I just wiped out his future eighth grade class.
Honesty and fairness are lesser values, then...to what?
Monday, April 21, 2008
Homosexual relationships are no different than heterosexual ones.
(That's Myth Number Three, for those counting).
Not so fast, Lou! A study by the University of Illinois (my Alma Mater) shows that:
same-sex relationships were similar to those of opposite-sex couples in many ways. All had positive views of their relationships but those in the more committed relationships (gay and straight) resolved conflict better than the heterosexual dating couples. And lesbian couples worked together especially harmoniously during the laboratory tasks.
The notion that committed same-sex relationships are “atypical, psychologically immature, or malevolent contexts of development was not supported by our findings,” said lead author Glenn I. Roisman, PhD. “Compared with married individuals, committed gay males and lesbians were not less satisfied with their relationships.”
Hmm, well, James and I may actually be disappointed in that result, but for different reasons. Given the high degree of divorce in straight America, I'd hope that gay couples would be happier than their straight counterparts. But, I'll take "just as satisfied" for now.
Oh, and if my partner and I are ever in one of these tests, I'm sticking close to the lesbian couples during the lab tasks, to improve my score.
Read more about the study here.
“Chelsea, the gays love you!” one fan exclaimed, as she took the microphone at Bump, a restaurant and bar that was her first stop.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Not on my blog, bucko.
The anonymous attacker (to be know as AA) actually celebrated his approach by saying one of the beauties of the internet is it allows you to say whatever you want without fear of retribution or consequences.
Well, AA was wrong because his comment got him deleted. And I detest the anonymous factor of the Internet that leads people to say hurtful things they would never say to someone else in person. It's uncivil.
Does that mean I don't want a frank exchange of ideas? Of course I do. Still posted throughout this blog are comments from people who flat out disagree with me. Through an honest, open exchange of thoughts and ideas -- not insults -- we can learn from each other.
AA also made the point that would signing a comment as "Steve or Bruce" etc. really tell us who someone is? In many cases, no, but one of the things that has surprised me about this blog is I've actually gotten to know some of the people who leave comments. Many of them have their own blogs and I've gotten to know them through their blogs as well as their comments. One person who began commenting here almost from the beginning has become a good friend whom I've met in person. The best thing about blogging is the community it can create around ideas and interests.
So, AA, although you are safely behind your anonymity (Though I suspect you are probably someone I know), take your insults someplace else. If you have ideas you are welcome to share them. But we don't need your spiteful venom here.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Take for example, the Jefferson Memorial midnight arrest of a woman who, with a group of friends, was dancing there in honor of TJ's birthday. Well, you say, their music was disturbing the peace. Wrong -- they were dancing to music in their Ipods they were listening to through earphones. (Hat tip: Metroblogger)
You might be inclined to right this off as a stunt -- but if it was a stunt why'd they do it at Midnight when no one was going to be around? Hey I'm thrilled that people younger than I am even remember who Thomas Jefferson was (me, having the advantage of having gone to school with him).
I know from first hand experience how thuggish the Park Police can be. One Autumn Sunday morning I was sitting with my son and our two dogs in Meridian Hill Park. We were sitting in the middle of a large lawn, and Eli was playing in the fall leaves while the dogs lounged nearby. A perfect Sunday morning.
Then the Park Police showed up. I saw her stop her cruiser on the sidewalk and she got out and walked across the grass over to us. My smallest dog, being the extrovert she was, got up, tail wagging, walked over to her to say hello. I honestly didn't know why the officer was approaching.
"Sir, your dogs are out of control."
"It's illegal for them to be off the leash."
I pointed out they were still wearing their leashes.
"You weren't controlling them. They walked up to me."
"You walked up to us. They were laying in the grass. Had you walked by, they'd still be laying in the grass."
It went downhill from there, with her threatening me with arrest. Although I'm usually pretty stupid in a confrontation, I eventually realized this was not a fight I needed, especially with my three dependents caught up in the middle.
And so, our perfect Sunday morning shattered by a thug with a badge who went out of her way to prove her authority.
Whether it's a father and son enjoying a quiet morning in a park or a group of libertarians pursuing some happiness to celebrate the birthday of the founding father who told the world happiness pursuing is okay, the Park Police is there to make sure we respect their auth-or-i-tay.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Madonna is, or perhaps, was, a great entertainer. I have danced to her music in clubs and have a few of her tunes in my Ipod. I do enjoy her songs from time to time. I think she is a shrewd business woman and obviously she is way more successful -- measured by fame and wealth -- than I could ever dream to be. In this regard, I tip my hat to her.
