Saturday, November 17, 2007

Boycott The Bears!

So, the time has come. The Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra is back at The Shops of Grand Avenue. I cannot believe that they've been a fixture, pun intended, at this mall for five years now.

And no offense to those of you that enjoy them: its time to Boycott The Bears!

The first year, they were pretty cool. I confess, I did enjoy them. Second time around, yes.. I would stop by every once in a while to check them out. Third year. Started getting old. Now they are in their fifth year. Don't know about anyone else, but some of my friends and coworkers at a nearby corporation have just about had it.

How much does it cost to prepare this production, anyway? Couldn't this money go elsewhere, like reinvesting into the mall? I digress.

People are talking about these furry things. We were discussing them at lunch and it was pointed out that area grade schools have essentially lost a place to perform their Christmas shows. Kids have been upstaged by.. oh, forget it.

Seriously, surely a variety of reasons have contributed to the kids no longer performing here. Mall safety. Mall decline. Parking. Freeway construction. Political correctness. The "different clientele". Or, plain good ol' lack of interest. Who knows.

All I am is a suburbanite. Born and raised, lived in downtown Milwaukee for a while, and went back to live in the suburbs. What would I know.

That discussion brought back memories of Christmas trips to the Grand Avenue Mall when I attended A WAUKESHA GRADE SCHOOL. Memories of playing my viola with a lot of fellow middle school orchestra kids. I think the event was called Strolling for Strings, and we got to walk while filling the entire mall with music. WITH A LOT OF PARTICIPATION FROM THE SUBURBS.

Its because of that and other musical experiences as a child that I enjoy watching children perform music. Something that I miss very much. I'd much rather watch children than mechanical teddy bears not even worth roasting on an open fire synchronized to constant crap dished out by a never-ending, repeating recording. ;-)

Let me be clear: I love Christmas music. I'd much rather hear it long after Thanksgiving and a touch closer to Christmas Eve.

So I say again, what do I know. Some of us are making a joke about the situation anyway. Anyone with us? Let's Boycott The Bears at The Shops Of Grand Avenue!!

OK: so I guess it is kinda cool for them to be decked out in the green and gold every once in while. However, looks like I'm not the only one that might feel the same, judging from this blog from last year. Its time for them to go. Maybe, just maybe, they would be more tolerable if they toured other malls in the area to give area residents an equal opportunity to share this "wealth."

One thing is certain. Some of us have decided to not step foot anywhere within earshot of them. Plenty of options in downtown to take our lunch money anyway.

Spotted at for 2007. Did you think I would really step foot anywhere near them to take a picture? ;-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gay Britains Oppose Iraq Executions

(mustering up my best Arnold Horshack impersonation)


This is why there are rumors flying about wanting to attack Iran! Its their stance on civil rights - their leaders believe gays should be executed!

Seriously, talk about wishful thinking. If it were not for all that oil in the region, I wonder what the USA would do and how less petty and greedy it would be perceived..

Click here to read about what gay Brits are doing to take a stand on this issue. If only people in this country would do the same.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

"God Hates The Phelps"

So the Phelps gets a taste of their own medicine. But were the fireworks-type devices really necessary? Read more here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

They Serve A.. Different.. Clientele

Years ago, I went shopping at an area Boston Store. I can no longer remember the item I was shopping for. That portion of the memory was overpowered by an encounter with a not-so-customer-friendly salesperson. The person happened to be a white female which uttered the following words: "well! they serve a.. different.. clientele."

I had no clue what she was referring to. The context was: the adversarial tone of a white woman's voice, the presence of a brown gay mexican male, and an increase in the african american shoppers at the store.

I came across this article about hate crimes in Seattle. Seattle! The gay friendly Capitol Hill neighborhood is facing gentrification: fewer gay bars have survived over time. Read what you want into this.

Last week, at a community meeting with police about the recent anti-gay incidents, David Beard, 26, a Capitol Hill resident and member of the city's advisory commission on sexual minorities, said that because of his sexual orientation, "I feel more trepidation about being in the neighborhood."

New clubs have brought a different clientele to the neighborhood, he said.

What Does The Harry Potter Series Promote?

So tell me: what exactly does Harry Potter promote, anyway? I've heard its far easier to be negative and to destroy, than to be positive and to create. Certainly this bit of insight should bear no surprise when running a Google search on the matter.

In the first two or three pages, the negative articles outnumber the positive ones. At first glance I only found one result with a good thing to say. Once looked further I found three with praise.

I haven't made the time to read the books. I am therefore not fully qualified to express my opinion. Regardless, I do believe this series is a good set of stories which promote reading, tolerance and understanding.

