Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Can I be superficial? I guess I can. I’m at work trying to write about some historic buildings and instead my mind is wandering and I’m looking at someone’s blog and admiring his pictures and thinking, goddammit that boy is so frickin’ beautiful. Honestly, the first time I laid eyes on him, on a hot summer day at a traffic stop, I swear my heart skipped a beat. Sam was the first blogger I met in person. I’d been reading Thrustpuppy, Ali, Corky, and a couple of guys who have since disappeared, but it had never occurred to me that bloggers lived in little old Tucson until I ran into Sam. He has this bashful thing going, a wicked gleam in his brown eyes too. I’m glad he and Jeff found each other. Tucson isn’t as exciting though.

Can I be jumpy? It is hard work entertaining my mother. She’s an awful cook so I insist on being the chef. I’ve eaten more vegetables than normal and somehow while she has lost weight, which is something she is very pleased about, I’ve managed to gain a little, which I’m not. Mummy is forgetful and a bit clumsy and she says odd things and sometimes follows me around like a puppy. I’m glad she is here and I broached the idea of her spending all next winter with me, and she seems to like that. It’s good for her, the warmer weather, the activities, the better diet. I better get me a boyfriend by then because otherwise I’ll go insane.

Can I be a big fag? I named my KitchenAid Mixer “Martha” after a suggestion from Ryan. I guess it is appropriate since I think that bitch Martha Stewart is one fierce woman. I get she has the cleanest cell ever. I made cookies last night, rolling out the dough and cutting them with my cutters. I have a big shopping bag full but find that my favorites are the ones that I took from Grandma’s house after she died.

Can I be me? I’m feeling surprisingly little stress over work (or lack thereof), over my party on Sunday, wondering how painful the surgery will be, whether I’ll be healed before I head to England, whether I’ll be broke when I get there. I should be more stressed over dumb things like how do I pay a seven cent credit card bill when it says “send no cash” or how do I spend three weeks writing something at work that I could have done tomorrow. But instead I’ll think about how much fun it is to call Archerr and gossip about other cute bloggers.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Today's topic: Horrible Smells. I've been thinking about smells after wheezing my way through some store aisle loaded with stanky candles, all holidayfied. Certain smells (pine, vanilla, Philip L's cologne) have stayed with me and catching a whiff is truly a pleasant experience. Other smells- bleach, cat piss, bad breath- I could do without. But trying to recall truly the worst smells ever- that got me to thinking of the worst olfactory experiences I have experienced:

- the portajohn at the Four Corners Monument.
- the ticket agent on that subway in Prague.
- Jonathan's meat-filled lunches at work, especially the stuff with beef.
- the Kingfisher restaurant- all seafood, all the time.
- the sewage plant at 2 PM in the middle of summer when they turn the mixing vats on.

Luckily I'm about to bake cookies, so only pleasant odors in my house.

What is the worst thing you've ever smelled?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I do wierd things when I sleep. Everything has to be just so. My feet have to be out from under the blankets usually- a bad thing in the summer when the mosquitos are buzzing around. If I am lying on my stomach I like one pillow, on my back I have to have two. A lot of the time the pillow goes over my head to make it darker. If I'm on my stomach often-times my legs bend at my knees so that my feet are straight up in the air, making a little tent with the blankets. I also lie there with my arm over my eyes- again the darkness thing. The bad part about that is that occasionally I wake up with blurry vision from my corneas being squashed.

I grind my teeth in my sleep a lot. I'm ending one such phase right now, my face is slowly becoming less sore. Honestly I can't tell you if I snore. In the summer I like to sleep naked but in the winter I loves me my flannel jammies. I have a giant king-sized bed that the Ex wanted and I paid big bucks for. Lesson learned, buy a metal frame if you have cats. Puff was naughty when he was a kitten and chewed the corner of the frame. Even with three cats the bed feels empty. I'm taking applications for the right side...

Okay, that was everything you probably wanted to know about me and sleeping.

Friday, November 26, 2004

A little stir crazy. Who knew entertaining mummy would be so tiring? I guess all the creative cooking and chauffering and conversations and shopping have just plumb worn me out.

A colt at the corral down the street.

