Wednesday, April 30, 2008

6 a.m. at My House

Chocolate Macademia Nut coffee awaits me (courtesy LTR) while a vanilla scented candle burns

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.

I Denounce Thee

I find I am filled with outrage this morning.

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 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

Madonna and Hard Candy

In honor of the fact that the symphonic band arrangement of Madonna tunes went over pretty well, in spite of being panned in advance here (see first comment), I'm linking to the (mostly positive) review of Madonna's new album in today's WaPo.

"50 is the new 25."

I'll go for that.

Be Gay About It

Blogger Erika (INTP) (me, I'm an INFJ) -- has revamped her already cool blog. I've enjoyed her witty and wry writing but now she has a new (sexy!) look and a new name: Be Gay About It...which is pretty cool since one of her memes is that you're as happy as you decide to

Be Gay About It!

Gay PDA Prompts Call to 911

Gays Kissing in Public!!!!

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.

Stay at Home Parenting vs. Day Care

I've now experienced both stay at home parenting and day care parenting. Yesterday and today I took Eli to day care and came into the office (so they wouldn't give my desk away).

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

Easter and Passover

I'm used to the concept that Easter happens on a different day each year (unlike Christmas which is reliably on the 25th). But aren't Easter and Passover supposed to happen the same week? I mean, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover, right (the Last Supper)?

So how is it that Easter was last month and Passover is this month? Did someone important miss an ecumenical council meeting?

Raising a Child With Love and Logic

My son Eli is here and I'm trying to follow the parenting technique outlined in Jim and Charles Fay's book, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood.

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.

Good. God.

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.

Democratic Primary and Values

Some values are more important to people than others. In the Democratic Presidential Primary we've seen a consistent story -- Hillary's negatives are high, people (in PA exit polls no less) say she has run a more unfair campaign, she's consistently caught lying, and yet she wins.

Honesty and fairness are lesser values, what?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Focus on the Family and Gay Relationships

James Dobson's Focus on the family likes to call it a myth that

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.

Barf-Inducement of the Day

If you need to shed a few pounds from over indulging during the weekend, sample this over-indulging:

“Chelsea, the gays love you!” one fan exclaimed, as she took the microphone at Bump, a restaurant and bar that was her first stop.

More Madonna

If you want more debate about Madonna's importance to the gay community, hop on over to Queerty.

(Someone put a Bugg in our ear).

Al Gore's Voicemail

via Sullivan:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Anonymous Comments

In the Madonna post I just deleted a comment from an anonymous poster. Why? Because he (or she) made a personal attack on another commenter.

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

DC US Park Police Goons -- Arrest at the Jefferson Memorial

All the policemens are going to be on edge what with the Pope's visit and all, but US Park Police always seem ready to overreach.

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


I wrote a disparaging remark about Madonna to provoke a response from one of my three readers who is an avid Madonna fan. But in fairness, let me give the Diva her due.

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

Dancing Naked in Front of the Mirror

I recently sent a group of my friends the "Have you ever" meme quiz thingy posted on Cooper's Corridor. It's a series of totally random questions of the sort you're used to seeing on the Internets, including have you ever held a snake? Have you ever sat on a roof? Etc.

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
Sleep naked
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.

Something Nice about Hillary Clinton

Someone challenged me to say something positive about Hillary Clinton. No problem:

I think she's done a good job in the U.S. Senate. I hope she has a long and successful career there.

Madonna -- Who Knew?

The band is doing a medley of Madonna tunes (my response to a recent survey of members and the feedback we take ourselves too seriously and should do more "pop" stuff -- I may have gone a bit far). My assistant is conducting it (in response to my own personal, impish sense of humor that she seems to get) but I just looked at the sheet music. Did you know that Madonna actually co-wrote that crap herself?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chelsea Clinton and the Combat Zone

Assume, for a moment, that Hillary Clinton spoke the truth about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia (I know, the very thought of linking "truth" and "Clinton" requires a suspension of disbelief).

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

Of Mid Life

Won't be long till I'm 44. Seems like just yesterday I was turning the big four-oh. Now I'm already almost halfway through the fourth decade.

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.

After a short stay in America, Michelangelo's David returned to Florence

Courtesy my friend Stevo.

Bill Clinton: Hillary too senile for 3 a.m.

Bill Clinton is supposed to be one of the most seasoned politicians, like since Caesar but you couldn't prove it from his behavior in his wife's campaign. He hurt her with his misstatements and racially charged comments in South Carolina. Last month his wife "misspoke" about being under sniper fire instead of attending a welcoming ceremony in Bosnia, a "misstatement" easily shown to be wrong when video emerged of her being greeted by a little girl at the airport, politicians and army brass. Leave it to the Clintons to elevate a misstatement into a self-serving lie.

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

The Office Newspaper and the John

It's a straight thing and I don't understand.

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

Down Time

I've been experiencing some down time.

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.