Albus Dumbledore Is Gay

Here is a great article expressing an opinion on a mere extra detail about our beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft & Wizardry. J.K. Rowling has announced that Albus Dumbledore is gay. When I heard, I thought "oh. ok, cool!" and didn't think much of it.

People will have their opinions, and some, like this one, make a statement about Dunbledore and the state of gays in this nation pretty well:

We live in a nation where some people still accuse gays of "recruiting." And equate homosexuality with pederasty. And give cheap applause to preachers and politicians who use gay men and lesbians as easy scapegoats.

Could the boy wizard help a generation learn to look at a gay person and see neither definition nor destiny, but only detail? That would be the greatest magic trick of all.

Click here for more news and opinions.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gay Ban Results In Philadelphia Boy Scouts' Rent Increase

You know -- the answer to this type of situation is pretty obvious. To me, at least. All this council has to do is leave the discriminatory Boy Scouts and join Scouting For All. That is, if the local council's leadership doesn't subscribe to the national organization's type of morality.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Appling: Domestic Partner Benefits And Redefining Marriage

First, she leads a campaign which gets Wisconsin on the Ban Gay Marriage Bandwagon with a confusing, vaguely worded amendment. Now she's speaking out against domestic partner benefits to state employees. She believes it is the state's attempt to redefine marriage and that local government employees are essentially state employees.

Umm.. right.

Is her next step to declare domestic partner benefits unconstitutional because of the amendment?

And why am I giving this woman -- who rumor has it happens to be unmarried and lives with a female roommate of many, many years -- any energy anyway?

You decide. Listen to the story here. Be sure to have RealPlayer installed.

From the NPR web site:

Court Holds Hearing for Same Sex Partner Rights
By Gil Halsted
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
(MADISON) The State Supreme Court will hear arguments today (W) in a lawsuit demanding same-sex domestic partner benefits for state employees.

A group of cities, villages and school boards are trying to intervene in an ACLU lawsuit filed two years ago on behalf of six lesbian state employees. The suit claims the state is violating the Wisconsin Constitution’s equal protection clause by denying health care benefits for the same-sex partners of the employees.

Julaine Appling of the Family Research Council of Wisconsin says although the suit targets state employees, local governments have a legitimate concern about its outcome. She says every employee of a local municipality in this is also ultimately a state employee, and she says she doesn’t think any local municipality wants to have the state make a determination about what kind of benefits they are going to pay or not pay.

Appling, who led the successful campaign for the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Wisconsin says the ACLU lawsuit is an effort to redefine marriage. But ACLU attorney Larry Depuis disagrees. He says providing of domestic partner benefits doesn’t constitute marriage and he notes that all of the sponsors of the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage repeatedly said it was not intended to deny domestic partner benefits to government employees.

That issue isn’t before the court this week; instead, the Justices will hear arguments for and against allowing local governments to intervene in the lawsuit.

State legislators could play a role in the final outcome of the lawsuit. Domestic partner benefits for state employees is one of the many issues still in play in the state budget impasse. Money for the benefits is in the Democratic version of the budget, but not in the Republican one.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Could Abortion Divide Republicans And Create A Third Political Party?

What timing. Steve and I are out for a Sunday drive. We come across an abortion protest. By the time I decide to take pictures, the crowd has fizzled out. The protest is orchestrated by a group called Life Chain.

This band of people extends from Oklahoma Ave. and 108th St...

..all the way up to Greenfield Ave...

..and slightly beyond.

Steve and I stop by a Starbucks on Hwy 100. We have a little chat with the barista. We agree, the protesters are a bit of an eyesore and everyone's entitled to their opinion.

At least the sea of posters included none of a graphic nature that some of the more fanatic type have been known to carry. Among these people, however, are children. These impressionable young people are taking in useless lessons on how to show intolerance. Feelings of disgust start settling in.

I'm disgusted further when I consider the consequences of unsafe abortions. Let's say that the protesters get their way and are successful in imposing their twisted morality on us all, taking away another person's choices. I believe the number of unsafe abortions would go up: where is the morality in that?

Meanwhile, I come across this article on my phone. Depending on who's on the Republican ticket, some believe the politics around abortion could divide the "Grand" Old Party and help out the Democrats:

"There are definitely enough voters out there for whom abortion is the number one issue," says Olson. "If that's the case . . . they're either going to stay home, and that helps the Democrats, or go out and vote for a third-party candidate, and that helps the Democrats."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Idaho Falls Reporter Outed For Exposing Boy Scouts & Mormon Group Pedophile Cover-Up

I've accidentally come across the PBS documentary series, "Expose: America's Investigative Reports". The current episode is about a small-town reporter who has exposed a cover-up in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Apparently the local Boy Scouts and Mormon groups has had a history of disregarding the safety of its children in a most disgusting manner -- they allowed a known pedophile to lead scouts for years. By the way, the reporter happens to be gay and was outed as a result.