Today at the yarn store the women working there pointed out the man chair, where males sit while their mothers/wives/grandmothers/etc shop. They brought me that fascist news magazine- U.S. News and World Distort and it was so Republican that I put it down and badgered my mother about what kind of yarn she liked. She has what I think of as cheater's yarn- you knit it and it forms patterns. Maybe Sean knows what that is all about.

The blue mixer- what should I name it?

I gotta get out and do some socializing tomorrow before I go insane.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Anti-Thanksgiving. I guess the mashed potatoes, squash, and rolls I made for lunch almost count as a Thanksgiving meal. For dinner tonight Mummy and I had beans and rice and cherry pie with whip cream made in my lovely KitchenAid. Did I tell you it is cobalt blue? I'll take a picture and post that tomorrow.

When I was a kid we went to Grandpa and Grandma F's house for Thanksgiving. They lived next door so it wasn't very far. My Uncle F. and Aunt J., their two kids, and my aunt's parents were there and sometimes Grandpa Colonel. A couple of days before we made little placecards, hand-colored turkeys, with everyone's name on them. There were a few in Grandma's china cabinet until her death- I wish I had thought of taking them. I also wished I had grabbed the cute candles- pilgrims and turkeys. I did snag the brightly colored metal plate with the turkey in the middle. That is on my knick knack shelf in the living room. I'm obnoxiously fond of it.

Mummy and I walked down to see the horses at the end of the street and one came up to have its nose scratched. Too many barky dogs though, there is this one house with perfectly vicious dogs that scrabbled at the fence trying to get us. I don't know how the neighbors can stand it.

I called Archerr and we chatted for a while. I teased him about cranberry sauce. He's going to have to send me a list of preferred foods for when he comes visit me in July so I can plan meals during his stay.

I know I'm babbling but I had two pieces of cherry pie and the blood is tingling in my veins and I'm full of energy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I've been entertaining Mummy pretty good I think. Except today she entertained me by buying me a cobalt blue Cuisenart Mixer. Oh so pretty, so shiny and mixey and now I am all consumered out and she still says I have to spend another $250 of grandma's inheritance and I have a hard time spending money on myself.


Last night I went over to David, Abe, and Zoe's house to watch the Amazing Race. Christ the casting was way off this year- so many frickin model couples and/or absolute idiots.

David and I.

Okay, so you've been picked to go on the show and you know you'll be driving stick shift. How hard would it be to find a stick shift and practice a little? And how hard is it to read a frickin map?

Abe wasn't feeling too great, but he showed me his "feetgasm." We all laughed (well not Zoe because she wasn't paying attention) as he simulated feetgasm. It makes me laugh now. So wrong and durty.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

My Amish Brother. My older brother Buck's birthday is in a few days. He joined the Amish church a few years ago and now lives in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. He built a house which has no electricity. It has running water because there is a windmill behind it on a hill that pumps water, but no indoor toilet. I've avoided the outhouse when I visit.

He wears Amish clothes and has learned German. His Amish friends think of me and others as "English." When I visit the little children stare with wide open eyes, dressed in miniature versions of their parents' clothes. I try to dress conservative when I visit- blue jeans and long sleeved blue shirts. But my facial hair isn't right and I wear sandals instead of black work boots. So I'm used to being stared at, although when you are surrounded by a half dozen kids and they are chatting away in German while pointing, you do feel a bit freakish.

Buck was scared of everything when he was a child. If my parents were late from some trip he knew they had been killed in a car accident. I remember driving ona trip to North Dakota with him and mummy and everytime a vehicle passed in the opposite lane he would gasp out loud and grasp the door. Finally I couldn't take it anymore, "What the fuck is the problem?" I shouted. "You are going to get us killed!" he said. I replied, "I've driven across the country several times and never had an accident!" "There's always the first time!" he shouted back. My mother sat between us, I'm guessing she was pretty miserable by then.

My father bullied him at times, mercilessly teased him. As a result Buck was always timid, shy, and withdrawn. The Amish attracted him. They offered safety and security, not many surprises. His life is fairly structured, he's basically debt free and owns a 20 acre farm. As far as I can tell he is content. Although we live such opposite lives (I doubt many Amish men would be allowed to do some of the things I have), we still have a family bond. Next month I'll send him a package of things- not Christmas presents because the Amish don't believe in that- just a few items that he might find useful.

