Catching Up…

I always think about posting to this blog late at night just as I’m falling asleep.  Of course, once awake, I lose the brilliance that was last night’s inspiration and this is the result.

To catch up:

The blog was initially begun as a way for family and friends to keep track of me while enrolled in the doctoral program. I was promised that I’d have little time to eat or sleep, let alone correspond with other humans on the planet.  Well, that was certainly true for the first two years, but this year that has been less so.  Thus, less blogging.

The reach of the blog has expanded and allowed me to connect with heretofore unknown relatives, and that has been the very best part of posting here. (Waving to my “new” Hall cousins!)

The year is almost ended and it’s been quite a year. My first novel was published to good reviews.  I even got my first royalty check recently…I was paid for my writing! Oh my gosh!

I was advanced to candidacy in the doctoral program and just yesterday began (after passing IRB requirements) the research phase.  I even have a graduation date and tie: May 24th, 6:30 pm. Sweet.

Another semester of teaching has come and gone, quite quickly this time around.

Then there’s the surgery.  Back surgery was successful, though not without its trauma.  I have lingering paresthesias in the left leg below the knee and including the foot.  The “drop foot” (a result of nerve damage from the surgery) gets significantly worse when I am out and about for any length of time.  On the positive side, my walking is much smoother and, unless I’m excessively tired, you cannot really tell there’s damage.

Things I’ve learned this year:

  • Nurses should be revered above all others.  The middle-of-the-night freakout’s for post-op patients are made better by a kind word and a warm hand.

  • Doctors should be very careful about overmedicating patients.  I fell asleep on two separate occasions with food in my mouth.  I was so severely overmedicated that they brought in a respiratory therapist because they thought I was having breathing problems. I was, but that was because my body was asleep!

  • True friends are those who will go through anything with and for you. Cherish them.

  • It’s all about love, everything else is just rhetoric. Go Navy (<– link. Those are words I never thought I’d say.)

  • I’m sure I learned more, but at the moment, I’m out of bullet points.

Today: writing, some last Christmas shopping, lunch with the great Tammy at the WB, and then cleaning house for visiting family.

Tonight: More relaxing reading.

Merry Christmas, Good Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Good Kwanzaa, and/or Happy Holidays (or days off) to all and sundry.

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Now, THIS is Public Discourse…

I almost never link to other blogs.

Today…I am. Fantastic discussion going on. Join in

Born This Way Blog


Brut Ad Advocates Violence Toward Gays

Yes, I am supposed to be writing a paper. Or two. And a dissertation. And the book. I am doing one of the aforementioned and have the game (Vikings vs. Cardinals) on in the background.

Just now an ad came on for “Brut Cologne” and featured a man talking about how he goes antiquing, “not because my wife makes me, but because my [insert French words here] étgére would look silly without the matching [insert more French words here] cabinet.”

There’s a jump cut to a hand pouring liberal amounts of a cologne into a hand and then a long, slow-motion shot of the now cologned hand slapping the face of the man in the ad. After the slap he shakes his head and says, “Ah, there’s my manhood.”

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?

So…if you’re a man who understands the French terms above and knows when something doesn’t match something else, or a man who truly enjoys talking about that stuff, or simply a man who doesn’t give two bits about scratching himself in public and swapping spit with a woman, all you need…IS A SLAP?

How is this ad NOT advocating violence toward gay men? In fact, their ad campaign is “Some Men Just Need to be Slapped.”

You have a man who has just expressed some non-traditional preferences for furniture (as in, he knows an étegére from a coathanger) and he’s “slapped into manhood.”

Let’s, for fun, turn that around, shall we? Let’s create an ad with a woman in a t-shirt, wearing a tool belt and measuring a door. She looks into the camera and says something to the effect of, “I think if we reposition the framework we can adjust for the load-bearing needs of this room.”