Click here for a blog about this episode of Expose.

While you're at it, visit Scouting For All, an organization that does everything the Boy Scouts of America does and does more: it respects diversity.

From a blog on

This month, PBS airs "In A Small Town," a special two-part episode of their series Expose: America's Investigative Reports.

The episode documents what happens when Peter Zuckerman, a reporter for the Idaho Post Falls Register, unearths evidence of multiple victims of child sexual abuse in the local boy scouts. When the story breaks it leads to fierce division within the community. Zuckerman and the paper he works for come under attack both from Mormon groups and from the Boy Scouts. Zuckerman, who is gay, is eventually outed, and his sexual orientation becomes an issue in the very story he's trying to cover.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stripping Down The Opposition To ENDA

Let's take a close look at what exactly the opposition is saying. These are my unprofessional opinions, however I did glance at HRC's web site to learn a little more before I finished typing this up.

ENDA is aimed at providing heightened protections for a particular sexual behavior- homosexuality. It would grant special consideration on the basis of "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" that would not be extended to other employees in the workplace. That could spell trouble for Christian business owners, churches and faith-based groups.

ENDA grants protection. It does not grant special rights to anyone. It ensures that specific groups are protected from unfair treatment.

The issue is not job discrimination: It is whether private businesses will be forced by law to accommodate homosexual activists' attempts to legitimize homosexual behavior.

This is an attempt to confuse the issue. There is no mention of accomodating anyone. Wait a minute: let me pull out my pocket version of The Idiot's Guide To The Gay Agenda out of my ass.. ;-)

The first "religious exemption" clause is very narrow and offers no clear protection to church-related businesses: Religious schools or charitable organizations, religious bookstores, or any business affiliated with a church or denomination fall outside this narrow definition, and could presumably be required to hire homosexual applicants.

Look! Another attempt to confuse the issue. The law does not apply to religious organizations. If any given entity says they are for everyone and THEN bans gays, or any specific group for that matter, then I start getting a little upset.

The second "religious exemption" clause fails to offer protection for all hiring by church-related organizations or businesses. The position of a teacher of religion at a church-related school would be exempt, but, e.g., that of a biology teacher would not. Thus, most of the teachers and staff at a religious school would be covered by ENDA, which means that the church would be forced to hire homosexual applicants for such positions-despite the fact that their lifestyle would be in direct opposition to the religious beliefs of the organization or company.

This doesn't look very true either. Again: if an entity such as a religious business, religious organization, or private organization mission visibly bans gays, why would I want to join them? Its when you say that you're for everyone and THEN treat any specific group unfairly that gets me going.

It is unlikely that the "religious exemption" included in the bill would survive court challenge: Institutions that could be targeted include religious summer camps, the Boy Scouts, Christian bookstores, religious publishing houses, religious television and radio stations, and any business with fifteen or more employees.

There's a true statement hidden here. The law does apply to businesses with 15 employees or more. They bring up the Boy Scouts: this is a private organization, freely able to have, interpret, and apply their mission. The problem here is this: their mission visibly states they serve all, and have Supreme Court backing to discriminate against gays. AGAIN: see above.

ENDA violates employers' and employees' Constitutional freedoms of religion, speech and association. The proposed legislation would prohibit employers from taking their most deeply held beliefs into account when making hiring, management, and promotion decisions. This would pose an unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into people's lives.

Anyone need a reminder of what Supreme Court did regarding the Boy Scouts? Again, another blatant attempt to confuse the issue. Oh, and by the way: there is already an unprecedented intrusion by the government into people's lives. Let's not forget that some governments still ban gay sex between consenting adults. And, not everyone is allowed to establish the civil contract portion of marriage.

ENDA would approvingly bring private behavior considered immoral by many into the public square. By declaring that all sexual preferences are equally valid, ENDA would change national policy supporting marriage and family.

ENDA is not about changing national policy towards religious beliefs. It is about protecting a group of workers from discrimination.

Clearly, this is an enormous threat to the freedom of religion and also places unfair burdens on businesses, which should be allowed to make employment decisions based on their religious convictions and business needs.

Wow. Gay people are a threat. Love the power that the opposition wields us. Need I say more?

Click here for an objective view for and against ENDA, and here for a Wiki page.

ENDA And Discrimination: What Side Are You On?

Did you know that lawmakers are pushing an effort to make it illegal to discriminate against gays in the workplace? The Employee Non-Discrimination Act, aka ENDA (H.R. 2015) is moving its ways through Congress.