Monday, November 22, 2004

I made potatoes au gratin, eggplant parmagiana without the cheese, and a salad for dinner with Mummy and Steve tonight. Pumpkin pie for desert- I've been crazing that. The rain that Jonny had yesterday showed up this afternoon in Tucson and it seems like winter, hence the deep dish pumpkin pie.

Gotta stop grinding my teeth in my sleep. This has been going on since election night (wonder why????!). My jaws ache and my face feels all tense. A trip to a pharmacy to get a mouth guard is in order, anything to stop this business.

Totally a new subject- Things I like about the holiday season:

1). Making my own holiday cards. I sent one to Patch last year, I'm pretty sure.
2). Buying a few gifts for poor children.
3). Vintage Xmas ornaments and wrapping paper.
4). The smell of a pine tree inside.
5). Eggnog.

Still, it isn't the same as when I was a kid. No one buys me tinker toys or Lincoln logs anymore. And what about erector sets?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Oh the holidays are upon us and I see that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is on the telly on December 1.

The Abominable Snowman.

It is my favorite Christmas show. I love the Abominable Snowman, although I was pretty scared of him when I was a child. Maybe it is because he is so furry.

Also kinda liked Hermie, because I identified with his misfittedness.

My second favorite show was Charlie Brown's Christmas, followed probably by the Little Drummer Boy (do they show that one anymore).

When I was a kid Christmas was a big deal because it meant toys and candy, something we didn't get much of. Archerr notes that his nephews and nieces get too many presents, and I think that is probably the case for a lot of people nowadays. A couple of years ago everybody gave my cats presents- I ended up with dish towels. I think this year I'll be giving Archerr a call on Christmas and we'll chat about stocking stuffers and other interesting things.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The jalapeno jelly ice cream I made turned out really good. No one could guess what the ingredient was and everyone liked it.

A blurry picture, the red peppers were a clue.

Nick and Tom.

Busy, busy, busy today. Some housecleaning, grocery stores, bought a blue rug for my bedroom at Crate & Barrel. Lunch with the Ex's mum (she and my mother are really good friends). Tomorrow might go to a craft show with her and perhaps get the MixMaster mixer that she wants to buy me. I'm hoping they have the cobalt blue one.

Mystery object picture: A pile of new cattle guards waiting to be installed. Cattle guards, in case you didn't know, are put on roads to keep cows from walking into unfenced areas or onto highways.

Life's mysteries. I sometimes wonder about things, ideas that I can't comprehend (infinity!) or about people (how did Chelsea Clinton get so pretty!) or about myself (will it hurt bad when I have the hernia surgery?). Tonight's dinner party theme is mystery and so I'm making a relatively common dish with an odd ingredient.

I have been chatting a lot online with Brian. I wonder if he gets sick of my goofiness? Only Nancy Drew knows.

Can you guess what this is?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The One in Which I am a Full of Myself. Learned a lesson, find out the political persuasion of people before you post on their blog, because gay Republican bloggers are a bit touchy. I made the mistake of posting what is basically the "second topic" portion of my last entry as a comment on his blog. Got a couple of emails back, portions of which I've cut and pasted below:

Everyone likes to try and compare themselves to Nazi tormented Jews (and/or
Rosa Parks) but such analogies only work for those people who can't tell the difference between a paper cut and a decapitation. Real simply: there are no death camps in your future nor will you have to head to the back of the buss.

But you are so full of yourself when you try and make any comparisons to your(our) present condition and anything on the following list:
-Nazi Death Camps

And it is so disrespectful and demeaning to try and rank your what-if game up there with those real black marks in history (and the 'paper cut and a decapitation' analogy works well for me- although clearly you are not stupid)

It seems that you fall into the same problem that I see Bush falling into- these are not questions to determine the soul of America, you are not fighting the forces of darkness anymore than he is, neither one of you are God. Bush is not evil- I don't really wish he was the president but I don't think he is evil, I don't have any doubt that he thinks what he is doing is right and that he doesn't wake up each morning wondering how he can oppress people. The world is not black & white- they are not for you or against you for all time. If you want to fight- great, just do it smartly- sorry you hat the political realities of getting things done but you will be most effective if you just accept them instead of daydreaming for utopia.