Cut to a picture of someone pouring perfume from a suitably flowery bottle onto her work-scarred hand. Now let’s do a long, slow-motion shot of her being SLAPPED with that hand.

Then she can say, as she drops her tool belt and applies lipstick, “I think I’ll whip up a mousse for my man…and put on a pretty dress. Ah, there’s my femininity.”

Honestly.

And they wonder why homophobia is still so prevalent in our society?

I’m off in search of a contact number/email for Brut. Hmm…the best I can find is this: Web-based feedback.


Blogging From the iPad

Remember: It. Gets. Better! I promise.

Artwork courtesy of Karin Kallmaker. Thank you, Karin, for sharing.

Spending a rare night off playing with iPad apps and watching History International. We’ve had torrential rain and hail today, adding to several inches of rain already this week. We certainly needed it, but I was pretty sure this was supposed to be a la nina year. What happened?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain. Probably left over from being born near Seattle, I think.

What else? Nada.

Wear purple tomorrow and reach out to a gay or lesbian youth. We cannot lose more kids to suicide. We just can’t.


Activism, Apathy and the Futile Pursuit of Happiness

I know, it’s been far too long since I’ve blogged, and I’m sure the five of you who regularly read this are now onto bigger and better blogs. Oh well.

We have entered into a new Dark Age.

For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an American. I would happily move to Canada or any other country that has stepped beyond the new Dark Age and understood and accepted the fact that who my heart chooses to love does not make me a bad, evil or undesireable person.

I was delighted when Barack Obama won. I believed in his message of hope and change, “Yes We Can.” Then he announces that he’s asked Rick Warren to give the invocation to his inauguration. I’m sorry, I’m with TammyLynn on this one. Barack, if you’re going to have Warren up there to be a “voice for open discussion” then, as she says, you damned well better have some of those cowards with the pointy white bedsheets on stage too. They offer other voices and certainly cause discussion. Bastards.

Oh, and let’s talk about Prop 8. I just saw “Milk.” I, like so many of the post-Stonewall generation am woefully ignorant of my own cultural history. I knew of the “Twinkie Defense” and in an abstract way knew that it was related to a murder case. I didn’t know that it was about the murder of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk. I also didn’t know just how close Prop 6 was  to our own Prop 8. My God, even the wording of the right-wing arguments was the same! “Protect families”. What the hell is wrong with you people?

How are my CIVIL RIGHTS interfering with your family? How the hell is my LEGAL RIGHT to live and love as a citizen of this country (to which I proudly served in the USAF and have faithfully paid my taxes for more than 20 years) fucking with your family? How? Now the people who put Prop 8 on the ballot want to nullify those marriages that were performed between May and Nov. 4th. I have been married to my partner of nine years for a total of 126 days. Have you felt the tremors? Has your family fallen apart? Yeah, I thought not.

Rick Warren considers homosexual behavior the same as he does incest and bestiality. His is the outlook of ignorant and medieval thinkers. I wish upon Rick Warren and his bigoted, thoughtless, mindless, lemming-like followers a gay son. A lesbian daughter. A flaming, flamboyant, sexy-as-hell queen. A solid, athletic, hair slicked back butch.

I am a product of my generation. I am a consumer. I have more than one iPod, I have a Mac laptop, and I spend money at Christmas. I don’t know how to be an activist. I was born in the late 60’s, a child in the 70’s and a teen in the 80’s. I really don’t know how to start a grassroots movement.

But I feel it is time to do as Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein: follow the money. I think we need to take a page from Harvey Milk’s book and hit them where it counts, in the checkbook. Not for a day – that ‘s useless. Not for a week – that’s a token. But for good.

Support gay-owned businesses, support gay-friendly (openly…as in, they have a sign that says they proudly welcome gay business). Boycott anyone…anyone…who is not or does not. For good.

Look at business statement. Look at company statistics. Shop your conscience. Get it done. Make your money work for a cause.

Tonight: trying to figure out how to make a difference.