PFLAG has prepared resources in support of this effort.

Find your House Member on the
PFLAG Take Action page

Check out the PFLAG page on ENDA.

Would someone care to remind me why who we sleep with makes us qualified or unqualified for most jobs? Of course, there are those who want to keep it legal for firing someone just because they are gay. Take the American Family Association and the Family Research Council:

ENDA affords special protection to a group that is not disadvantaged.
The issue is not job discrimination: It is whether private businesses
will be forced by law to accommodate homosexual activists' attempts
to legitimize homosexual behavior.

The first "religious exemption" clause is very narrow and offers no
clear protection to church-related businesses: Religious schools or
charitable organizations, religious bookstores, or any business
affiliated with a church or denomination fall outside this narrow
definition, and could presumably be required to hire homosexual

The second "religious exemption" clause fails to offer protection for
all hiring by church-related organizations or businesses. The
position of a teacher of religion at a church-related school would be
exempt, but, e.g., that of a biology teacher would not. Thus, most of
the teachers and staff at a religious school would be covered by
ENDA, which means that the church would be forced to hire homosexual
applicants for such positions-despite the fact that their lifestyle
would be in direct opposition to the religious beliefs of the
organization or company.

It is unlikely that the "religious exemption" included in the bill
would survive court challenge: Institutions that could be targeted
include religious summer camps, the Boy Scouts, Christian bookstores,
religious publishing houses, religious television and radio stations,
and any business with fifteen or more employees.

ENDA violates employers' and employees' Constitutional freedoms of
religion, speech and association. The proposed legislation would
prohibit employers from taking their most deeply held beliefs into
account when making hiring, management, and promotion decisions. This
would pose an unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into
people's lives.

ENDA would approvingly bring private behavior considered immoral by
many into the public square. By declaring that all sexual preferences
are equally valid, ENDA would change national policy supporting
marriage and family.

Take Action

Clearly, this is an enormous threat to the freedom of religion and
also places unfair burdens on businesses, which should be allowed to
make employment decisions based on their religious convictions and
business needs.

Urgent! Click here to contact your U.S. Representative. Ask him or
her to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (ENDA)
H.R. 2015.

Thanks for caring enough to get involved. If you find our efforts
worthy, would you consider making a donation to help us continue?


Donald E. Wildmon, Founder & Chairman
American Family Association

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Greenspan Retracts And Sad About Political Process

tick, tock.. tick, tock.. tick!!

Hear that? That would be the sound of a stopwatch timing how fast Greenspan retracts his statement on the war in Iraq. Not only that, now he says he may not vote because he is saddened by the political process. His politics seem unusual - perhaps he should run for president.

Read more here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bullies Beaten By Pink

Here's a story that falls under the "hope for the future" category. I confess I'm not a fan of the color pink and I've been picked on for my "anti-pink" attitudes. ;) Seriously, I just don't like the color but on some people it does look nice.

According to the bullies at this school I must not be gay -- "pink on a male (is) a symbol of homosexuality."

Umm.. right.

To summarize: a new freshman at a high school gets beat up by bullies just for wearing a pink shirt. This elicited a response from a couple seniors who wanted to peacefully protest the bullying. They got students and faculty to wear pink in response, and the bullies childishly threw hissy fits about the whole situation.

Read more here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Greenspan: "The Iraq war is largely about oil."

Finally! How refreshing!

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan has put together his memoirs. His book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World" is scheduled for release Monday. In it, he apparently bashes some of President W's policies. Read about Greenspan's book and comments here.

By the way: did anyone catch W's address? I thought he made a statement like, "I support troop reductions but we must keep enough troops there to protect U.S. interests."

Coincidence that oil is among the U.S. interests in the region? I wish I knew the context of Greenspan's statement about the war. The only thing that can make this more interesting is to watch how many people quote this online.

"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Kansas Issues Executive Order On Non-descrimination

Interestingly enough, a quick search on the Associated Press web site does not return any results on this bit of news - even though its from them.

Kansas is in the new wave of issuing protections to lesbian, gay, bisexuals, and transgenders. Milwaukee has quietly added transgender protections. This is quite hopeful given the progress of the gay marriage bans sweeping the nation.

Full text of the executive order itself is here. Click here for the full story.

Walks Don't Cut It - My Gaydar Is Broken

Maybe I'm hanging out in the wrong crowd. That, or I'm taking notice at the wrong times. My gaydar has been broken and its not like I can ask for a new one! Maybe something else is at play.. ;)

Seriously, its not just about the walk. I know plenty of straight people have slightly feminine mannerisms. But, in the never ending quest to learn about and understand homosexuality, in comes a study which looks at the way we walk.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Amazing Blenderphone

I never fully understood why this brought my attention. All I know is, I first heard about it years ago and something got me to put it on my personal web site. Perhaps it was the eccentricity of the thing? It was good for a quick chuckle. And, I never removed it from my web site.