Well, I don't know how to respond. The level of personal animosity was surprising. Perhaps I shouldn't have said in the email I sent him that he was a bit naive to think that Republicans would ever want to grant gays civil rights. I wrote: The question I pose you is at what point would you become alarmed? After a Federal Marriage Amendment passes? Or when some other federal law (for instance, a law outlawing civil unions or a law ending anti-discrimination laws) gets passed? What would be the turning point for you? I say naive and I get back "full of myself" and "disrespectful." As Brian would say, "Whatever."

The New Morality. After NippleGate occurred at the last Superbowl, Mikey Powell (Colin's boy) and the FCC have been scrambling to create a new sense of morality. They've given out fines to Howard Stern and some stupid show where whipped cream was licked off somebody. Bono was spanked for saying "Fucking" something-or-other. Last week Saving Private Ryan was shown on many ABC stations but a whole bunch passed, due to the 21 Fucks and the violent (imagine!) war scenes.

I missed watching Saving Ryan's Privates (oops, my mistake) (I'll confess, I was looking at Survivor which has a hot amputee). But I also got to miss out on a recent Doonesbury cartoon that the Arizona Daily Star decided not to publish. And this week they've decided that Get Fuzzy, my favorite cartoon, is too naughty to be published.

Does this offend you?

Wonder how long this new morality phase will last?

Second topic- the recent outing of a Republican congressman and staffers. No sympathy from me. The closeted congressman voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment at the same time he was cruising online for fucks (sorry Mikey Powell). The gay staffers are enabling men and women who want to deprive us of basic human rights. If a Federal Marriage Amendment passes, does anyone think they will stop there? Up next- laws banning civil unions, survivorship rights, company health benefits, gay adoption. Those idiots enjoy what rights we have because of liberal, Democrat-leaning heroes such as the drag queens who protested in 1969 at Stonewall. I don't see Republicans advocating advances in homo civil rights. If you work for Darth Vader and help his cause, then you deserve your fate.

Did you watch Lost last night? And Amazing Race on Tuesday? That Jonathan and the wrestlers are too evil. And what is up with all of the model couples- I'd rather have bowling moms.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

At the pre-construction meeting I attended this morning, the beefy contractor from Phoenix caught my attention. About my height (almost 6'2" if I stand up straight), brown hair, dark brown eyes, chin goatee, furry forearms, nice ass. Nice. We chatted in the elevator and I had a moment (okay, several moments) of lust. Damn, he was fine.

I had already looked at a little video on Zenleo's blog this morning. Damn, he can shake his hips. Now I'm not a huge fan of gogo boys, but I would slide him some bills.

Geez, I'm in a blue state today.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My mother is one of many older people at the airport, the snowbirds are migrating to Tucson from the north. Mummy is 72 1/2, although I don't feel that she is that old. She has had diabetes for 15 or so years and some of the effects- neuropathy especially- bother her. She complains, a little, of her legs aching and her hips. I asked her if she had talked to her doctor about it and she said no. Her prescriptions are expensive and they raised the prices just before they gave out the new cards. Her doctor now asks patients if they can afford their drugs, so many people in rural Michigan can't.

She is reading her book now and the phone rings and it is Becky, sweet Becky who I've known since 1987. Her mother died today. Becky apologizes for calling me, she tells me, "I'm practicing telling people my Mom died." Her voice, you can tell she had been crying. I tell her to call me any time, she's a good friend and I want to be there when she needs me.

The house isn't as quiet as normal with me and Mom and the three cats.

Monday, November 15, 2004

People like James Dobson think I'm an abomination because I'm gay [homosexual, queer, faggot, invert- so many choices]. It is funny, I don't feel like an abomination. When I was a kid I was always scared of the Abominable Snowman on Rudolf. I'll let you judge whether there is a physical resemblance.

Abominable snowman.

I sometimes wonder why conservative Christians care about such a small part of my being. I am a man, a native of Michigan, right handed, near-sighted since I was nine.

A Virgo, a voter, a pseudo-intellectual, an archaeologist and historian, a brother, an uncle, a son. A registered Democrat, a letter writer, a cat owner [or ownee], a home owner, a restorer. I'm a traveler, someone who can't sing, a joker, a crybaby at times. A listener.