But she has the importance of cheesecake. Cheesecake is tasty, enjoyable and a pleasurable part of life. But immeasurably bad for us if that's all we eat. And we could live without it. The problem I have is not with Madonna, it's with her legions of fans who think she is important. Sure she's fun. But meaningful?
One of my readers writes that her songs are "memorable." Well, that's true, in the same way as one remembers "It's a Small World After All" after a trip to Disney Land. The true test is if 100 years from now artists are re-recording her songs and people still know the words. My guess is not. They don't call it "pop" music for nothing.
I'm willing to bet you a slice of cheesecake on it.
Monday, April 14, 2008
There are questions of a more intimate nature as well. It seems my friends and me have, in common:
Known unrequited love
Like to go commando
Have taken (with one exception) a naked picture of themselves
Have kissed a member of the same sex (well, duh!)
And so on.
But they all share something in common I don't. My friends have all admitted they've danced in front of a mirror naked. Not me. Hell, I don't like to dance in front of a mirror with my clothes on and my eyes closed.
Here's the deal -- when I stand in front of the mirror in my birthday suit I'm holding my stomach in so tight I'd pass out from oxygen deprivation if I moved. Otherwise I don't want to see parts of me that aren't supposed to jiggle bounce like a Mexican jumping bean on X.
I'll keep my nude dancing confined to my bed, thank you very much. And if there is a mirror on the ceiling, well, meme your own business.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
What rational parent would take their minor child into a combat zone to face sniper fire?
Forget about those sleeping kids at 3 a.m. -- does Hillary have enough horse sense to keep her own daughter safe?
Friday, April 11, 2008
I think the thing for me that's the most difficult about middle age is realizing exactly where you life is heading. In our teens and twenties anything seems possible and we're told to dream big.
Then life confronts you with choices and responsibilities. A course is set. You begin to travel that course, and at first, the forks you come to in the road will take to vastly different places, depending on which turn you take. As you go along, the forks become fewer and the divergence from the path you are following smaller.
You go from anything's possible to knowing exactly what is -- and isn't -- possible. The world narrows.
And that's what's tough about mid life for me. For now.
The media derision of that lie (sorry, I misspoke, I meant misstatement) has subsided, so why is master politician Bill Clinton bringing it up again? In Indiana he mentions it in a speech, and says:
"But there was a lot of fulminating because Hillary, one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated and immediately apologized for it, what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995. Did y'all see all that.
Yes, we saw it.
Okay, she was tired and it was late at night. Only, it wasn't -- it was actually a mid-morning speech. I guess it depends on what the definition of "time" is. Not to mention the fact that she made this "misstatement" on more than one occasion.
If bringing the whole thing up was mistake one, misstating the facts was mistake two, mistake three was the excuse Bill gave for her: she was too tired and aged to it right. He says (of reporters):
And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11:00 at night, too."
Crisis in the world? 3 a.m. anyone? Geritol?
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I've seen it all my professional life. A guy heads out of the office, grabs a newspaper or magazine from the lobby or reception area, and heads for the john.
Then he brings the reading material back and deposits it for the next, um, user.
It occurred to me recently that I've never seen a gay man do this. And I recently checked with the other gay men in my office and they backed me up -- none of us would be caught dead doing such a thing. Some of us go to great lengths to deny the fact that we engage in the practice of, well, you know. The LTR, for example, won't even admit he engages in this practice. Let alone grabbing a newspaper in front of the entire office thus announcing to everyone, "Hey, I'm going to go take a crap!"
I know this isn't limited to gay men...a straight former colleague of mine would leave the office, walk up the street to a deli and use the facilities there for his necessary thing. But he is an exception.
I think almost worst is walking into a stall and seeing a newspaper on top of the TP dispenser or hung from the handicapped rail. I guess at a subconscious level I prefer to think no one else has used the thing before me. The sports page taunts me with the fallacy of my fantasy.
And this practice is definitely a straight thing. I've yet to discover the style section awaiting me in the office john.
Hmm...I'm tempted to start leaving copies of "Better Homes and Gardens" and "Vanity Fair." Will that give them pause?
Saturday, April 05, 2008
I mean this in several ways. I've not been blogging, so I've been down as a blogger.
I'm also down in mood. Depression is like a tar that smothers your soul, your dreams and hopes, your desire to move.
Oddly enough, I've had a wildly productive week at work.
I'll snap out of this. But until then, I'm having me some down time.