Gaze in wonder here. :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Military Seeks Translators - As Long As They're Not Gay

Imagine this: the military is dealing with the consequences of letting go of translators JUST because they are gay.

The military is forced to use a non-tested translation machine for Arabic. A machine just can't get the nuances that a human being can pick up. Too bad for them - they've let go of qualified Arabic translators just because they're gay.

Now they must resort to recruiting and then training new translators.

Your tax dollars at work.

Full story here.

Leonard Nimoy Kicks Ass

I'm jealous, and in a good way. What a lucky kid. Leonard Nimoy has invited a remarkable young man and his family as his guests to the premiere of Star Trek XI, scheduled for December, 2008.

Check out and Imagecomics for more.

Ann Coulter, Jesus, and Sarcasm

Guess what!! Did you know that both Ann Coulter and Jesus have sarcarsm in common? Ann Coulter made an appearance at Xavier University which - to no surprise - may have drawn little attention.

To all you sarcastic folks out there: you too can compare yourself to Jesus!

Monday, September 3, 2007

More Civil Rights Sillyness

This just in: In Polk County, Iowa, its now legal to..
For two hours, it was legal in Polk County, Iowa for gays to marry.

Thank you, judge, for declaring the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional and then caving under pressure.

Read more here and here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation..

Steve and I are back from vacation. My brother recently remarried, so we turned the trip into a full-fledged vacation and road trip. We had a wonderful time and met some great people. The drive (other than several weather situations) was uneventful. To summarize the trip, we spent time with family, at Walt Disney World, and at Key West.

  • Our itinerary:
    - Drive to Disney on Thursday the 9th
    - Spend the night in Warner Robins, GA and arrive to Disney World on Friday the 10th.
    - Check in to Disney's Coronado Springs (for a free night due to screwed up reservations) and then attend the rehearsal dinner.
    - The next day, check in to Disney's All Star Sports and then attend Art and Celeste's wedding
    - Spend time with family Sunday and Monday
    - Spend time at Disney Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
    - Drive to Key West Thursday and check in to the Island House.
    - Return to Disney on Monday. Check in to Disney's All Star Sports resort with hopes of staying in one of the renovated rooms.
    - Spend time at Disney for the remainder of the trip and plan a dinner with Art and Celeste.
    - Drive home on Friday the 24th and stay overnight in Nashville. Meet up with cousin Becky in Atlanta and drop off Evan's Game Boy on the way.

  • Art and Celeste had a beautiful wedding ceremony. Other than the usual drama where family is involved, it was great to have some of Mom's family, including my 89 year old Abuelita (gramma), present from Mexico.

  • Some of my Mom's family finally got to meet Steve. Up until now, they've only known him through pictures.

  • We had our share of good and not-so-good dinners. Our very last dinner, in Nashville, more than made up for our final dinner at Disney.

  • About that final dinner at Disney: Our experience at Disney's Portobello Yacht Club was seriously underwhelming. The restaurant comes across as upscale, with expensive dishes, that would discourage bringing children into it. So, this experience merits its own section. Given that we got great service otherwise, and the manager was extremely gracious in only charging us for Steve's entree, perhaps we'll consider giving the venue another chance.

  • For starters, an obnoxious kid prevented Steve from sitting at the table.

  • Appetizers consisted of a cheese fondue and a margarita pizza. Our cheese fondue resembled a burned, half-melted cheese brick. The pizza was good - but burned. This is putting it rather mildly.

  • When Steve pointed out the cheese fondue to the manager, the manager's jaw dropped. I guess the reaction was priceless. I was preoccupied by dealing with the noisy, obnoxious kids while enjoying the burned Margarita pizza. Don't get me wrong, I love kids.. especially well-behaved ones!

  • Steve's first drink, apparently a frozen rasberry lemonade, resembled colored Florida water complete with the taste of bleach. My drink, a coconut cream drink of some sort was good but did have that Florida water aftertaste.. Anyway, Steve's replacement drink, apparently a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri, turned out to be daiquiri syrup on the rocks. At least Steve's entree was excellent.

  • I ordered a lobster filled ravioli with (overcooked) shrimp. Can't forget the other kid that bent over towards his table at some point during dinner, putting his ass in my face. This one finished off dinner with an outstretched arm, nearly poking my eye out.

  • Below are moments from our vacation. Some of the more embarrasing moments have been omitted to protect the innocent.