I'm uncoordinated, sometimes clumsy. A fan of science fiction and a vegetarian. A good cook and a reader. I have a few embarassing secrets and a few unmet expectations. I tell stories to myself to put myself to sleep. An occasional insomniac and a tooth grinder, often.

And I'm a queer and people like James Dobson and a whole bunch of others latch onto that aspect of me and others, and deplore and hate us with an amazing amount of energy. They can't be bothered to see the rest of me- the photographer, the blogger, the human being. I wonder who is the abomination?

November sunset.

Oslynn and I have the same birthday, although I always have to remind her she is four years older than me. Yesterday she called and said she and Jamie and the kids were in town and could they stop by. Of course! I said, followed by an hour of frantic housecleaning (which means I don't have to clean house tonight for Mummy's arrival tomorrow).


We were apartment roommates back in 1990 and one day she mentioned that she had met the nicest guy, Jamie, who lived downstairs. At their wedding four years later I cried and cried, I can be such a sap.

Jamie and shy Lilliane.

Now they have two super smart kids, where does the time fly?

Evan, who can write the alphabet at age three.

They are coming down on December 5th for my annual holiday cookie and craft party, this year dedicated to Martha, who is away in prison using a microwave to make fancy finger foods. If you are in town, why don't you stop on by?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Andrew Sullivan doesn't like Dan Savage's latest column , I felt it expressed a lot of my views. Read it, especially the second and third page. Fuck the red states, who suck tax dollars out of the blue states and then bitch about big government. [deleted section here]. Okay, end of a quiet rant. Back to more interesting things.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Getting busy. The next two months are jam-packed with excitement at Homer'sWorld. Next Tuesday's episode will feature a month long visit by Mummy. She's pretty easy to entertain, a few mystery books and some coffee, but I hope I'll be sane when she leaves. During her visit I'll be hosting a Mystery Dinner on the 20th and my annual holiday party on December 5. After she's left I have surgery on the 21st, then lie in state while well-wishers bring me bon-bons and People magazine. On January 4th I head to England for 8 days for a conference.

I've never talked about the fact that having a packed calender tends to make me irritable and cranky, I could never be the president and have four or five useless events daily to attend to. Just knowing the next couple of weekends are booked makes me all anxious. Maybe 2005 will be less busy and hopefully I'll still have a job, since the booming economy sucks so badly at the moment.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A poem: Things I haven't done, that bloggers on my list have:

Worn a cast,
Taught first grade,
Flown first class,
Blake Harper laid.
Taken crystal meth.
Ate fish sauce,
Pulled someone's tooth,
Fired by a boss.
Bought Ken Cole shoes,
Played D & D,
Addicted to booze,
Kissed Palochi.

I'd like to try about four of these...


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A tour of my cubicle. Open the door to room 7. Walk past the copier machine, turn right, turn left, and there it is, the opening to my cubicle. I've sat in this approximate spot for 11 years. The ugly tile is just plain ugly. Two crowded bookshelves, two filing cabinets.

Between the filing cabinets is an old Mexican pie safe, I'm keeping it there for Jeffrey S., whose house is all 60s styles. On top of the pie safe are a bunch of odd things, chief among them is my Divine Martha shrine.

It aint pretty or ritzy that's for sure, but in the 11 years I've worked in that space I've had some good times, done some interesting work, written and researched the history of southern Arizona. So funny to remember what my father said to me when I got my master's thesis, "Well you can come home and work in the pie factory."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Instead of having dinner with Reggie, whose business trip was cancelled, I stayed home and ate healthy vegetables and veggie hotdogs which are now disagreeing with me in several disgusting ways. Kinda like the show Scrubs, which I watched for about five minutes for the first (and last) time in my life. And NBC thinks it is funny?

I spent an hour organizing GBLT material- newsletters, newspaper articles, and ephemera- to take down to the state historical society. Amazingly enough, the society has nothing in their collections on GBLT people. Not even a newspaper clipping file. They aren't alone- the major university libraries have ignored the topic as well. Recently, people here in Tucson raised money to have backcopies of the Observer microfilmed to preserve it for posterity. This community newspaper has been published for over 20 years and not one library bothered to collect copies of it. What does that tell you about how people view the queer community?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Second attempt. Blogger hasn't been cooperating, but I can't complain, after all it is free.