    Some of the really wonderful moments:

  • Steve holding our nephew, Adan, in his arms during the wedding reception. Too cute.

  • Gramma meeting Steve, and looked up and smiled: "he's handsome and TALL.."

  • Observing the cutest interaction between two Brits at the pool at Disney's All Star Sports resort: A tiny little girl with the neatest accent asks a lifeguard while sounding like a much older, proper child, "excuse me, but could you tell me where the life jackets are?"

  • A Key West local remembers Steve and me, and asks Steve: "did you get a new partner?"

  • Watching a Key West sunset for a second time.

  • Finally riding in the front car of the Walt Disney World monorail for the first time.

  • Spending time with Mr. and Mrs. Art and Celeste Marchán. They had just gotten back from their honeymoon. We had just returned from Key West. Couldn't have had a better time recounting our trips and talking family.

  • Of course, the trip had its share of hilarious moments:

  • While checking in at the Coronado Springs in Walt Disney World Resort, we came up with a new Disney character. The person behind the check-in counter took care of us in a dorky and goofy manner. Voila: Doofy is born. We had moments like this the entire trip so we nicknamed each person Doofy in honor of the first encounter. (We probably had hundreds if not thousands of Doofy sightings the entire trip.)

  • Breakfast at the Coronado. A little older lady argues with Steve thinking he is on Disney's meal plan. She insisted that Steve could not have this delicious looking pastry. This went on for a good minute: "You can't have that! That costs $4.25" "Why not?" "That's for people who want to pay $4.25 for it. You can't have that!" "Yes I can! I'll pay $4.25 for it!" Steve, much taller, younger, faster, and persistent, grabbed the pastry and ran.

  • While shopping for a Steve Fillmer home cooked meal at mom's: The snotty young Latina cashier says, "I understand Spanish, I just don't want to," to a customer asking for cigarettes in Spanish. My reaction, jaw-dropping shock at actually witnessing anything like that.

  • Ever watch a cop car pursue a pedal biker? So we're driving down to Key West. Just outside of Miami, Javier, Steve, and I take note of two squad cars crawling along the shoulder of Florida's Turnpike. We pass the cops, and further note in awe that they are in hot pursuit of what appears to be a vagabond on a PEDAL BIKE. Way too many questions came to mind beginning with, "how in the hell did a person on a PEDAL BIKE get past the BOOTHS required to get on the TOLL ROAD?"

  • A lady at a Key West club falling on her ass on this virtually invisible platform by the bar. As our new friend Jeremy put it: "although it really is too bad, it really is kinda funny!" Jeremy's partner Billy said, "GIRL DOWN!" Then there's Steve's reaction: "9.9!"

  • People-watching while eating breakfast: "He eats like a gopher.."

  • Dinner with Jeremy and Billy. We're all sharing stories, when Steve brings up the aforementioned breakfast. He follows up with something like,"it reminds me of that Dennis The Menace movie," and Billy quickly chimes in: "you mean that scene where Walter Mathau has Chiclets for teeth?"

  • Winner of the most number of Doofy's working in an eatery: Pizzafari at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The lines of people waiting for food was about as large as the lines of people waiting to order food. The workers were that S-L-O-W.

  • Actually being stuck on a roller coaster. Got to the end of Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom, when we're less than one-hundred feet from the end. The car stops, and I suddenly hear: "Due to unexpected technical difficulties, the cars on Expedition Everest are temporarily stopped." While its not funny that cars all over the ride are stuck, at least the riders on the car I was on were able to walk off the ride, as I look in wonder at the engineer examining the car in front of mine. Meanwhile Steve, who's not into roller coasters, did not ride with me and is therefore waiting at the exit..

  • Pineapple ice cream floats. Yummy!! Really!! Which, by the way, could only be improved by using refridgerated juice. Doofy at the counter, after being told TWO floats, rings up and prepares one. So we scowl at him and ask for a second.

  • What kind of a moronic Walt Disney World employee a.k.a. "Cast Member" tells people walking by the temporarily stopped Pirates Of The Carribbean ride that pirates have staged a mutiny so the ride is not running?

  • The Midwest floods are most definitely unfortunate and not hilarious. But when a freeway shutdown occurs due to a flood, you'd think that freeway travelers would take notice of news reports, large electronic traffic signs, online traffic information, AM/FM radio traffic reports, and pursue a different route. (Did anyone catch any newspaper headlines, btw?) Oh, hell no. So we're heading westbound on I80/94 in Chicago. What is hilarious and shocking is that there were probably hundreds (if not thousands) of cars backed up as far as the eye could see, for MILES, on the eastbound side right around mile marker 3.4. Even better: some were complaining about the shutdown on their CB radios. You think they should've known better.. we knew about this for a couple hours before we arrived in the Chicago area - and we were going the other way!

    And thus ends another vacation and road trip: life is good!

  • Sunday, August 19, 2007

    See? Separate (Civil Union) Is Not Equal (To Marriage)

    Awesome. A definitive report explaining that civil unions are not equal to marriage. The only regrettable thing about this article is the choice of headline.

    Its pretty clear that the opponents to gay marriage will take the headline, "Six Months Of Civil Unions In NJ 'Failure' Group Says," and twist to their advantage. Failure is not a good word choice. It conjures thoughts of "social experiments" that is apparent in the opposition's ignorant rhetoric.

    Perhaps the more obvious "Civil Unions And Marriage Rights Unequal" should cover it.

    Saturday, June 30, 2007

    Homos Are Magic!!

    I cannot do this one justice, its a hilarious take on gay life. How do we do it, after all!!!

    Apologies From Ex-Gay Ministers

    This story is incredible. It is about a press conference with former leaders of the gay to straight conversion organization, Exodus International. These people have apologized for the hurt they've caused. I find such groups disgusting and feel hope when people from these.. groups.. realize the damage they have caused and take action.

    People such as the Reverend Mel White, ghost writer for the late Jerry Falwell's autobiography. Rev. White is the founder and president of a gay rights group called Soulfource. Soulforce has been protesting discrimination against openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students at christian colleges and was in Milwaukee recently. Rev. White is among the people that have come out against ex-gay ministries.

    Now that's a legacy: "I wrote the autobiography for the Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority and the guy that proclaimed Tinky Winky was gay. Later, I had an epiphany and worked to improve the rights for gay people."

    Saturday, June 23, 2007


    Witchhunts. Sounds like a page out of (biased) American history books, no? Bleu Copas, a former Arabic translator in the United States armed forces, did his part to comply with Don't Ask, Don't Tell. But that wasn't good enough for some. Some conducted investigation after investigation after investigation, and kicked him out.

    Did you know that since its inception in 1993, between 11,000 and 12,000 service members have been discharged from the armed forces under Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Some are doctors, mechanics, Korean translators, Arabic translators, and of various other support occupations. Among them are 55 Arabic linguists which I've briefly blogged about once before.

    Imagine the cost to recruit, train, and deploy troops. Then ooh, ahh: the military finds they may or may not be homosexual. If they don't out themselves, perhaps an investigation -- or shall we say, witchhunt -- begins. With the inevitable outcome of termination in the horizon.

    Tax dollars at work!

    HDNet World Report did an effective job at exposing our military leaders' beliefs about sexual orientation and irrational fear of homosexuality. It would've been mighty interesting if an interview with the military chiefs would have been possible. Instead, however, they get a written response which included:

    The law establishes the basis for separation from the armed forces as conduct not orientation. Our policy reflects the law, i.e., no military member is discharged due to his or her sexual orientation.

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    Alrighty Then: Whose Jobs Are Being Taken Away?

    I recently visited my dad for Father's Day. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.

    During that trip I couldn't help but notice several restaurants that seemed on the verge of shutting down. Dad and I came across a Mexican restaurant sporting a Help Wanted sign (in English, by the way). Granted its a single example - but witnessing this situation first hand, the.. rhetoric.. from those who would say illegal immigrants are taking away their jobs IMMEDIATELY came to mind. Not to mention hasty generalizations about good people with the simple intent to pursue happiness and to improve the quality of their family lives.

    I didn't exactly see a mob of those petty people smashing down this door for work.

    So tell me: about this immigration problem used as a political wedge issue - exactly whose jobs are being taken away?

    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    Prettiest Senior Prank We Ever Saw!

    Funny how when people grow older, they either:
    - forget what its like to perform a senior prank, or
    - are jealous they never got the opportunity to participate in one.

    Recently, seniors pull a prank in Oregon that as my boyfriend put it, "that's probably the prettiest senior prank I ever saw!" The pranksters plant flowers on a high school lawn in the form of a peace sign. The administration in its infinite wisdom seeks to punish the pranksters to restore defaced property. What the fuck! But who's the fool, because community volunteers help with the restoration.

    This article has a picture of what's left.

    Kudos to the pranksters and to the volunteers. Maybe there is hope for us yet.

    Definitely Not An Employer Of Choice

    The military is getting so desparate for recruiting these days. Last night Steve and I went to the movies to see Spiderman 3. We're watching the pre-show commercials when one from the marines blasts on the screen. And then in my email this morning, I see a PFLAG alert containing an article about gay linguists getting let go from the military. I've heard of this before, so its nothing new to me.