Yesterday Dan S. and I went to the All Soul's Day parade. This is the 15th year and several thousand people participated, walking in costumes down the route. Lots of pirates, belly dancers, and people looking somewhat zombie like.

Difficult to get good night time shots with my camera, plus the crowds and movement.

Had excellent middle eastern food, oh the cauliflower was melt-in-mouth good. I think even Archerr would like it- not! I called him on the way home from work (I had stopped off at the Humane Society to look at dogs and cats, why do I do that, so many cute animals), and talked as the sun set and the few long, lanky clouds turned cotton candy pink.

A through-the-windshield sunset photo.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I apologize to everyone. Karl Rove said today that Bush will be pushing for the Federal Marriage Amendment in order to have a “hopeful and decent society.” In my selfish desire for equal rights, I never considered what an indecent and hopeless person I was. I guess that explains why, when I arrive at work, I hear all of the depraved stories told by my co-workers. I’m rubbing off on them. My very presence is causing them to do all sorts of despicable and disgusting things.

I suspect I am the causal factor in two of Rush Limbaugh’s three divorces. Unnamed sources attribute his drug addiction to me as well, since Rush needed those pain killers because of some obscure letter to the editor that I wrote. Bill Bennett says his gambling addiction was caused by that wretchedly sinful lecture I gave on Spanish period archaeology. Jane Wyman just called to remind me that, although I was just a twinkle in my father’s left testicle, that twinkle caused Ronald Reagan to divorce her. Lastly, Bill O’Reilly was just copying me when he told his assistant that he was going to fuck some Italian girls after visiting with the Pope.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m pretty fucking indecent. Wanna find out?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Commercial break. We now resume our regularly scheduled program. I've avoided the news the last few days, and who could blame me? All this talk about mandates, I wasn't aware that George was a subscriber but maybe he is enjoying the articles in the latest issue- "Het-Hunk's Butt Naked Spread" or "Rough Play, Boned by College Jocks" (I bet Jenna and Babs Jr snuck and took a look at that article!).

So anyhoo, I've added a few blogs on the side. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Click B'log and he is a charmer [find the pillow fight picture on his blog, September 25), that's fer sure. Which got me to thinking about how many bloggers I have met. I counted, of the 61 blogs on my links list, I've had the pleasure of meeting 23 in person. That's kinda amazing. The very first was Sam (who has a bunch of new toys to play with), although I knew Ryan years ago when he lived in Tucson (he needs to invite me to come visit in the spring).

So what am I rambling about? I'm going to have a mandate to have a good weekend and keep avoiding the news and take lots of pictures at the All Souls Day Parade on Sunday and I approve this message.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Responses. Yesterday's post got more responses than usual. Two stand out. Anonymous wrote Sometimes I wish all these people who constantly say they're leaving the country after an election would just have the balls to do it. My answer: Sometimes I wish all of the people who comment anonymous would have the balls to leave their name and email address.

em wrote: ...I voted to allow same sex unions on Nov. 2- the same day I voted for George W. Does that mean I too am to be hated? We can no longer pray in school- or anywhere else because we went overboard making sure no one was FORCED to pray...well, now I'm FORCED not to. I'm also pro-life and against war- exactly who should I vote for? I had to make a choice based on more than one issue and did what I thought was best for the country in which I live. I don't want to see the poor get poorer and the rich get richer... but I also don't want the US to enable those without jobs to continue living on my tax dollars. I just wanted to remind everyone that there are many issues when it come to voting... not just gay marriage.

First EM I have no clue who you are, what kind of person you are. I have no clue whether you are a man or woman, straight or gay. It isn't worth my time or energy to hate the 59 million people who voted for Bush. If you read my entry carefully you will note that the people I hate are the politicians running the Republican party. Obviously, if you were running the country you wouldn’t have time to read my blog. Instead you would be thinking up new culture war ideas to rile up the conservative Christian base of the Republican party.

What have the Republican leaders learned in this election? That people don’t care if you lie, lie, lie as long as you make them feel superior by making someone else inferior. It worked really well, gay people make excellent targets. Most religious folks hate us. Only problem is, you can only ban marriage in a state once. So Karl Rove is going to have to think up a bunch of new culture wars to get people excited in 2006 and 2008. Abortion is one, I am sure, but since the gay angle worked so well we can fully expect gay adoption and gay inheritance to be targeted next. That's reason enough to hate those bastards. Did you know that the rate of gay bashing has increased since February 24, the day George announced the Federal Marriage Amendment?

On school prayer- I have no sympathy. If people want their kids to pray there is ample time to do so at home or at church. Schools are no place for prayer, unless it is equal opportunity for all religions. And how many Christians are going to want their kids to be in class the day they say Jewish prayers, or Muslim, or Satan Worshipping chants, or have someone explain Buddhism or Zoroastrianism. Or the day they get the atheist teacher who tells Billy and Emily that there is no such thing as God and proves it by having them pray for the miraculous appearance of a candy bar which of course doesn't appear. I remember as a child being forced to pray at lunch time and to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase “Under God.” There was no choice about not participating, you had to do so. Every 30 days or so you had to troop up to the front of the class and lead the pledge. So who picks what prayers get said? The current state of things is that if students want to say silent prayers, go ahead, but that schools are a neutral place as far as religion. That works for me, the people who have a problem with it are the ones that want to force their religious belief systems onto others.

In reading your message it all comes down to money “I also don’t want the US
to enable those without jobs to continue living on my tax dollars.” As far as I can tell you voted for Bush so you could keep a few extra dollars in your pocket. Guess what, I pay thousands of dollars in taxes every year and if a few bucks go to help some hungry child or to teach a young inner city girl parenting or job skills, I am grateful to be able to help. I grew up dirt poor and attended college on financial aid because my family had no money. I remember going to school with one pair of
shoes and a single suitcase of clothes. I took somebody’s tax dollars and spent them on tuition, a dorm room, and food. Does that make me a bad person? In the years since I have paid probably 70 or 80 thousand grand in Federal income taxes. Not a bad return for the four or five thousand I used to go to school I don’t begrudge money going to poor people.

So do I hate you? No, it isn't worth my time and besides, my moral philosophy has been "I shall harm no other person." The reason I hate Bush and Rove and the other Republican leaders is they threaten me and my friends personally, they want to make me unequal. I'm an American, this shouldn't be happening. So I hope you enjoy the extra money you get from your Bush tax breaks, I hope they don't pick whatever group you are a member of as their next target. You wanted my opinion, well you got it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I could write about politics, but then we are all feeling the same disappointment, except for BoiFromTroy, blogdom's token faggot Republican. I just wonder why someone would belong to a group that uses hatred against homos to get their guy elected. Curious.

Instead, maybe I'll you a happy story. Back in 1990 I spent six months in Wyoming working on a dig to earn money to pay for my master's thesis research. Six months of rednecks and endless winds, does the wind ever stop blowing there? Rawlins and Rock Springs, the first community died while I was there, withering away when a Walmart opened an hour away in Laramie, the second was memorable for a night of Tunisian food, who would have figured?

Finally I was off to Lincoln, Nebraska to look at 13,263 animal bones. After six months of no queer contact, I was ready. I came across an announcement to the GBLT meeting (maybe back then it was just GBL?) and attended. I met dorky Doug, activist Scott (who later overdosed and drowned in a pool in Tucson), and a bizarre bisexual couple. At the last moment the door opened and in walked the best looking redhead I had ever met. Philip was perfect- about 5' 8", tan, built, the perfect shade of red hair. He oozed sexiness, I usually don't like cologne, but the faint scent he wore was hot.

He was a former tank driver in the Army, a sergeant. He'd gone off to school, leaving behind his Westpoint graduate boyfriend in Germany. He was off limits because they were still together, and I didn't really mind. He was fun to hang with, I remember dancing on the speakers at a bar in Omaha with him, his hips swiveling, arms thrust up in the air, eyes closed, a huge smile on his face. One day I walked across campus and there he was in a white tank top, his thick chest hair partially covering a ying-yang tattoo.