    I have strong feelings about the military in general. That's besides the point. But when I saw the recruitment commercial last night, I was reminded of a show I once saw on HD on gaming. It included what the armed forces, both in the U.S. and the Middle East, have been doing to recruit teens. I digress.

    So on the one hand, the U.S. military needs qualified people to translate Arabic during this time of armed conflict. On the other hand, they're letting go of translators just because of their sexual orientation. Although this is a time of petty war, the armed forces need qualified translators.

    But these desparate military employers are disposing of that which they need. I just love watching pure ignorance in action. Love how some striving to be employers of choice stupidly believe that sexual orientation directly impacts qualification of employment.

    Rep. Marty Meehan, who has sought a repeal, organized the letter (wanting an explanation why specialists are being let go) to Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., asking the (House Armed Services) committee hold a hearing about the Arabic linguists.

    "At a time when our military is stretched to the limit and our cultural knowledge of the Middle East is dangerously deficient, I just can't believe that kicking out able, competent Arabic linguists is making our country any safer," Meehan said.

    The letter, signed by about 40 House members, says that the military has discharged 58 Arabic linguists under the policy and that Congress should decide whether "don't ask, don't tell" "is serving the nation well."

    Saturday, April 21, 2007

    How's It Lookin' All The Way Up There?

    I stumbled upon this article this morning. I love looking over articles and pictures which reflect on Earth itself. Always rather humbling and awe-inspiring. You think we as "the human race" have come so far in some ways, but we're oh so backwards..

    I'm always in awe of the beauty of this planet from space. The depictions in science fiction.. the depictions in science fact.. We think this planet is so huge in many ways, but in even more - its oh, so small. I remember the very first time I got to see live television footage of Earth from the International Space Station in HD. It was quite an emotional moment quickly subdued by the reality that we, the human race, don't always know how to take care of it and its inhabitants.

    I'm no saint at fully appreciating and caring for the planet, who is these days. I'll confess that when I'm at my worst I've been guilty of littering. We're all individuals with working brains you know.. we're all capable of making our choices and taking control of our habits. And there are things I probably should be doing different anyway, like resume a persistent reminder about this "little thing" called littering..

    I can't reflect on the article without interjecting some Star Trek references, too.. :) Some of the many lessons I've learned from it are about appreciating the Earth itself. About casting aside greed, petty differences and petty geographical borders and working towards improving the common good for all.. but I digress..

    Two of their movies show the same appreciation for the planet that this article expresses. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a moment where Captain Kirk and company leave Earth's orbit and he asks for a rear view of their departure. Its a wonderful moment. Then there's Star Trek: First Contact, where the very first "warp drive" ship blasts off from Earth. The ship distances itself at the speed of light.. it pauses, turns around.. and peeks into the vastness of space in the direction of a rather ordinary-looking yet beautiful blue and white speck. The drive's inventor, piloting the ship, gasps: "its so SMALL."

    How true.

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    Downright Silly!

    This article clearly speaks for itself. Hip-swaying is grounds for termination if you're a cop in the Philippines. Downright silly if you ask me.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    New Toy!

    Those of you that know me well will probably be surprised to hear that I did not have a digital camera - until now. What a wonderful purchase, too. Here are a couple pictures that I've always wanted to be able to take.


    Taken from the parking structure right after work

    Taken on the way to some shopping

    Why Do (Some) Straights Hate Gay People?

    I confess, clearly the novelty of having a blog has worn out a little. But at least it gave me an opportunity to express myself during a regrettable point in Wisconsin's recent history. (Did you do your part? Have you continued to do your part?)

    Below is an excerpt from an op-ed that appeared in the L.A. Times. I agree with some of the points raised in this letter when it comes to SOME straight people. It would be most unfair to judge ALL the same. The letter expresses little hope - but even during these challenging times there is hope for us ALL: gay, straight, bi, trans, intersex, whichever you may be.

    You see, we do have straight allies fighting alongside and leading us in our journey to equality. We need each other. If you think otherwise then perhaps you should look inward and re-evaluate your feelings and beliefs.

    Yes: some straight allies have hidden agendas and aspirations. This affects the feelings some people may have of straight allies as a whole. I guess we need allies with hidden agendas too. Can't have progress without them as well, I suppose..

    What do we do to you that is so awful? Why do you feel compelled to come after us with such frightful energy? Does this somehow make you feel safer and legitimate? What possible harm comes to you if we marry, or are taxed just like you, or are protected from assault by laws that say it is morally wrong to assault people out of hatred? The reasons always offered are religious ones, but certainly they are not based on the love all religions proclaim.

    Tornado Rainbow Triangle