I was in Lincoln for two months and at the end I went to a party with Philip and the bizarre bisexual couple. It was boring, bad music and watered down fruity drinks. I lived far away and the couple offered to drive me home. I sat in the backseat and Philip reached over and slipped his hand down my shirt, gently tugging on my chest hair. "You shouldn't do that." I said. "How come?" he asked. "You're turning me on," I replied. "Good." he then told me he was coming to get me the following morning. I went to bed, it couldn't be true. He was perfect. I got up and called him, "Why are you playing games with me?" "Just be ready at 10," he said.

I was sitting on the front porch, the smell of wet leaves pungent, when he pulled up. Later in his dorm room I pulled off his shirt and ran my hands down his chest. We did remarkable things then, things I had never done before. Over and over again. Twenty four hours of lust. And then it was over and, except for a brief moment the following week, that was it. I went back to Arizona, he got called up for the Gulf War although he escaped service to his disappointment. He never got to drive his tank in combat. I never met anyone like him again, and that is okay with me. He was a bit of perfection, and I had that for a moment. And sometimes when I feel sad I think about that and it is easy to forget this moment while remembering that moment.

A couple of observations. First, I think this election shows that the United States has passed its peak. We are on the downhill slide, slipping down that slope faster and faster. I look at the future- more and more jobs outsourced overseas and the subsequent shrinking of the middle class; fewer people with health insurance, pensions, and the ability to buy affordable housing; the triumph of the irrational and unscientific- none of these things bode well for this country. I see a future of Walmarts and dirty skies and metal detectors and Under Gods.

Secondly, I feel alienated from my fellow citizens. The passage of anti-gay laws I guess wasn’t a surprise, but the number of people who placed “moral issues” as the main reason they voted was. These moral issues were more important than terrorism or the economy. More important, that’s pretty stunning. And so now the president will be placing people on the Supreme Court who view me as something second class, something obnoxious and hateful because I want what Britney and Rush and Liz Taylor have had over and over again. In Nazi Germany the first repressive laws against the Jews were the marriage laws, followed shortly thereafter by property and inheritance laws. History has a tendency to repeat itself in broad, inexact strokes.

Lastly, I surprise myself by the feeling of hatred I feel for those people running this country. An unhealthy hatred I must admit. Now I never cared for Reagan or the first Bush, but then I never felt threatened personally by them. At this moment I worry about my life in very basic terms and I place the blame for this on the people running the show. It surprises me because I’ve made a point of not focusing on hate, that was something my father did. And now the blind rage I feel consumes me.

I wonder whether there will be a time in the future when I think, “I should have left when I could.” Isn’t that a strange thing to worry about?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Day of the Dead. At Holy Hope Catholic cemetery families have come out to decorate the graves of relatives. Many have flowers, but in the children's section people have placed Halloween decorations, toys, candy, and drinks out onto the cold tombstones, which lie flush to the ground. Nearby a pair of elderly women cling to each other as they slowly walk away. In the distance an open-air mass is underway.

Like last year I wonder why so many children have died so young.

Before I got to the cemetery I stopped at a local floral store, one that has posted anti-war, anti-Bush messages on their advertising board. I had read that they had lost a lot of business, so on election day I went in and bought a dozen carnations. Later in the day I spent an hour and a half canvassing for voters for MoveOn.org. I hate doing this sort of thing, but I felt I had to do something, anything to help the righteous cause.

And on the way home I chatted with Archerr and he told me a remarkable story. And a great photographer. Next time I see him he's doing a photo shoot with me.

Monday, November 01, 2004

It is impossible to get any work done. I am so on edge over this election, can it just be over? I'm thinking of going to a movie so that I'm not all obsessive watching the telly.

In other important news, at the supermarket I saw beefy Byron. So beefy. So blonde. So furry. He would be a popular guy if he was a homo, David G. and Abe would agree with me on that. The Halloween candy was decidedly not on sale. I ran out (five bags!) last night and had to turn the light off. And no one brought any to work, goshdarnit! So I had terrible chocolate withdrawal symptoms this afternoon.

The cats have decided that it is cold and last night I woke up with all three lying on top of me, attempting to steal my breathe or crush me to death. Well, actually they were thinking "When is that human going to put the electric blanket on the bed." Answer, tonight.

I know, my life is too exciting. I think I have a date this week, maybe that will be a bit more exciting.

Orchid, National Botanical Garden.

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